Soviet policy toward United Nations peacekeeping operations, 1956-1991: From confrontation to cooperation

Timothy Alan McElwee, Purdue University


This study seeks to analyze the confluence of historic developments that led to major changes in the foreign and defense policies of the former Soviet Union during the years 1956-1991. The proposition of this study may be stated as follows: Having concluded that the domestic economic malaise had reached crisis proportions and the prevailing worldview had become an impediment to the pursuit of Soviet national interests, in the mid-1980s newly appointed and highly motivated Soviet leaders--within the context of a changed international environment--restructured Soviet foreign policy to place priority on multilateral rather than unilateral pursuits of security. The data compiled for this investigation have been drawn from primary sources found within Soviet-United Nations official records within the UN General Assembly and Security Council. This information was analyzed through the use of case studies pertaining to Soviet posture regarding UN Peacekeeping Operations during the Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Gorbachev administrations. At the heart of this study's findings is the observation that whereas prior to the Gorbachev era, the Soviet stance toward UN Peacekeeping Operations was largely antagonistic, Gorbachev's new policies--under the watchword perestroika--emphasized the need to expand such operations, enhance the rule of international law and pursue multilateral peacemaking through political rather than military means.




Theen, Purdue University.

Subject Area

International law|International relations|Political science

Off-Campus Purdue Users:
To access this dissertation, please log in to our
proxy server