Collective security

Topics: League of Nations, World War II, United Nations Pages: 7 (1711 words) Published: December 3, 2014


Collective security during the interwar period

The term ‘collective security’ can be defined as a security agreement in which all states cooperate directly, collectively, and and every state accepts that the security of one is in the concern of all. In other words, when one of the states part of this agreement violates the rights to freedom of other nations, all other member states will have to join forces to restore peace, penalizing the aggressor state. This model is based on participation and compulsoriness. An agressor state is about to meet a united opposition of the entire world community. The concept of collective security is based on the consent of all or the majority of states to act against any state that unlawfully violates peace. The main idea of collective security is the assumption that no state will want to change the power and order of world community, and if so, all other states will act together against the aggressor state in order to reestablish the global equilibrium. An ideal collective security organization assumes a very high degree of congruent interest among its members.1 Interstate rivalry and power politics and effectively elliminated.2 As a legal form of states’ cooperation, a collective security system differs from any traditional alliance. The alliance is the way in which a state gets benefits in the event of a conflict after an agreement with another state or several states involved to a predetermined level to maintain their common interest. Alliances form because weak states band together against great powers in order to survive in an anarchic international system.3 The alliance pattern involves the decision to change or maintain the balance of power at local, regional or global level. In general, an alliance has on the other side another alliance with opposite purposes. It is, therefore, a structure of bloc against bloc. Arising from the need to find a way to avoid the outbreak of a new world war, collective security represented, in the interwar period, at least for some countries in Europe, almost the only option of foreign policy that seemed viable to defend the national interests. The term ‘League of Nations’ (Society of Nations) existed since 1908, when Léon Bourgeois4 proposed a new system of organizing international relations. The idea was taken up and supported by groups and associations in France, Great Britain and United States of America, where presidents Roosevelt and Taft supported the formula of a security system in which aggressors automatically received economic and military sanctions from the international community. In June 1915, a League for strengthening peace, supported by Taft, was in favour for a Society of Nations based on collective security and strengthening international law. President Woodrow Wilson is the one who, on 27th of May 1916 marked for the first time, in concrete, institutional terms, the project of such an organization. In 1920, the League of Nations formally established, with the entry into force of the Covenant of the League of Nations, ratified by 42 states in 1919. The organization was meant to include all countries and to resist aggression in all parts of the globe.5 While all members participated in the General Assembly, the League Council was established to guide the operation of the organization.6 The authority of the League was never seriously questioned, until the early 1930s, when a series of events proved its ineffectiveness. The League of Nations was concieved as a tool for maintaining international peace and security and for promoting interstate cooperation. The main mean by which the League was to ensure peacekeeping was a collective security system, at least in Europe, based on the principle ‘all for one’. According to this principle, all states should have been engaged in mutual guarantee of...

Bibliography: MORGENTHAU, Hans J., International Affairs: The Ressurection of Neutrality in Europe”, The American Political Science Review, vol. 33, nr. 3;
Politica Externă a României – 19 prelegeri publice organizate de Institutul Social Român, Institutul Social Român, Bucureşti, 1926;
SCUTARU, Ioan, România şi Marile Puteri, editura Fundaţiei „România de Mâine”, Bucuresti, 1999;
KUPCHAN, Charles A. and KUPCHAN Clifford A., Concerts, Collective Security and the Future of Europe, International Security, Vol. 16, No.1, Summer 1991;
RISSE-KAPPEN, Thomas, Collective Identity in a Democratic Community: The case of NATO, 1996.
MIROIU, Andrei, Balanţă şi Hegemonie: România în politica mondială, 1913 – 1989, Editura Tritonic, Bucureşti, 2005.
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