By Deon Geldenhuys
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Extra info for Foreign Political Engagement: Remaking States in the Post-Cold War World
3 From Intervention to Foreign Political Engagement The passing of the great East-West ideological divide has created an international climate uniquely favourable to collective external involvement in the domestic affairs of states. Such endeavours have been aimed largely at improving the domestic health of states by assisting them in adopting new forms of political and economic management. The present chapter identifies the specific objectives and means involved in these ventures, using both state practice and scholarly writings as guide.
The UN force in Bosnia, deployed for over three years to keep peace amid an ongoing war, had proved one of the costliest and least successful peacekeeping operations of modern times. The more recent cases of Angola, Rwanda and Chechnya could be added to the list of disappointments if not outright failures for the interventionists. 102 The UN encountered several practical difficulties in meeting growing demands for its services. For one thing, the warring factions in most of the situations with which the UN was dealing, were not sovereign governments, but unofficial militia or even local hoodlums.
The UN, or a group of states, would act as administering authority pending elections. ) The various trusteeship proposals are of course based on a model that had been applied by the UN to non-self-governing territories and, earlier, by the League of Nations in the shape of the mandates system. These suggestions also point to another feature of the new interventionists' scheme of things: the UN 'has somehow taken on a mythic status as the cure for all ills'. 94 State collapse is however not the only ailment for which the UN's curative powers were being sought or prescribed; others include conflicts between and within states, environmental degradation and nuclear proliferation.