Peacekeeping, human rights, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have flourished in complementary contrast with each other. Their relationship has reflected the constraints and opportunities provided by three geopolitical eras since World War II. The first (the first Cold War) began in about 1948 and lasted until 1988; the second (the Post-Cold War Liberal Primacy) ran from 1989 to around 2012; finally, since 2012 the world has been threatened with the emergence of a second Cold War.
During the first geopolitical era, NATO was the centerpiece of the Western Cold War alliance. However, its importance declined when the Cold War waned. Thereafter, during the Post-Cold War liberal primacy, human rights and peacekeeping flourished. In our current geopolitical era, both human rights and peacekeeping are under stress, yet it is not clear that these new forces are strengthening NATO.
Human Rights Law | Law | Military, War, and Peace
Michael W. Doyle,
Cold War I, Post-Cold War, and Cold War II: The Overarching Contexts for Peacekeeping, Human Rights, and NATO,
Am. Soc'y Int'l L. Proc.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/3745