Nowadays many international or regional organizations are involved in international peace and security. Peacemaking, peace-enforcing and peacekeeping activities are employed by a number of organizations. For example: the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, African Union, European Union, and others. In fact, these organizations all send multinational forces to the various conflict areas. The expression ‘collective security’ does not occur in the United Nations Charter. It is, however, often used to refer to the system for the maintenance of international peace and security under the UN Charter and the corresponding provisions of regional organizations. According to the UN Charter the United Nations have the primary responsibility ‘[t]o maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace…’ (Art. 1 (1) UN Charter). If it determines, in accordance with Art. 39 UN Charter, the existence of a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, the UN Security Council may make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken by members of the UN to maintain or restore international peace and security.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research in the field of International Peace and Security. It provides the basic materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's subject heading (keyword) International Peace and Security is instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.


Sources of international law



UN Declarations and Resolutions

Soft law

Reference works

Selected books and articles

For all peer-reviewed articles in the PPL Catalogue, click here.

Periodicals, serial publications