Inauspicious Beginnings: Principal Powers and International Security Institutions After the Cold War, 1989–1999


311 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7735-2262-9
DDC 327'.09'049




Edited by Onnig Beylerian and Jacques Lévesque
Reviewed by J.L. Granatstein

J.L. Granatstein, Distinguished Research Professor of History Emeritus,
York University, served as Director of the Canadian War Museum from 1998
to 2000. His latest works are Who Killed Canadian History?, Who Killed
the Canadian Military, and Hell’s Cor


This book is a product of the Centre for Foreign Policy and Security
Studies at the University of Quebec at Montreal, the seventh book
generated by this Centre since 1998. The essays, published by
McGill-Queen’s University Press, apparently have not been issued in
French, which is a pity. The study of foreign and defence policy in
Quebec has been laggard, and the utility of these papers in raising
interest would have been multiplied if they had been issued by a
francophone publisher. Curiously, none of the authors are identified by
where they teach or what they publish, so perhaps lagging interest is
not the sole problem.

The book’s papers treat the first decade after the end of the Cold
War and try to examine how international security institutions like NATO
and the UN Security Council managed the new world disorder. “Not very
well” is the answer, derived by looking at the United States, France,
Russia, China, Japan, and Canada and the way each tried to advance its
interests through these organizations. The institutions proved to be
weak reeds, and the theoretical papers here demonstrate just why this
was so. The papers demonstrate clearly that francophone scholars have
mastered the international relations jargon of their anglophone peers.


“Inauspicious Beginnings: Principal Powers and International Security Institutions After the Cold War, 1989–1999,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 23, 2024,