7.3.6 Security

Should internationalism be pursued?

Big Idea:

  • To what extent do organizations promote internationalism?

Usually, when walking around the neighborhood, people want to feel like they are safe from danger and secure in their daily activities. In order to achieve safety and security, a society will pass laws, form law enforcement teams, and provide rules to guide citizen actions.

The global community is the same. In order to ensure national safety, nations can form protective alliances with one another, establish sets of rules to address conflict, or fund and set up armed forces for national defense. Open each of the tabs below to explore international organizations that promote security in the global community. Take notes using the 7.3 Organizer.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was established as a defensive alliance in April 1949. Events in Europe after World War II convinced the Western Allies that the goal of the Soviet Union was to eventually gain control of all of western Europe.

At the time of its creation (April 1949), NATO's initial main objectives were
  • the creation and maintenance of a military alliance, where an armed attack against one or more of its members in Europe or North America would be considered an attack against them all, and
  • to come to the aid and support of attacked member nations.

Since the end of the Cold War (1985 to 1991) and in present day, NATO's chief objectives are
  • to safeguard the freedom and security of all member nations by political and military means, and
  • to protect democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law, and the peaceful resolution of disputes throughout the Euro-Atlantic area.

    Currently, NATO is running missions in Afghanistan, Kosovo, and the Mediterranean. You can learn more about current and past NATO operations and missions here.


View the video "NATO: What is it, why does it exist, and how does it work?"

Security Council of the United Nations

Countries support the United Nations because they believe in collective security as a means of preserving peace. The Security Council of the United Nations has the authority to settle international disputes seen as threats to the security of other nations.

At a glance, the Security Council of the United Nations
  • has considerable power to use whatever means necessary to maintain peace,
  • settles disputes through negotiation first,
  • can order both economic and diplomatic sanctions or authorize military intervention against aggressor nations if negotiations fail, and
  • can take military actions only if the five permanent members of the 15 member council agree.

Through the efforts of the Department of Political Affairs (whose main job is to monitor and interpret international affairs), the Security Council of the United Nations tries to gather information to help anticipate and guide timely responses to issues.


View an overview and the key mandates of the Security Council.

Use the 7.3 Notebook Organizer (Word, PDF, Google Doc) to take notes about what you have read/viewed (review how to take notes here). When you are done, you can move to the next page.