Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
A collective security system is one in which each state in the system accepts that the security of one is the concern of all and agrees to join in a collective response to threats to, and breaches of, the peace. A weaker version posits a system that commits governments to develop and enforce broadly accepted international rules in the area of international peace and security and to do so through collective action legitimized by international institutions. The idea of collective security goes back at least to the European peace plans of the 18th century and gained ground in the post–World War I period as international society sought to restrict the previously wide-ranging right of states to resort to war as an instrument of state policy, first in the League of Nations and then in the United Nations (UN). The UN did not constitute a pure collective security system (e.g., in ...