This article examines the attitudes of US, British, and Soviet policy-makers as they planned for the forthcoming peace during the Second World War. It charts how they moved from planning a ‘peace by dictation' of the great powers, to planning one which would be based on a model of collective security involving all members of the United Nations alliance. The latter plan would reflect both the great powers' special responsibilities for maintaining international peace and security and the stake which lesser powers had in such a venture. In addressing these historical developments the article employs two concepts familiar to International Relations scholarship, namely concert and hierarchy. It shows how the understandings which the principal post-war planners had of these concepts - and crucially of their inter-relationship - changed over time and the consequences of these changes. The article makes two core claims: firstly, that as post-war planning progressed, the attitudes of the Big Three towards the acceptable nature of the great power-lesser power hierarchy changed radically; and secondly, that the structure and nature of today's United Nations Organisation is in significant part a consequence of these changes.
Morris, J. (2013). From 'peace by dictation' to international organisation: great power responsibility and the creation of the United Nations. International History Review, 35(3), 511-533. https://doi.org/10.1080/07075332.2013.795497