The conflict between exclusivity and universalism is a consistent theme in international relations. In modern history this conflict is prominent in the often-hostile relationship between internationalism and state self-interest, easily seen in the founding of the United Nations (UN) in 1945. Though its importance is sometimes downplayed, the UN had tremendous potential, and history might have taken intriguing routes if the organization had been organized along different lines. One could argue that the UN took the path it did due to its ideological influences. The UN Charter, emblematic of the new organization, is the ideal document to observe these influences. This study examines three ideological forces and their influence on the Charter: Realism, characterized by the self-interest of states in international relations; World Federalism, which advocated a democratic-republican world federal government; and Dissident Marxism, promulgated by members of the anti-Stalinist left who wanted to implement their version of socialism globally. I first examine the theoretical literature of each of these schools of thought, then codify their principles in my methodology section. Then, I examine the extent to which each set of principles overlap with the Charter thus indicating (though not explicitly establishing) the degree to which they were able to influence that system. The final chapter examines my findings and potential structures of further research. I come to the conclusion that realism’s influence is the largest influence on the Charter, with World Federalism having a degree of influence, and Dissident Marxism having the smallest influence. The ideology with the strongest state power behind it, realism had the most influence, and the ideology with essentially no state power, Dissident Marxism, had the least influence. This suggests a positive correlation between state power and influence on documents of international affairs as well as a limit to the strength of ideas and ideology.


Kille, Kent

Second Advisor

Weaver, Mark


International Relations; Political Science


International Relations | Political Theory


world, UN, charter

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2014 Adam M. Levin