The Forschungskreis Vereinte Nationen (Research Group on the United Nations) was founded in 1999 with the aim of promoting the exchange of information among scientists of different disciplines and the dialogue between the UN researchers and the practitioners. The Potsdam Conferences of the Forschungskreis convened at regular intervals address the critical analysis of UN research. Moreover the conferences provide a forum for the discussion with politicians, UN officials, diplomats and journalists about the tasks of the UN and its structures as well as about concepts for its reform. The present book publishes important lectures of the Potsdam Conferences 2000 – 2008, dealing among other things with peacekeeping, human rights protection and environmental protection of the United Nations, the reform of its principal organs as well as with the German UN policy and the UN policy of the European Union. The lectures are supplemented by contributions of the two editors on the problems and perspectives of UN research in Germany.