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The UN Security Council and Informal Groups of States$
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Jochen Prantl

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199287680

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199287686.001.0001

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Janus‐faced Structure of the Security Council: Open System and Closed Shop

Janus‐faced Structure of the Security Council: Open System and Closed Shop

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The UN Security Council and Informal Groups of States

Jochen Prantl (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the institutional setting of the United Nations. The underlying assumption is that the Security Council can best be described as a Janus-faced structure of both an open system and a closed shop. This notion reflects the Council’s sensitivity towards external change, while the restrictive provisions of the Charter constrain the possibilities of formal adaptation. The chapter examines: (1) the role of great powers in international organizations, (2) the role and function of the Security Council according to the Charter of the United Nations, and (3) the ‘constitutional practice’ of the Council, elaborating on certain variants of the collective security scheme as envisioned in the Charter.

Keywords:   military force, decision-making, formal consultations, informal consultations, peacekeeping, regional alliances, great powers, collective security

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