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Legitimating International Organizations$
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Dominik Zaum

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199672097

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672097.001.0001

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Legitimation and the UN Security Council

Legitimation and the UN Security Council

(p.65) 4 Legitimation and the UN Security Council
Legitimating International Organizations

Jennifer Welsh

Dominik Zaum

Oxford University Press

The chapter examines and evaluates the legitimation efforts of the UN Security Council and its members. From Security Council documents and interviews with UN diplomats, it identifies three distinct legitimation practices. Two of these — improving the Council’s decision-making, and strengthening its epistemic capacities – are pursued by member states collectively. The third — asserting its relevance to key contemporary security issues – is pursued by individual members using the processes and structures of the Council. The chapter finds that the record of these efforts is mixed. Reasons for this include tensions between them, the challenge of needing to address different audiences with different expectations, and the recognition that states are affected by social change in different ways and therefore respond differently to efforts seeking to bridge legitimacy gaps that such change has generated.

Keywords:   UN Security Council, legitimacy, legitimation, Security Council reform, Security Council missions, use of force, legitimacy audiences, permanent members

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