The Justification of Responsibility in the UN Security Council

Holger Niemann

Routledge Global Cooperation Series
248 pages I 2018 - Routledge Hardback: ISBN 978-1-1385-69898

The UN Security Council has been given the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. The precise meaning of this responsibility, however, is contested. This lack of clarity is frequently criticised as a source of incoherent and selective decision-making, undermining the legitimacy of the Security Council. In case studies of the Security Council’s controversies on Iraq and Syria, this book instead reveals contestation and competing interpretations of responsibility as crucial conditions for the constitution and negotiation of normative order. 

The Justification of Responsibility in the UN Security Council argues that normative orders in international organisations are constructed by multifaceted processes of questioning, reaffirming and coordinating claims of normativity and legitimacy. Connecting research on norms and legitimacy in international relations with pragmatist sociology, the book provides an account of the complexities and inconsistencies of decision-making processes and their normative foundations in international organisations.

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