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Legitimacy & efficiency inside the security council

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Legitimacy and efficiency: Interconnected challenging notions that questioning the security council's authority.
    1. Theoretical apprehension of legitimacy enhances the multifaceted aspect of this subjective concept.
  3. Authority of Security Council's decisions surrounded by Vicious/Virtuous Circle of legitimacy and efficiency.
    1. Tricky evolution from an efficiency-based analysis to a legitimacy-based paradigm.
    2. The Security Council's legitimacy facing its 'mother', state sovereignty: Japan and hope for good citizens.
  4. Legitimacy/Efficiency couple: A normative production unit facing a world of violence.
    1. The Unique Moral Authority of the Security Council empowering it.
    2. Legitimating collective security within the Council.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Bibliography.

When the idea of a potential world organization first emerged in 1943, arbitration was soon to be made between maintaining effective power within the scope of a few powers, and the necessity to gain the support from small and medium States. The only possible answer to this dilemma was to initiate a process of legitimization, by which the most important nations, with their permanent seats and rights of veto, would acquire legitimacy coming from less influential States. Still, these countries opposed firmly, during Dumberton Oaks Conference, the idea of having some happy few retaining enormous powers. Indeed, never have an international organization had so much power as the Security Council of the United Nations: it we briefly take a glance at the legal documents, we will observe that the Charter grants the Council wide latitude to ?determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression? (Art. 39) and the authority to require all kinds of supporting action from the member states when such an international threat, breach, or act has been found (Arts. 40, 41, 42, 36).

[...] Quite paradoxically, some analysts argue that, since the United States avoided submitting their intervention to the Security Council by fear a being vetoed, the legitimacy of the United Nations was saved even though its ineffectiveness was cruelly displayed. It seems to me that such an understanding of what occurred is false, because simplistic: legitimacy at the international level has, necessarily, to be monopolistic. It cannot be challenged by any other legitimacy, otherwise it is the whole UN system of unique international authority and guarantor of world peace that falls apart. [...]


[...] Has the Security Council the Legitimacy to Change Regimes: the Iraqi Case Iraq's coalition of the willing was formed precisely on a democratic basis, from which legitimacy was supposedly inferred: because all (or almost) States that went to war against Iraq were well-established democracies[14] firmly backed by their populations, they felt that the coalition had the legitimate authority to act on its own, without requiring the consent of the United Nations[15] . This situation has increased the gap between rightful membership, based on human rights and democratic goals, and rightful conduct, which de facto does not take place on a democratic basis for obvious effectiveness reasons, in order to promote a consensus that is viewed as the only possible source of legitimacy at an international level. [...]


[...] In the First Section of this paper, I will try to establish the exact nature of the relations between efficiency and legitimacy and its consequences on the members of the Security Council through as theoretical approach served by examples, while I will confront in a Second Section the two notions to political life within the Security Council and in international relations mainly through an empirical-based approach. I. Legitimacy and Efficiency: Two Interconnected yet Challenging Notions that Question the Security Council's Authority A Theoretical Apprehension of Legitimacy Enhances the Multifaceted Aspect of this Subjective Concept 1. [...]

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