Responsibility Contestations, A Challenge to the Moral Authority of the UN Security Council
Forthcoming, Moral Agency and the Politics of Responsibility edited by Tobias Debiel, Peter Finkenbusch, Elena Sondermann, Cornelia Ulbert, London: Routledge, Global Cooperation Series
22 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2017
Date Written: May 10, 2017
Modes of law and governance gain their democratic authority from the quality and effectiveness of participation available to and exercised by the demos within them (Tully 2012). The resulting gap in Global IR which remains to be filled in order to counter injustice and enhance access to contestation, therefore represents distinct normative structures of meaning as the living structures of criss-crossing normative orders. With regard to moral authority, the feature that differentiates agents who merely partake in global governance, and agents who enjoy access to agency, consists in the right to critically engage with the norms of governance based on 'access to regular contestation' about norms. This difference regarding access is substantiated by the conceptual definition of contestation as a reactive practice that expresses objection to norms, and a proactive practice that enables critical engagement with norms. The paper argues that the political importance of agents operating as subjects under conditions of criss-crossing normative orders comes to the fore in relation with the contested implementations of the responsibility norm. The chapter illustrates, how this distinctive feature bears out in the larger context of global society. To that end, it addresses two scenarios where moral authority is contested: the first scenario addresses the Kadi case. In this legal case, the reconstruction of the contested claims for the responsibility to protect fundamental rights of individuals by the UN Security Council and the European Court of Justice (ECJ) demonstrate that effectively the political challenge to moral authority is at stake. The second scenario addresses contestations of the responsibility to protect (R2P). In this case, the contestations are initiated by the BRICS states, and therefore from within the normative structure of the UN.
Keywords: responsibility to protect, responsibility while protecting, fundamental rights, Kadi case, BRICS, norms, contestation
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