Protecting Which Peace for Whom against What? A Conceptual Analysis of Collective Security

37 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2017

See all articles by Pål Wrange

Pål Wrange

Faculty of Law, Stockholm University

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

The UN Charter (the world constitution, if there is one) leaves no one in doubt about its preeminent goal: ‘We the peoples of the United Nations, [are] determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’; and it was to safeguard peace that the system of collective security was created, with the most powerful organ — the Security Council — at its helm. And yet, ever since its inception, the collective security system has been fraught with political and practical problems.

These problems can all be associated with unavoidable conceptual contradictions and it is, in fact, very difficult to imagine a truly effective collective security system. These conceptual difficulties — which I will analyse further — do not necessarily mean that collective security is impossible — practice sometimes demonstrates that the existing one can produce good. However, they mean that both the architecture of the system and its application in concrete cases will suffer from tragic dilemmas, in which any solution will entail costs.

Suggested Citation

Wrange, Pål, Protecting Which Peace for Whom against What? A Conceptual Analysis of Collective Security (2015). Faculty of Law, Stockholm University Research Paper No. 31, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3062516 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3062516

Pål Wrange (Contact Author)

Faculty of Law, Stockholm University ( email )

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