A Shifting Field of Battle: The United Nations and the Struggle Over Postcolonial Statehood
Jochen von Bernstorff and Philipp Dann (eds), The Battle for International Law in the Decolonization Era (Oxford University Press 2018, Forthcoming)
24 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2017
Date Written: November 29, 2017
This draft chapter argues that decolonization effected a profound transformation in the legal structures and powers of the UN. The chapter traces a series of battles or struggles in the early UN, centred on the nature and functions of the postcolonial states, each of which resulted in innovations in the institutional framework and powers of the UN. In particular, the chapter focuses on three axes of struggle, in relation to the meaning of self-government, the values and practices of modern government, and the import of sovereign equality. These three axes of struggle eventually came together in the invention of a new institutional form, which has become the most visible ‘face’ of the UN today: the peacekeeping operation.
Keywords: United Nations, decolonization, postcolonial state, self-government, development, sovereign equality
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