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Reforming the United Nations: Legitimacy, Effectiveness, and Power After Iraq

Singapore Year Book of International Law, Vol. 10, pp. 59-86, 2006

28 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2007  

Simon Chesterman

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law

Abstract

Reform of the international security architecture tends to be driven by crisis: the First World War made possible the creation of the League of Nations; its failure to prevent a Second World War laid the foundations for a new United Nations. For some, the 2003 war in Iraq was a similar challenge not merely to the institutions but to the very idea of international order. This article examines efforts to understand and respond to that challenge, focusing on the effort to develop a shared understanding of threats, design institutions to respond to those threats, and manage the unequal capacity that enables some states to undertake coercive action unilaterally. These competing claims to legitimacy, effectiveness, and power illustrate the limitations of collective security through an organisation like the United Nations as well as why such an organisation is indispensable.

Keywords: United Nations, Reform, Security Council, Peacebuilding Commission

Suggested Citation

Chesterman, Simon, Reforming the United Nations: Legitimacy, Effectiveness, and Power After Iraq. Singapore Year Book of International Law, Vol. 10, pp. 59-86, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=969570

Simon Chesterman (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law ( email )

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Eu Tong Sen Building
Singapore, 259776
Singapore

HOME PAGE: www.SimonChesterman.com

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