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
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
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