Law, Legitimacy and the United Nations

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The United Nations lies at the centre of the international law enforcement system and its unique legitimacy, based on universal membership, also places it at the core of the global normative order. A gulf between law and legitimacy—a distinction popularized in the context of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999—is a serious crisis-in-the-making for the United Nations, more so than commonly realized. The reason for the under‑estimation of the extent and gravity of the gap is that different segments of the international community have problems with different elements of the gap and fail to capture the several dimensions in their combined, cumulative effect. This is illustrated with respect to international law and international humanitarian law, sanctions, nuclear weapons, atrocity crimes and international interventions, international criminal justice, the Security Council, the UN–U.S. relationship, and UN integrity systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLegality and Legitimacy in Global Affairs
    Editors Richard Falk, Mark Juergensmeyer & Vesselin Popovski
    Place of PublicationNew York USA
    PublisherOxford University Press
    ISBN (Print)9780199781577
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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