The UN Security Council: Legitimacy and Organized Hypocrisy


Tor Dahl-Eriksen    ORCID logo

Studia Politica Slovaca, 2023, vol.  16, no. 2, p. 20-33
Language: English

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The authority of the UN Security Council (UNSC), perhaps also its legitimacy, may have been brought into question by recent events. The war in Ukraine and the inferno in the Middle East challenges its role as preserver of international peace and security, and poor or highly selective responses to mass atrocities challenges its capacity to provide protection to populations when states fail. This article focuses on organized hypocrisy as a possible organizational answer to these challenges, drawing on the theoretical framework developed mainly by Nils Brunsson. Organized hypocrisy treats talk, decisions, and actions as independent elements meeting different demands from the environment with different answers. This may help a complex political organization like the UNSC to reduce the pressure from challenges, becau- se it allows for drawing legitimacy from several loose-coupled sources. A particular important such so- urce is the UNSC’s role as the only arena of global scope where representatives from the most powerful states regularly meet for discussions and possible decisions.

UNSC, global security, responsibility, organized hypocrisy, legitimacy

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