Security Council Legitimacy after the Arab Spring

Dr Aidan Hehir (University of Westminster)

Irish Centre for Human Rights Seminar Room, NUI Galway 15:00 :: 6th May 2014

This paper analyses the UN Security Council's response to the Arab Spring and argues that it proved structurally and constitutionally incapable of responding effectively. This has had a deleterious impact on perceptions of the UN's efficacy and particularly the legitimacy of the Security Council. I argue that this legitimacy crisis is more than just of humanitarian concern, and has profound implications for international order. The paper builds on existing literature establishing a link between legitimacy and order and argues that looming multi-polarity and the irreversible global appetite for the promotion and enforcement of human rights have cohered to render the existing international institutional, legal and political system moribund. This necessitates more wholesale structural reform than R2P has proposed or can – in its current guise – deliver.

Dr Aidan Hehir,
University of Westminster

Dr Aidan Hehir is a Reader in International Relations and Director of the Security and International Relations Programme at the University of Westminster. He gained his PhD in 2005 and has previously worked at the University of Limerick and the University of Sheffield. His research interests include humanitarian intervention, statebuilding, and the laws governing the use of force. He is co-convenor of the BISA Working Group on the Responsibility to Protect and is currently working on an ESRC-funded two-year project on the Responsibility to Protect and Liberal Norms. He has published Libya, The Responsibility to Protect, and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Co-editor); Humanitarian Intervention: An Introduction 2n Edition (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010 & 2013); The Responsibility to Protect: Rhetoric, Reality and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012); International Law, Security and Ethics (Routledge, 2010 & 2014. Co-editor); Kosovo, Intervention and Statebuilding (Routledge, 2010. Editor); Humanitarian Intervention after Kosovo (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008); Statebuilding: Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2007 & 2009. Co-editor).

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