Legal Values: The U.N. Governance & State Building

Quick Info
(3591E.03)  Seminar
Professor I. Mgbeoji
3 credit(s)  2 hour(s);
Seminar, discussion. The seminar will be taught in three-hour classes in a nine-week period for a total of twenty-seven hours beginning the week of January 17, 2022.
Upper Year Research & Writing Requirement

In the aftermath of World War II, various States saw the compelling necessity of collective action “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,” which in the words of the preamble to the United Nations Charter “twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind”. The establishment of the UN is principally, to quote Article 1 of the UN Charter designed to “maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace.”

Notwithstanding this grand objective, violent conflicts including civil wars, wars for democracy, and liberation struggles, amongst many others, have ravaged global peace. The Security Council of the UN is often paralyzed by political gridlock. In addition, the collective action envisioned by the founders of the UN has often yielded to geopolitical and sectionalist forces. The result is that the UN seems to struggle with maintaining international peace and security. This course interrogates the structure and processes by which the UN grapples with the task of maintaining international peace and security, especially, in the age of state failure and state-building. In 2021-2022, the course will use the case of Libyan civil war as a template for studying the mechanics, politics, legality, and normativity of UN roles in peace maintenance, good governance, and state-building