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United Nations Governance of Failed States: Proposing the Foundations of a Comprehensive Framework

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-10-29, 08:32 authored by Darren Lim
This paper proposes the foundations of a broader legal framework of United Nations governance of failed states. The author considers the background to the post-Cold War inteventionism that has sparked this phenomenon, before turning to the wider theoretical and historical contexts against which such governance occurs. The author argues that the skeletal framework of black-letter law that currently ovesees the international administration of failed states is insuficient because it lacks constraints on the way governance occurs. This renders it susceptible to the normative criticisms of trusteeship and neocolonialism and reduces the likelihood that such missions will achieve their stated aims. Accordingly, the author seeks to critically situate the black-letter sources of law and recent case studies of transitional post-conflict governance within these broader contexts, in order to propose basic normative principles that can credibly constrain the current positivist framework. These principles are designed to address the central challenge of UN governance: to confer on the internatioizal body the legal authoriy needed to maintain peace and security and improve the welfare of citizens, but to avoid the risk of a regime that politically symbolises a form of western, neo-colonialist subjugation.


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Darren Lim, 'United Nations Governance of Failed States: Proposing the Foundations of a Comprehensive Framework' (2006) 32(2) Monash University Law Review 295

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