Legality and Legitimacy in Global Affairs

Legality and Legitimacy in Global Affairs

Legality and Legitimacy in Global Affairs

Legality and Legitimacy in Global Affairs

Synopsis

Legality and Legitimacy in Global Affairs focuses on the problematic relationship between legality and legitimacy when nations intervene in the affairs of other nations. The volume features a wide range of experts who draw from a broad set of cases to consider when such intervention is legitimate even if it is not legal-and vice, versa. Chapters cover humanitarian intervention, nuclear norproliferation, military intervention, international criminal tribunals, interventions driven by environmental concerns, and the export of democracy. Since some interventions may be technically illegal yet still ethically legitimate, the contributors focus on establishing the grounds for legitimate intervention. Some cases, like Iraq, fail the test. Others, like Kosovo, come much closer to passing. By focusing on a diverse array of cases spanning a variety of issue areas, Legality and Legitimacy in Global Affairs establishes a clear framework for judging the legitimacy of such actions.

Excerpt

Can international actions be regarded as legitimate even if they are not legal? and are legal actions in the global arena sometimes deemed illegitimate? a multiplicity of transnational forces—from economic practices and environmental policies to sanctions and outright military interventions—interfere in the domestic affairs of states. Some of those intrusions are not legally sanctioned, but still could be tacitly approved by public opinion. Political leaders of countries have been overthrown and others tried for war crimes, sometimes through judicial proceedings that have no official legal precedent or sanction beyond the will of the victor—as in the case of the Nuremberg Military Tribunal that put on public trial the leaders of Hitler’s Nazi regime for crimes against humanity, crimes against peace, and war crimes. Can we judge these once legally dubious undertakings to be legitimate? Can they serve as precedents for future legal developments and guiding examples for future actions?

Military intervention is a particularly vexing example of the problem. the army of one state is not supposed to invade another state. Yet cross-border military actions have been frequent in recent decades—on occasions approved by the un Security Council, as in the case of Libya in 2011 and the Gulf War in 1991. Sometimes, as in the case of Kosovo in 1999, the intervention was not legally sanctioned, but claims were made that the humanitarian purposes, the urgency of the timing, the proportionality of the use of military force, and the end result of averting a humanitarian catastrophe were sufficient to encourage the international community to acquiesce to the legitimacy of the action post facto and even to exhibit approval. in these cases the actions may be regarded as morally and politically legitimate, even if they are not formally legal. Then there is the case of the US-led invasion in Iraq in 2003, which was regarded by many as blatantly illegal and illegitimate, although it was presented by officials in Washington and London as an action that was justified by its humanitarian purposes and its attempt to preemptively disrupt plans to conduct violence on a horrendous scale through weapons of mass destruction, claims that never gained international consensus.

This book investigates both the general theoretical nature of the relationship between legality and legitimacy and its particular characteristics in specific contexts. It goes beyond the task of simply debating whether certain regimes or intervening acts are legal or legitimate, but also deconstructs these concepts through their interplay in each case. in doing so, it seeks a deeper, more complete appreciation of the dynamic relationship between legality and legitimacy and how the distinction operates in practice, as well as in theory. Indeed, exploring these . . .

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