You, the People: The United Nations, Transitional Administration, and State-Building

By Simon Chesterman | Go to book overview

2 Power and Change: The Evolution of United Nations Complex Peace Operations

The United Nations is, for good reasons, reluctant to assume responsibility for maintaining law and order, nor can it impose a new political structure or new state institutions.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali, 3 January 1995 1

The power of the United Nations Security Council to administer territory is not mentioned in the UN Charter. Nor, however, is peacekeeping, the formula that came to define UN military activities. Here, as in many other areas of the Council's activities, practice has led theory and the Charter has been shown to be a flexible—some would say malleable—instrument. 2

This chapter considers the different political contexts within which transitional administrations have been authorized by the Council. First, it will review the nature of this evolution in Council practice. The term 'evolution' is used advisedly, suggesting a process of natural selection inspired by essentially unpredictable events. Second, the chapter will briefly sketch out the context for each of the major operations in this area. Analysis of these operations tends to be chronological, reflecting the transformations over time of policy in this area. It is

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You, the People: The United Nations, Transitional Administration, and State-Building
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • You, the People iii
  • Foreword v
  • Foreword vii
  • Chapter Outline ix
  • Contents xi
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • Abbreviations xviii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1: Colonies and Occupied Territories 11
  • 2: Power and Change 48
  • 3: Peace and Security 99
  • 4: Consultation and Accountability 126
  • 5: Justice and Reconciliation 154
  • 6: Relief and Reconstruction 183
  • 7: Elections and Exit Strategies 204
  • 8: 'You, the People' 236
  • Appendix 258
  • References 260
  • Index 286
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