The Legitimacy Of the United Nations Security Council

Rasmus Jacobsen, Victor Kenting Hansen, Ditlev Herzland, Hakan Eroglu, Rasmus Hviid & Maria Christiansen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


In this project we are shedding light on the question of the legitimacy in the Security Council of the United Nations (UNSC). To do this we have chosen three different states that are all permanent members of the UNSC, and these are the United States, China and Russia. Before we can examine the legitimacy, there has to be a clear definition of legitimacy, which in this project is Ian Hurd’s theory of legitimacy. There are different factors that are implemented, which is internalization, symbolic value and self-interest. By analyzing different statements, speeches and other official documents from the three different states, we have been able to elaborate on these factors. In this project, the focus has been on the intervention in Libya, as it is a concrete example where an intervention occurred, which have been a result of the new principle of humanitarian intervention called “Responsibility to Protect”(R2P). Furthermore the view of legitimacy by the states changes, from when it is a proposal, to the actual actions implemented by the UNSC. To provide a broader knowledge we have examined statements that appeared before the intervention in Libya happened, and also statements after the intervention. This helped us to get an understanding of how the different factors are influencing the perception of legitimacy. When the analysis has been done, it can be concluded that all three factors have a major role in order to answer whether or not the UNSC are legitimate or not. Furthermore, that all states in the UNSC is affected of the internalization and therefore all entails the symbolic value and self-interest.

UddannelserBasis - International Samfundsvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato21 dec. 2015
VejledereLaust Schouenborg


  • States
  • The United States
  • Internalization
  • China
  • Humanitarian Intervention
  • The Security Council of The United Nations
  • Legitimacy
  • The United Nations
  • Russia
  • Responsibility To Protect