Book Review: Regional Maintenance of Peace and Security under International Law

Regional Maintenance of Peace and Security under International Law: The Distorted Mirrors, by Dace Winther. London / New York: Routledge, 2014. 264 pp, $140 hardcover 978-0-415-85499-3, $135 e-book 978-0-203-79735-8

The role of regional organizations adds a new mid-level layer in the hybrid global system of the governance of peace and security. The ‘soft’ regionalism embedded in Chapter VIII of the UN Charter was reactivated mainly after the end of the Cold War, and regional organizations became a tool for UN operations of peacekeeping and peace-enforcement in a context of proliferating crises, increased demands, and overwhelmed capacities. Most regions updated their mechanisms to deal with peace and security affairs and/or created new ones. The scope of potential operations widened and new concepts were applied, raising legal issues with regard to the use of force.

What action is appropriate and legal for regional institutions in the maintenance of peace and security? What are the scope and limits and how have they evolved? This book addresses these questions through a review of the legal documents and practice of selected regional organizations. The aim is a comparative analysis of eight regions to illuminate how they deal with crisis management in institutional and legal terms, and how their documents and practice adapt to – or challenge – the universal regulations of the UN.

You can read the Book Review in the Global Policy Journal.

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