Why do states formally invoke the right of individual self-defense? Legal-, diplomatic- and aid-politics to motivate states to respect international law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The use of force is prohibited under the UN Charter. An exception is written in Article 51, which allows a state to conduct an act of self-defense. This study explains why only some states invoke it. The author claims that the baseline probability of claiming the right remains low because explicit reference to Article 51 accompanies the uncertainty of justification success and poses legal and diplomatic costs. However, balanced escalation and no alliance relationship negate those costs and increase the likelihood of self-defense justification. Moreover, under the strict conditionality, minor powers receiving American military aid frequently and promptly claim self-defense.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-177
Number of pages17
JournalConflict Management and Peace Science
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Mar 28

Keywords

  • Aid-politics
  • Article 51
  • UN Charter
  • conditionality
  • militarized interstate disputes
  • minor powers
  • right of self-defense

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations

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