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Legitimacy and security in times of transition

 Kaldor-8A Max Weber Lecture


Mary Kaldor (LSE)
21 June 2017, 17:00-18:30
Badia, refettorio

Chair: Eva-Maria Muschik (HEC)
Introduction: Federico Romero (HEC Professor)




The Kosovo Report famously declared that the NATO intervention in Yugoslavia in 1999 was 'illegal but legitimate' and warned of the dangers of a gap between legitimacy and legality.

International law relating to the use of force was largely based on the wars of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The lecture will discuss the concepts of legitimacy and security and make the argument that different assumptions about legitimacy are associated with what will be conceptualised as different models of security - Geopolitics, the War on Terror, the Liberal Peace, Responsibility to Protect, and Human Security. It will suggest that different ways in which international law is being stretched, reinterpreted, and adapted emerge out of these different models.

The lecture will apply a constructivist understanding of international law as something that is the negotiated product of different transnational communities of 'shared understandings’.

It will conclude by making the case for a global move towards the Human Security model, as a security model that involves the extension of rights based international law and that draws on a civil society based conception of legitimacy.

About the speaker

Mary Kaldor is Professor of Global Governance, Director of the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit at the London School of Economics and Political Science and CEO of the Department for International Development (DFID) funded Conflict Research Programme.

She has pioneered the concept of new wars and global civil society. Her work on the practical implementation of human security has directly influenced European and national politics.

Her books include: 'The Baroque Arsenal, New and Old Wars: Organised Violence in a Global Era, Global Civil Society: An Answer to War'. Her most recent book is 'International Law and New Wars' co-authored with Christine Chinkin,

She was a founder and co-chair of the Helsinki Citizens Assembly, a member of the International Independent Commission on Kosovo and convenor of the Human Security Study Group, which reported to Javier Solana and now to Federica Mogherini.

Page last updated on 29 May 2017