The United Nations Security Council’s effectiveness as a sanctions regime
An intrinsic and extrinsic analysis of targeted sanctions
Table of contents
1.1. Research questions.
1.2. Relevancy of the topic
1.2.1. Empirical relevancy
1.2.2. Theoretical relevancy
1.3. Research design
1.4. Case selection
1.5. Limitations of the analysis
1.6. Structure of the thesis
2. Theoretical framework
2.1. Defining terms.
2.2. Constructivism in International Relations theory
2.3. The concept of legitimacy
2.3.1. Different assumptions about legitimacy
2.3.2. Input legitimacy
2.3.3. Output legitimacy.
2.4. Setting up the chain of causation
3. Empirical framework.
3.1. The Security Council as a collective: broadening the input dimension
3.2. Sanctions in comparative perspective
3.2.1. From conventional to smart sanctions
3.2.2. Norm-enforcement and smart sanctions: broadening the output dimension
3.3. Combining theoretical and empirical framework
4. The case of Iran
4.1. The Security Council’s involvement since 2006
4.2. Examining the input dimension
4.2.1. Process and procedure
4.2.2. Values and symbols
4.2.3. Knowledge and specialization
4.2.4. Persuasion and reasonability
4.3. Examining the output dimension
4.4. Effectiveness of the sanctions regime
5. The case of North-Korea
5.1. The Security Council’s involvement since 2006
5.2. Examining the input dimension
5.2.1. Process and procedure
5.2.2. Values and symbols
5.2.3. Knowledge and specialization
5.2.4. Persuasion and reasonability
5.3. Examining the output dimension
5.4. Effectiveness of the sanctions regime
6. Conclusion and outlook
Abbreviations and Acronyms
illustration not visible in this excerpt
List of Figures
1 Chain of causation
2 Matrix to assess Security Council’s effectiveness.
2.1 Matrix to assess Security Council’s effectiveness (Iran)
2.2 Matrix to assess Security Council’s effectiveness (North-Korea)
3 Type of incidents reported to the Committee
4 Iran’s Exports to Select Countries, 2002-2008
4.1 Iran’s Imports from Select Countries 2002-2008
5 Cumulative timeline of reported incidents
6 China’s Exports of Luxury Goods to North-Korea
List of Tables
1 Four dimensions of input legitimacy
2 Five dimensions of output legitimacy
3 Four dimensions of input legitimacy (with indicators)
4 Five dimensions of output legitimacy (with indicators)
5 Exports by Country of Small Arms and Ammunition to Iran
6 Iran Merchandise Trade: 2006-2008
7 Concerned Business Entities at Origin and Destination of Seized Cargos
8 Import and Export data with Country of Origin to Iran (% of total trade)
9 Estimated North-Korean Trade by Selected Trading Partner, Selected Years, 2000-2008
10 Imports by Country of Small Arms and Ammunition from North-Korea
11 Reported Cases of Non-compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1874
12 Import of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea - origin arms by region during 1980-2009
13 China’s Merchandise trade with the DPRK, 1995-2008
14 Estimated trade of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with selected trading partners, 2000 - 2009
“ Its provisions reflect this: one great liberal, one sentimental imperialist, one murderous dictator, an exile and a losing civil-war faction crafted the text. Given these antecedents it is perhaps curious that subsequent generations have looked to the Charter to provide legitimation as opposed to an expedient rationale for the use, or non-use, of force. It is a testament to the enduring and flexible language of the Charter that a document with such diverse origins has attained this transcendent status. ”
- Mark Imber (2006) on the origin of the United Nations Charter
The United Nations (UN) is the largest legitimate international organization (IO) that is constitutionally dedicated to maintain peace and prevent war. 1 Comprised of 192 member states, the UN is not only a diplomatic forum, but also a security maintaining institution. 2 Moreover, the UN is a judicious organization as it seeks to discern member states’ misbehavior or violation of the Charter. 3 The main tools in order to deal and engage with issues of global range have been resolutions and sanctions, whether ratified by the General Assembly (GA) or - as in most cases - by the Security Council (SC). While the GA harbors the majority of the 192 UN member states, the SC bears the organization’s constitutional supremacy. 4 As a matter of fact, the SC has undoubtedly been established as the world’s most powerful institution. 5 Thus, it can be asserted that the SC is the “legitimizing glue” giving the UN its raison d'être and is therefore the main representative of the organization as such. 6 It is the Council, comprised of the Permanent Five (P-5) and the Non-permanent Ten (N-10), that does not only speak and decide on behalf of the UN member states, but also ratifies legally binding resolutions. 7 Moreover, the SC has the absolute right to determine what constitutes a threat to peace and security.
However, with the range of fields of engagement and its historic burden comes responsibility and obligation. 8 As a matter of fact, the SC has been criticized since its foundation. While most of the arguments predominately target at the structure of the SC demanding a reform in order to increase its representation and transparency, others are focusing on its tools. 9 Accordingly, sanctions have been considered to lack effectiveness. 10 Additionally, critics argue that the current method of implementing sanctions is ineffective, i.e. when it comes to political goals such as bringing regime change or changing the behavior of the targeted state. 11 Moreover, sanctions have been under severe critique by the international community due to their weak humanitarian performance and their partly harmful social consequences, as the examples of Iraq, Haiti and Yugoslavia in the mid 1990’s have shown. 12
A reformist response by the UN to these critics exists, although questionable in its efficacy. 13 Notable ventures of the UN are the attempt to initiate a “Working Group on General Issues of Sanctions“ 14 in 2002 and Kofi Annan’s cooperation with the High Level Panel in 2003 that sought to produce its own reform agenda “In Larger Freedom”. While the latter is of minor interest for this research project, the former highlights the SC’s latest endeavor to make sanctions more effective. Summarized under the term “smart sanctions”, the SC tries to be more accurate in addressing sanctions, thereby seeking not only to increase political effectiveness, but also to reduce unintended humanitarian suffering. 15 Smart or targeted sanctions (as they are also referred to) promise a panacea. 16 Besides the focus on improving the compliance rate by the targeting state, smart sanctions are supposed to be more humane than conventional sanctions, thus avoiding adverse humanitarian impacts. 17
However, according to critics, the promised panacea does not seem so promising. While conventional sanctions have been criticized ever since for their minor impact on political goals, smart sanctions do not appear to be necessarily “smarter” in that respect. 18 Some scholars argue that none of the sanctions will cause regime change or any sort of change of behavior by the targeted state, thus failing in achieving political goals. 19 Sanctions might rather force targeted states to seek for dubious alliances in order to balance against the occurring disadvantages, leading them to isolation and resentment in the long term. 20 At the worst, if sanctions render no results, sender(s) might be tempted to act unilaterally, i.e. militarily. 21 With regard to humanitarian aspects, scholars also question whether a punitive instrument like smart sanctions can be effective at all when humanitarian exemptions in its nature force a reduction of damage. 22
1.1 Research questions
The outgoing coverage of the SC’s main problems and intrinsic contradictions induces questions concerning the performance of the organization. As Cortright and Lopez 2002 point out, sanctioning smartly is indeed an ambitious endeavor to make the Council more effective. Effective in both spheres of sanction’s implementation: “These twin impulses, to reduce unintended humanitarian consequences and enhance political effectiveness - have led to the use of targeted and selective sanctions.” 23 Scholars have thereby predominately focused on evaluating the smartness of sanctions regarding political goals while taking the humanitarian effectiveness for granted. As a result, scholars accentuate technical questions in their research, such as examining the compliance rate of targeted states, how to engage in a successful bargaining process and how to imply isolation. 24 What has been slightly ignored though is the potentially poor commitment by states to enforce sanctions in the first place. 25 As a matter of fact, regarding the continuous gridlock reform endeavors have been experienced for decades now 26, it seems more fruitful to look at what Eriksson 2008 conveys:
“In the end, targeted sanctions are just as precise as decision-makers and practitioners want them to be. Consequently, that these steps, or some similar to them, have not been implemented before now reflects broader questions of political will and institutional inertia, even a degree of ambiguity within the international community, regarding what senders actually want from the sanctions they impose.” 27
Quite possibly, the SC might suffer from a putative disconnect between the ratification (intrinsic legitimacy) and enforcement (extrinsic legitimacy) of smart sanctions. Hence, the first research question is
1. Is there any incoherence between ratification (intrinsic legitimacy) and enforcement (extrinsic legitimacy) of smart sanctions?
While these concerns have already fuelled reformist approaches by the UN itself, actual changes were made in terms of the organization’s measures. Indeed, smart sanctions are a perfect example for the Council’s reaction to a demand by the international community for higher effectiveness. 28 However, since the Council is constituted of members out of the very same international community, the SC can be seen as what constructivists term a “social collective”. Correspondingly, introducing smart sanctions as the prime tool to make the Council more effective represents a reconsideration of existing norms, thus seeking to re- legitimize the collective. According to constructivists, a social collective needs legitimacy to act most effectively. Interestingly, legitimacy in this sense is generated by the collective itself. With regard to smart sanctions, it is now subject to discussion if and how smart sanctions actually promote legitimacy. Hence, taking into account what Werthes 2003 noted on such a collective and its power to punish might be most promising:
“It would appear that for effective and economical social control, provided the norm and penalty are fully comprehend, the status of the authority is of prime importance. Where there is commitment to a system, where it is valued for what it stands for and can provided, conformity to norms - even alien norms - may be forthcoming. But where the system and its norms are rejected (non-legitimized), there is no role for sanctions as indicators and their role as motivators becomes all-important.“ 29
It is therefore interesting to examine whether member states, due to their behavior, elevate or eviscerate the organization’s legitimacy and what kinds of commitment actually result in a high/low rate of legitimacy. 30 Examining a certain disconnect between the member state’s willingness to grant legitimacy to the Council and their actual conversion of the Council’s tools into action is thereby what the analysis shall expose. Hence, the second research question is:
2. How does the rate of legitimacy affect the SC ’ s effectiveness as a sanctioning body?
Accordingly, the hypothesis is that the introduction of targeting sanctions has not necessarily imparted higher effectiveness to the Council. The Council might rather benefit from a faster and more supported ratification process, howbeit the enforcement remains flawed. Although smart sanctions were formulated with the premise to make the SC more effective, it is quite possible that targeting sanctions, in the end, only contribute to strengthening the collective. That is quite contrary to what the P-5 had in mind when they developed the model of smart sanctions. 31 Moreover, it is theoretically contrary to how scholars have been evaluating the UN so far. While it could be the case that smart sanctions enjoy a higher legitimacy within the Council, they might not at all be enforced properly by all parties involved. However, both parts are inevitably connected with each other. 32
Moreover - and as some scholars argue - sanctions often represent the last peaceful option, desperately aiming to prevent war. Mentioning this, it is important to consider that a failure of a sanctions regime might lead to unilateral action, thus undermining the effectiveness of the organization in the long run. 33 This can be asserted as the second hypothesis. In the end, such a failure would also be evidence for the fact that smart sanctions, compare to conventional sanctions, do not necessarily differ regarding negative outcomes.
1.2 Relevancy of the topic
The thesis is relevant for various reasons - some of them have already been mentioned in the introduction. The following chapters will briefly present why an assessment with the legitimacy of the SC is important and thereby distinguishes between an empirical and a theoretically relevancy of the subject as such.
1.2.1 Empirical relevancy
The Council is the most powerful institution in the world that on the one hand, requires it to work effectively and on the other hand explains why it has been so thoroughly criticized. Sanctions are thereby the practical expression of the Council’s sovereignty. As a matter of fact, the Council “lives and breathes” through the ratification of sanctions. Hence, their corroboration and proper enforcement reflect the organization’s vitality. As a consequence, sanctions have not only been seen as the most suitable tool to prevent war and maintain peace. They have also been perceived as the most important part of IOs in general, and the SC in particular. 34 Sanctions and IOs are inevitably intertwined as Davis and Engerman underpin, that “International cooperation not only reduces the political costs of applying sanctions, but, in a global economy, sanctions will be much more effective if a formal or informal coalition control enough of the supply of a good to influence the terms of trade significantly.” 35
Unfortunately, the track record of failed sanction regimes substantiates pessimistic critiques. Sanctions supposedly do not achieve their goal of changing the behavior of the targeted regime. 36 Two major studies on the success and effectiveness of sanctions have been published so far. They show similar results: Only one third of sanctions imposed have accomplished their goals. This becomes especially worrisome when considering the sheer amount of imposed sanctions after the Cold War (CW). 37 Cortright et al. 2008, for instance, manifest 18 distinct cases between 1990 and 2006. 38 That is nearly as many sanctions as during the first 90 years of the twentieth century. 39
Since critiques of the SC are varying, the problems on the international level vital, and the responses inconsistent, an approach toward an explanatory and analytical engagement with the SC as the world’s most powerful IO is a matter of course. Altogether, the necessity to engage in an analysis with the main problems confronting the SC is given, not only because it is part of the largest, most supported appeasing organization in the world, but also because the SC is a symbol for the diplomatic, peaceful engagement with international crises and issues. 40 Mentioning this, it should be notified that an effective Council (including its tools) is of utmost importance.
1.2.2 Theoretical relevancy
So far, little research has been done on how to measure the legitimacy of an IO, i.e. the SC. This is not only the case for a theoretical but also for a methodological engagement with the thesis’ subject. Studies on the SC and sanctions are predominately marked by quantitative studies. 41 They are mostly evaluating the constituents of the respective sanctions, their effects and how they can be enforced more efficiently. Scholars have therefore rather focused on technical aspects of sanction’s implementation than on the social composition of the sanctioning organ itself. 42 As a consequence, research on this topic is mostly disconnected from mainstream International Relations (IR) theories. As Hurd 2007 points out:
“These references point to an enduring place for legitimacy in studies of international relations but at the same time a marginal one. Except for the recent interpretative literature, very few of the references to legitimacy as a cause of international outcomes include an explanation of how it functions. This leaves open a potentially productive research opportunity […]” 43 Additionally, the normative engagement with the SC remains unsatisfied 44, leading to the assumption that the SC has to be framed more specifically and with regard to its powerful role within the UN. Particularly, the Council’s effectiveness and success as a peace promoting sanctioning body must be seen in a different light than its predecessors. 45 Currently, it seems that a comprehensive commitment by a sanctioning group is the “key to success”. 46 Or as Cronin and Hurd 2008 convey with regard to the UN SC: “It is this authority that enables the Security Council to act on behalf of the international community, rather than simply the self- interest of its members”. 47
It seems thereby overt that an inclusive understanding of the SC requires not only a rationalist-institutional but also sociological approach, which emphasizes societal acceptance rather than material power. This requires framing the Council as less of a mere power tool for its strongest member states. The Council must, instead, serve as a social body with its own legitimacy in order to deal with problems of global reach. 48 As a consequence, there are numerous indicators to use the concept of legitimacy as a methodological model for this particular research. Two are worth to be emphasized:
First, the concept is in strong relation to the constructivism theory as it includes sociological terms in order to make assumptions about how IOs are legitimized. Thus, it allows to analyze how the intrinsic constitution of the Council actually looks like and how this might be linked with its performance as a sanctioning body. It ultimately abandons a focus on self-interest or technical implementation processes of sanctions while accenting the overall commitment by member states as part of a collective.
Second and strongly connected with the first point, the concept of legitimacy can serve as an independent variable. How legitimacy is constituted with regard to the SC may have some explanatory power in terms of exposing the organization’s lack of effectiveness. With regard to sanctions, the effect of legitimacy inside and outside of a group of states has not yet been seen in correlation to the groups’ performance. While the analysis might enhance the explanatory power of the constructivism theory with regard to the concept of legitimacy, the case studies might additionally expose how suitable the theory is for such a theoretical engagement. Since Wendt’s constructivism is rather untouched when it comes to testing how norms actually constitute legitimacy from agents to a group of agents, post-positivism theories are potentially most contested within this field. Altogether, approaching this field which, so far, has been highly under researched within the IR discipline might reflect the true relevancy of the thesis.
1.3 Research design
As has already been mentioned briefly, the concept of legitimacy serves as an important methodological model in order to analyze member state’s commitment and will to impose smart sanctions effectively. Thereby, the concept of legitimacy will be split in an input and output dimension. This is noteworthy since, so far, legitimacy has only been interpreted as a mere intrinsic process of an IO. Since the analysis deals with the SC and particularly with the Council’s sanction practice, it is most promising to include an output dimension which frames how member states actually implement ratified resolutions. While the input dimension frames social processes within the SC, the output dimension evaluates how these established norms are practically implemented. Doing so, allows examining whether smart sanctions actually achieve their purpose or fail in that respect. Two steps regarding this model as part of the research design are important to highlight:
First, how and to what degree member states commit themselves to the social collective (the SC) and its norms (the Charter) is linked to their independent considerations. Only if member states actually do perceive the respective resolution by the SC as fair and appropriate they automatically strengthen the legitimacy of the Council. Therefore it is essential to include these individual considerations into the methodological model of legitimacy, as chapter 3.1 will do.
Second, smart sanctions are attached with certain norm aspects, i.e. being targeting or implicating humanitarian considerations. Besides, they do not only include specific moral intricacies (e.g. purposeful or third-state related) but also technical specialties (e.g. aiming at individual culprits). Thus, smart sanctions allow establishing certain indicators in addition to our output dimension variables, as chapter 3.2.2 will do.
Including these two steps into the methodological model links the theoretical concept with the empirical realities. While doing so, the thesis is able to satisfy the abstract and theoretical as well as normative demands the analysis brings along.
1.4 Case selection
With regard to the outgoing emphasis on targeted sanctions, it is necessary to focus particularly on institutional efforts by the SC regarding implementation and enforcement of sanctions. This includes so called sanction committees (SACOs), established by the SC. 49 Regarding the case selection of active SACOs, Iran and Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) committees serve as case studies. This is due to four reasons: First of all, both cases are highly politically charged and thus imply a high political discrepancy. Whether it is Iran and its dubious nuclear program or North-Korea with its provocative behavior, the SC dedicated itself to solve these issues in order to maintain peace and prevent war. However, both cases have been occupying the Council for a long time, although sanctions have not been imposed until recently. This is not only due to their complicated implications, but also because member states were reluctant to agree on a proper engagement. Both cases are thereby not only interesting for their international publicity, but also because they are a perfect example of how important legitimacy is. Hence, incorporating these cases into the analysis does not only contribute to the thesis’ aspirations but also satisfies a normative demand.
Second, both cases correspond to two important points: They are dealing with significant issues that fall under the jurisdiction of the SC and are targeting in their method. For Iran and North-Korea, the SC is concerned with nuclear and ballistic arms embargoes. Importantly, both cases encompass targeting sanctions. As a consequence, they underlie a high empirical as well as analytical demand. Whether it is the nuclear aspiration by Iran, which does not only affect the power balance in the region but might also lead to uncontrolled proliferation, or the threatening behavior of the DPRK; both case studies are within the range and jurisdiction of the SC. It is thereby actually quite helpful that they are most similar cases due to their non- proliferation aspect. Exposing any sort of variance within the input and output dimension, could serve as the most convincing proof since it would demonstrate that the Council’s effectiveness is high or low regardless of the political field. As could be expected, non- proliferation is in the interest of all states since it implies the potential to pose a significant threat to international peace and security.
Third, both cases have not been subject to military interventions so far. Thus, the SC sees sanctions still as the primary instrument to solve the particular issues peacefully. Military activism has basically been avoided so far. War, in this sense, can be particularly perceived as a proof of a failure by the SC to maintain peace and prevent the very meaning of war. This excludes sanction regimes that led to military adventures. Rather, the analysis focuses on active cases that only imply peaceful sanctions and whether smart sanctions contribute to the Council’s legitimacy, drawing on the example of the two case studies.
Fourth, all cases are well documented. The SACOs have their own websites which list every resolution ratified by the SC. Moreover, meeting records of the SC as well as coherent SACO reports are available for the public. This truly assists the research. Therefore, respective committee guidelines will be taken into account as well as Security Council Resolutions (SCRs). Besides meeting records of the SC for the respective time of the analysis, the analysis will also include reports by a Panel of Experts (PoE) into the analysis. 50
1.5 Limitations of the analysis
As one might expect, dealing with such a subject that has been under researched, exposes incentives for doubting analytical practice. The first critical point here is the frame and scope of the analysis. Since the primary concern lies with the institutional effort of the SC in order to blame violators of the charter, it is important to stress that the analysis particularly strives for measuring the rate of legitimacy of the SC. It is not concerned with the legitimacy of all UN organs. Additionally, since both cases are still active, the thesis can only make assumptions about the current level of legitimacy in the respective case. Nevertheless, predictions could possibly be made according to the variance among both cases.
Second, smart sanctions never surface in isolation. Technically, smart sanctions are an upgrade of former sanction measures. However, purpose and technique of sanctions changed after 2002. 51 This results in current sanctions never appearing without a “smart approach”. This might be a critical point since the case studies are not comprised of smart sanctions only. Instead, the analysis can rather measure the legitimacy of cases that include targeting sanctions. While this shall not limit the significance of the result and outlook, it has to be acknowledged in order to avoid misperceptions.
Third, with regard to the range of smart sanctions, it is important to emphasize the limits of the effects of targeting sanctions. If there is evidence for a correlation between the introduction of smart sanctions and a higher legitimacy of the Council (may it be intrinsically and/or extrinsically), statements regarding the effectiveness of these sanctions are made with certain provision. Since the analysis focuses singly on the SC, it ignores developments on the international level that may force countries to comply with SCRs (e.g. unilateral sanctions, or sanctions by other IOs). Diplomatic endeavors by individual states might have to be taken into account while seeking for general explanations about targeted states’ behavior outside of the SC and the UN. However, this is not part this research project.
1.6 Structure of the thesis
The thesis will be structured as follows:
First, chapter 2 sets the theoretical framework in order to engage with the SC, its constitution and function as a sanctions regime. This includes discussing the concept of legitimacy itself since it is a major part of my methodological and analytical concept. Accordingly, this chapter will answer the question how the concept of legitimacy contributes theoretically to the measurement of the SC’s effectiveness as a sanctions regime.
Second, the thesis will concentrate on linking these aspects directly to the SC’s tools to maintain peace and prevent war (sanctions). While it will be necessary to frame the development from conventional to target sanctions, this empirical chapter will also try to enrich the theoretical terms with indicators. The chapter will thereby answer three sub- questions: How did the SC develop its sanction method? What are the main differences between conventional and smart sanctions? How does the model of smart sanctions contribute to the concept of legitimacy?
Third, the analysis will engage with the case studies according to the theoretical framework. This includes the examination of the particular SC’s involvement in Iran, followed by the case of the DPRK. To conclude, the chapter will present a brief statement about the effectiveness of the SC in the respective case.
Fourth and lastly, the thesis sums up the results and provides answers to the outgoing research questions. In the course of evaluating the potential difference in the legitimacy between an intrinsic and an extrinsic meaning, the thesis will elaborate on potential outlooks.
2. Theoretical framework
The following chapter discusses the theoretical concept in order to analyze the SC and its effectiveness as a sanctions regime. In a first step, it is imperative to define the terms which will be used in the later analysis. These are norms, collective identity as well as input and output legitimacy. In a second step, the constructivist theory will be framed as well as its implications for the later analysis. While it might be the case that constructivism is not easy to define along one interpretation, the analysis is congruent with Wendt’s holistic approach. 52 In a third step, the concept of legitimacy will be discussed beginning with a brief literature review. The concept will be differentiated between an input and an output dimension of legitimacy and will be directly linked to the rate of effectiveness. In a last step, the theory chapter will put the defining variables into a chain of causation. This will also result in theoretical hypotheses and a matrix assessing the effectiveness of the Council.
2.1 Defining terms
To begin with the term “norms”, Axelrod 1986 presents a quite useful definition. According to him, “a norm exists in a given social setting to the extent that individuals usually act in a certain way and are often punished when seen not to be acting in this way.” 53 This definition implies two things: First, that a norm is socially constructed and thus represents a linkage between actors and their purpose of gathering together, e.g. as an IO. Second, that there is room for punishment in case of misbehavior.
In order to create a norm, Axelrod 1986 notes that it is important to identify a steadiness of actions which are in the tradition of this norm. Hence, a norm is “a matter of degree” 54 and can change over time. 55 Interpreting the term “norm” as a social construction among members with complementary interests and perceptions on the one hand, and as a lawful setting in which disobedience might be penalized on the other hand, is in accordance with the purpose of the SC. Additionally in this sense, members of the SC dedicate themselves to the organization in a double manner: They accept and support the SC and its organs, but they also agree that the SC remains limited in access. Therefore, Axelrod’s 1986 definition of the term “norm” leads to the assumption that the SC is constituted from the inside but also from the outside and has responsibility accordingly. Moreover, norms are shared values by a group of agents (states), leading them to perceive their purpose of being as well as the structure of the international system in a certain way. 56
It is this element of shared values that Wendt 1994 frames as “social identity” or “social collective, as it would be fit for the SC. Wendt defines collective identities as “effects of the extent to which and manner in which social identities involve an identification with the fate of the other (whether singular of plural).” 57 According to Wendt 1994 “social identities are sets of meanings that an actor attributes to itself while taking the perspective of others, that, as a social object”. 58 In contrast to structural IR theories such as realism or institutionalism, Wendt’s interpretation of a collective is not concerned with the determining role of the international system for states or IO’s interests. Rather it is oriented towards the composition of the SC and its implication for the organization’s effectiveness.
In order to constitute a social collective and the linkage to its performance, the collective needs to be legitimized by its members. 59 Legitimacy is thereby defined as “a generalized perception or assumption that the actions of an entity are desirable, proper, or appropriate within some socially constructed system of norms, values, beliefs, and definitions.” 60
This definition does not only include a social constructivist undertone, it also opens analytical leeway for an engagement with the term effectiveness. 61 The term “effectiveness” is thereby not only linked to the input dimension in terms of SC member states and their allocation of power to the Council, but also to the output dimension and the “norm-enforcement”. As Rittberger and Zangl 2003 state:
„... that it is furthermore the belief in the legitimacy of the norm- and rule-oriented procedures as well as the norms and rules themselves, which create a desire in their addressees to behave according to these norms and rules. Thus, the different effectiveness of norms and rules in international politics can be traced back to a different degree of legitimacy which is attributed to the respective generative procedures or substantial norms themselves by the addressees of norms and rules.“ 62
How the Council derives legitimacy depends thereby on how member states commit themselves to the Council’s principles, processes and function (or in Wendt’s terminology: the social collective). Member states have to be in mutual understanding about their recognition of the SC as the legitimate representative of their interests. Legitimacy exists in “the interplay between agent and structure”. 63 Therefore, “… legitimacy matters to social institutions (formal or informal, international or otherwise) because it affects the decision calculus of actors with respect to compliance; it empowers the symbols of the institution, which become political resources that be appropriated by actors for their own purposes; and it is key to their being recognized by actors as “authoritative.” 64
Altogether, there can already be a slight divergence manifested in the interpretation of the concept of legitimacy due to the interpretation of effectiveness. In order to be effective as an IO, the organization has to be perennially rebounded to its originated goals and principles and enjoy commitment by its member states. While these goals and principles are constituted during an intrinsic process (input legitimacy) they also have to be comprehensible as they are implemented (output legitimacy). Both aspects engender the term effectiveness, making it the dependent variable. 65
2.2 Constructivism in International Relations theory
The rise of constructivism to the mainstream IR debate evolved in reaction to the emergence of the neo-realism paradigm in the 1980’s and political events in real world politics - i.e. the end of the Cold War and the phenomenon of the end of the balance of power; ultimately leading into the third great IR theory debate. Thereby, “the constructivist claim is that neorealist uncertainty is closely connected to the fact that the theory is overly spare and materialist; and constructivists argue that a focus on thoughts and ideas leads to a better theory about anarchy and power balancing”. 66
Constructivists are inspired by theoretical discussions among IR scholars (i.e. the positivism vs. post-positivism debate) as well as by historical contexts. 67 In a theoretical sense, constructivists gained momentum and heuristic resources from sociological assumptions, i.e. Anthony Giddens 1984. According to Jackson 2007, Giddens 1984 established a more dichotomist perspective of the agent-structure problem, which Wendt incorporated three years later in his article: “The Agent-Structure Problem in International Relations Theory”. Wendt’s constructivism is basically an attempt to analyze the “ontology of the states system” and how the “outside world” is constructed. 68 It is grounded on two basic tenets: First, structures of human association are determined primarily by shared ideas rather than material forces. Second, the identities and interests of actors are constructed by these shared ideas rather than given by nature. 69 Hence, Wendt specifies states as agents in the sense that they have meaningful intentionality. Moreover, he considers the international system as both an independent and dependent variable, claiming that reality is simply socially constructed. This competes with the realism assumption that state’s actions are determined by the international system:
“Thus, in contrast to the neorealist definition of international system structures as consisting of externally related, preexisiting, state agents, a structurationist approach to the state system would see states in relational terms as generated or constituted by internal relations of individuation (sovereignty) and, perhaps, penetration (spheres of influence).” 70
Wendt states furthermore that constructivism is “a structural theory of the international system” 71 which implies three claims: First, states are the dominant actors and can therefore be seen as units. Second, the international system is non-material. It is built upon the interaction between the principals (states). Third, states’ interests and identities are not anthropologically evolved. Rather they are shaped by the social structures of the international system, leading to the assumption that the system shapes the states and vice versa. 72
Especially this last point needs attention since it creates a fundamental basis for the use of the concept of legitimacy. Since legitimacy is “…a product of socialization, not of consent” 73 its nature is holistic and thus can exist in the interplay between states and IO. 74 According to Wendt, social structures have three elements: shared knowledge, material resources and practices. Therefore, Wendt’s constructivism can provide an alternative to materialist assumptions about the basis of international politics. As the international structure is a social phenomenon composed of shared ideas, structures that contain the same balance of material capabilities may be distinguished by the “distribution of knowledge of ideas”. 75 The basic argument of constructivists with regard to IOs is not that structures independently constrain actors (as neo-realists assume), but that actors can shape the structure they act in. Constructivism implies thereby a “less rigid view of anarchy”. 76 Therefore, constructivism is concerned with ideas 77, norms and identities which are shared among states (and are basically created through interests 78 ). This also includes member states of IOs. Finnemore, for instance sees identity and interests defined by norms embedded in IOs. Norms in this sense are created within an international society through state behavior and emerges in form of IOs. 79
“Martha Finnemore thus argues that international norms promoted by international organizations can decisively influence national guidelines by pushing states to adopt these norms in their national policies.” 80
Those norms and identities are not only shared by the member states in order to maintain the organization’s existence and justify procedures. They also affect outside states in order to suit their behavior to the organizations’ possessive norms and ideas. More specifically, if norms are prevalent on the international level and at the same time inherent within the relation of constructed by these social structures, rather than given exogenously to the system by human nature or domestic politics.” Wendt 1994, p.385 states, they serve the purpose of social embeddedness. This correlates with the purpose and meaning of sanctions. Sanctions, in that respect, can be seen as a perpetuating instrument as they bind members of the organization to its principles. As a result, sanctions can serve as a reliable tool for member states since sanctions equal the legal norm. Zangl and List 2003 accordingly:
“The particular binding characteristic of norms of law accordingly relies upon these sanctions and their ability to be supported reliable realizations, so that the lawbreaker can be forced to act law-abiding in certain cases. Because only if this is given a partner can rely on the fact that all other partners have to obey the law […] In short, only if everyone knows that all others have to obey the law due to mechanisms of sanction, every partner can be expected to regard the law as binding.“ 81
Moreover, due to the fact that the international system is constructed by ideas - not by material forces and therefore not necessarily anarchic - the organization’s existence is justified by its member’s commitment and characteristic. It is the member state who gives the organization its sense and purpose, not material or security needs; or as Wendt 1987 puts it: “The structures that constitute agents are of two distinct kinds: external, or social, structures; and internal, or organizational structures.” 82 This highlights the necessity to look at both ends of the story. If an IO enjoys - with the help of norms - a solid social structure by its principals and is at the same time perceived as valuable for these very same agents, it is legitimized.
Hence, Wendt’s constructivism presents tools in order to frame the formation of a social collective within an IO. Hence, concepts such as the input dimension of the SC can be made theoretically sound, leading to a better understanding of how an organization can be authoritative and enjoy legitimacy. Moreover, IO’s effectiveness can be measured most efficiently along a sociological variable. More specifically, the reason why states commit themselves to IOs has neither a mere structural nor opportunistic reason, they do it because they perceive the IO as fair and correct. Wendt argues quite similar when he notes that “collective identity is neither essential nor equivalent to such a multilateral institution but provides an important foundation for it by increasing the willingness to act on ‘generalized principles of conduct’ and diffuse reciprocity.” 83
As a result, combining Wendt’s idea of the construction of the international system due to the social embeddedness of its agents (whether they are states or a group of states) and his principle of collective identity, allows me to set the stage for a look at an IO’s effectiveness. 84 It is thereby of major interest whether constructivism can actually explain how legitimacy is affecting the effectiveness of an IO.
The following chapter will highlight the methodological approach - resulting out of these theoretical assumptions - in more detail.
2.3 The concept of legitimacy
Legitimacy has a long tradition within the social science discipline, although with different focal points. 85 Usually, scholars of comparative politics are frequently using the term in order to evaluate governments or policy processes. On the contrary, students of IR are rarely categorizing the concept within major IR theories. As Hurd 2007 puts it: IR academics “make frequent reference to it in an ad hoc way, the concept itself only rarely receives sustained attention in analyses of the international system”. 86 According to him, the concept of legitimacy can serve as a bridge between the major IR theories, i.e. with reference to IO and their function on the international scene. Therefore the concept of legitimacy - from a constructivist perspective - presents incentives for a differentiated analytical approach. 87 While IOs have usually been seen as instruments of the most powerful states and thus been chosen to exist for a specific purpose, IOs now - from a constructivism perspective - are seen as social constructions by states. They are understood as socialized processes with symbolic character for all their members. 88 As Hurrell 2005 describes it: “Legitimacy therefore refers to a particular kind of rule-following or obedience, distinguishable from purely self-interested or instrumental behavior on the one hand, and from straightforward imposed or coercive rule on the other.” 89 However, interpretations of the concept of legitimacy differ significantly resulting in a variety of definitions, operationalizations and outcomes. 90
2.3.1 Different assumptions about legitimacy
Steffek 2003 for example, critically exposes the common connection between legitimacy and the democratic aspect of a public consent. Steffek 2003 argues that it is not a lack of public agreement about the justification of policy aspects (such as defining goals, principles and procedures) which is responsible for a derogation of legitimacy of the institution. 91 Rather it is the institution’s reasonability and persuasiveness which creates legitimacy on a global level, i.e. a rational discourse. However, if the IO becomes “a centre of political decision-making the rational-legal strategy of discursive legitimacy reaches its limits”. 92 Steffek’s 2003 approach exposes a fundamental aspect of the methodological engagement with legitimacy: legitimacy needs to be more than just simply creating an intrinsic justification of the institution’s goals, procedures and processes.
Thomas Risse 2004 argues for instance, that legitimate (global) governance has to go beyond the internal accountability of the actors involved -“…be they states, international organizations, firms or NGOs” 93 - taking the focus on mere input legitimacy one step further. Risse 2004 stresses output legitimacy in his work on “Transnational Governance and Legitimacy” as a more useful variable in order to identify the effectiveness of a global governance institution. 94 According to him, IO’s do have to consider the outcome and effects of their decisions while making these decisions. Hence, they do not only have to be assiduous thinking about their intrinsic, but also about their extrinsic legitimacy in order to make their decisions most effective.
Hurd 2007 emphasizes the possibility that organizations can actually be perceived as “morally reprehensible” by outsiders but also indeed as legitimate by its members. 95 Additionally, he stresses the process of legitimacy at the state and international level, separating between a process of internalization among the states (or input legitimacy) and a process of validity of the international institution by the states (or output legitimacy). 96 More specifically, Hurd’s 2007 process of internalization among the states (which makes states accept and believe in the function of an IO and hence, shaping their particular interests with regard to the organization) can be constituted as a characteristic of legitimacy. As constructivists would put it: states shape IOs and IOs shape state’s interests (i.e. societal and international norm 97 ). Hurd 2007 notes: “A legitimate rule or institution is one that has been internalized by the units so that its procedures or proscriptions have been incorporated into the unit’s own sense of its interests and identity.” 98 What shapes state’s interest can be of “basic” or “strategic” nature and is summarized under the process of “learning” or “internalization”. 99 However, “internalization can affect states both at the level of defining basic interests and at the point of deciding on strategies with which to pursue those interests. Both pathways of internalization require that an external rule, institution, norm or idea exist before the process begins, and that this outside feature affects the internal constitution of the state.” 100
Hence, Hurd 2007 does consider an input and an output dimension within the concept of legitimacy. Hurd’s 2007 understanding of legitimacy as a construction of an input and output process is strongly linked to the constructivist theory of IR. His concept is useful because of two reasons: First, his input dimension (the perception of the institution by the states - internalization) is not only in the tradition of the constructivism literature, but also remains as a fundamental characteristic of the concept of legitimacy. Member states of an IO need to perceive the institution as legitimate in terms of their own interests, whether they are of strategic or basic nature. Second, his output dimension (the process of validity) strongly affects the perception of the institution by the states.
“Thus, even though validity is ultimately derived from the individual psychology of the units in the society, it is seen by all actors as an ‘objective’ element of system structure. The effects of validity on individual behavior reflect both shared beliefs in society and also how these beliefs change the strategic decision setting for all actors […]” 101 However, due to Hurd’s 2007 segregation of internalization (and also validity indeed) and compliance, there is still a certain dysfunction within the operationalization of the concept so far. While it might be useful to align certain IOs with the concept of Hurd 2007, it does not directly lead to a measurement of effectiveness. Therefore, it is necessary to widen the interpretation of the output dimension, pushing it further from Hurd’s 2007 outgoing point. 102
2.3.2 Input legitimacy
Amrita Narlikar 2009 based her work on “Law and legitimacy: the World Trade Organization” on five dimensions of legitimacy, originally developed by Hurrell 2005. 103 What these dimensions differentiate from the former mentioned approaches toward a concept of legitimacy is not only their inclusion of an input and output dimension, but also a focus on the evaluation of an IO’s performance, namely its effectiveness. 104 Moreover, Narlikar 2009 adds a sociological dimension to otherwise merely normative dimensions and is therefore consistent with the constructivist framework. According to Narlikar 2009 and Hurrell 2005, IOs can be legitimate in the form of the following five dimensions:
1. due to their process and procedure
2. due to their form of having values
3. due to their knowledge and specialization
4. due to their effectiveness
5. due to their persuasion and reasonability
As can be derived from these five dimensions of legitimacy, the 4th dimension comprises the effectiveness of the organization’s decisions and actions. 105 According to Hurrell 2005, this fourth dimension of legitimacy “has to do with effectiveness, one crucial aspect of what Scharpf labels ‘output legitimacy’”. 106 As the analysis tries to measure effectiveness along an input and an output dimension - thus making it the dependent variable - Narlikar’s 2009 4th dimension will not be considered singly. It is thereby important to mention that the input dimension does only frame the organization’s intrinsic processes.
To begin with the first dimension, it considers the overall representation of member states within an IO. Does the process and procedure of an IO include all the groups and actors who it intends to protect? Are states represented fairly and appropriately? Do they have a right to say when it comes to decision making and how are they involved in the decision making process itself? Things like transparency, access to meetings or majority voting systems can strengthen an IO’s legitimacy. 107 Doxey 1972 frames this aspect as the “communication factor” stressing the importance of an institution to comprehend norms and penalties. 108 Likewise, Cronin and Hurd 2008 delineate it as a process of deliberation. Deliberation means - according to Cronin and Hurd 2008 - that states within an organization have the opportunity to gather together and discuss a certain issue as a collective. 109 As a result, member states feel that they are involved in the decision process and thus are more likely to accept the decision, hence contributing to its legitimacy. 110 More specifically, simply being part of an IO does not necessarily mean to be “involved” without any strings attached. In contrast, being part of a group of deliberators who are debating about an issue of major importance (not necessarily of direct importance to each of the participants) leads to an identity process. 111 Therefore, member states do feel that they have actively participated in giving the decision or even the process itself a “common meaning” and thus: “It appears to be the case that the opportunity to deliberate, separate from the act of participating in deliberation or the outcome, is legitimating itself.” 112
The second dimension regards all the symbols, values and rules an IO establishes in order to justify its existence and behavior. The organization’s goals and principles need to be comprehensible for its member states, hence building its actions on prior determined rules and norms. A charter is usually the constitution of an IO, framing the organization’s scope and range as well as representing the oath all member states are under while acting within the organization’s institutions. Additionally, objects (flags, uniforms) or specific perennial procedures (voting methods) can contribute to the justification and legitimate power exercitation by the institution 113, or as in some cases of unilateral interventions, causing costs for violators. The latter is what Doxey 1972 frames as the “value (deprivation/gain) factor” and circumscribes it as “the estimated or felt impact of the sanction by the target in terms of lost values.” 114 According to Cronin and Hurd 2008, a process of deliberation needs to be evolved within a set of rules and known procedures: “Actors strive to legitimize their behavior by showing that it conforms to important rules, norms or laws accepted as appropriate.” 115 Hence, Cronin and Hurd 2008 understand this action as “proceduralism” which means rule-following remarking that every set of rules within an IO in order to be authoritative need to be recognized and accepted by its member states. It is also worth noting that these rules do not have to be fair in a normative sense. What is rather important though, is that they are “applied fairly and consistently for maximum legitimacy effect.” 116
The third dimension frames the organization’s expertise and specialization within its field of action. Does the organization build its values, norms and rules on well acquired knowledge? In case of the SC for instance: Is the use of sanctions really the most effective tool in order to prevent war and promote peace? This is what Doxey 1972 conceives as the “competence factor”, framing the ability of the organization to detect violations and enforce sanctions. 117 The fifth dimension implies the sociological legitimacy of an IO. More specifically, it takes a look at the organizations justification and persuasions not only inside the institution but also outside of the institution. Do member states believe that the IO has the right to rule? This does automatically affect the organizations enforceability of its decisions; hence it affects the compliance rate of the targeted state within a policy field. If nobody accepts the SC as the most powerful peace promoting organization in the world, its ratification (input) and implementation (output) of sanctions would be diminished. This is what Doxey 1972 constitutes as the “commitment factor”, implying that an organization has to enjoy a certain status of authority in order to uphold its norms and values, whether they are outlined in the form of sanctions or symbols. 118 Having the right to intervene in a prior determined area, gives the IO the ability to act in the first place. The higher this ability is, the stronger the IO is in terms of legitimacy. Conclusively, categories can be established for further analysis, as Table 1 shows: 119
Table 1 Four dimensions of input legitimacy
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Nevertheless, what remains open for detailed exploration is the output dimension. As can be seen in the table above, the four dimensions make primarily assumptions about the intrinsic legitimacy of an organization. It is thereby necessary to look at the general, theoretical potentialities for an IO to be effective in terms of its ability to implement its norms and values as well as to sustain them. With regard to the SC as a sanctions regime, variables that frame the enforcement of a norm are most suitable as will be seen in the following chapter.
2.3.3. Output legitimacy
According to Narlikar 2009 and Cronin and Hurd 2008, in order to measure the effectiveness of an IO, it is important to look at how the organization is contributing to the quality of its image perceived by outsiders. This can be measured in terms of how determined member states actually are to implement resolutions and sections. Chapter VII of the Charter establishes thereby executive power to the Council, not only to assess critical situations but also to decide on the enforcement measures. Hence, the Council has the constitutional power - and obligation - to deal with threats to peace, breaches of peace as well as acts of aggression.
It is, in essence, the Council’s extrinsic responsibility on which it is perceived and evaluated. Its output dimension has therefore to be measured along its ability to re-establish a norm that has been breached. The Council’s main tool in order to recognize and react to such a norm breach are - according to Chapter VI of the Charter - of two kinds: First, “seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice.” Second, “if the Security Council deems that the continuance of the dispute is in fact likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, it shall decide whether to take action under article 36 or to recommend such terms of settlement as it may consider appropriate.” 120
Both articles stress implicitly the importance of sanctions. It appears that it is necessary to frame the output dimension of legitimacy by the SC in terms of its measures to re-establish peace or a breached norm. If the SC is able to fulfill its function as a norm-breach detective as well as its responsibility to re-establish the norm which has been breached, it increases his output legitimacy since it acts in accordance to the Charter. It shows a high commitment by member states to enforce the sanctions and gives the Council a high rate of legitimacy to exercise its role laid out in the Charter.
The first model that comes to mind is that of compliance since it refers to the outsider state’s will to follow the ratified resolutions and decisions by the higher institution. 121 However, authors have been arguing that compliance is not necessarily linked to legitimacy. Although states might comply quite strongly with the SC and its organs, the organization’s instruments (sanctions) do not have to be necessarily effective. In other words: Since compliance is only concerned with the violator or aggressor, it ignores the organization’s - intrinsic and extrinsic - composition which might have forced the state to comply in the first place. Correspondingly, focusing on compliance as a measurement for effective implementation of sanctions limits the analysis to a mere dichotomy. Sanction’s outcome be then dichotomized into clear cases of success and failure regardless of a potential disconnect between intrinsic and extrinsic legitimacy and its affect on the effectiveness of the SC in the respective case. Hence, such a “passive” increase of legitimacy through compliance by the states (may it because of the self- interest of the violator itself or simply due to the organization’s appeal) is misleading in terms of an analysis. 122 Cronin and Hurd 2008 accordingly: “Said differently, at no level of compliance, from none to complete, can we say that compliance gives decisive evidence for or against the presence of authority.” 123 Risse 2004 argues similar: “Accountability might enhance compliance with costly rules, but output legitimacy is more about effectiveness in problem-solving capacity. Compliance is a necessary condition for effectiveness, of course, but it is not sufficient.” 124
Therefore, a more “active” increase of legitimacy is necessary, which on the one hand remains connected to the input dimension, but can also be measured in terms of the instruments used by the SC. Cronin and Hurd 2008 offer a quite useful method when they state: “A final way we might test for authority at the Council expands on the justificatory approach and looks for signs that the Council has entered into the decision-making calculus of states.” 125 This makes even more sense when considering the amount of states who are members of the UN, i.e. those states who are sanction addressees. With 192 member states, the UN’s range includes every state in the world. 126 Moreover, the sanctions ratified by the SC are binding to all member states, whether they have voted for it or not. Hence, UN member states take the UN for granted and the Council is “embedded in the fabric of the society so that it is unavoidable to actors. It can be fought against, contradicted, and reinterpreted, but it cannot be ignored. It is constitutive of the international society.” 127 Member states somewhat include the IO in their perception of how to address international issues, thus legitimizing the institution and its tools in a perennial fashion. Wendt 1994 underpins this thought:
“This suggests that the internalization of the state requires the development of two qualities: identification with respect to some state function, be it military security, economic growth, or whatever and a collective capacity to sanction actors who disrupt the performance of that function. The result of such developments would be an institutionalization of collective action, such that actors would regard it as normal or routine that certain problems will be handled on the international basis.” 128
Ratifying sanctions against violators of the UN Charter needs to consider thereby an “active” norm-enforcing process. 129 According to Zangl 1999, the effectiveness of norm-enforcement depends not only on the “inside” of an IO but also on factors “outside” of the organization. With regard to the SC, this means that although the norm is enforced by a few (i.e. the P-5), legitimizing this procedure by accepting the system itself serves as the strongest proof of a social purpose. On the contrary, compliance is rather a byproduct of output legitimacy and can appear during the process of norm-internalization (see below). As Zangl 1999 states:
“The observance of norms by the member states frequently occurs completely voluntarily, so that no enforcement of norms is required. With enforcement of norms the sort of actions of international organizations are meant through which a non-voluntary observance of norms are achieved. The efficiency of their normenforcement thus depends on whether international organizations through their actions contribute to a situation in which member states that are guilty of disregarding norms can be forced to obey these norms.“ 130
Basically, Zangl’s 1999 categorization of norm-enforcement implies five dimensions: 131
Norm-object means simply what particular field norm-enforcement is targeted at (security, economy, human rights, environment etc.). This also frames how specific the norm is and how it can be taken into affects. Regarding the SC, the institution sets a variety of realizable rules which can be - and most of the time has to be - implemented and transformed into action by all UN member states. 132 Overall, the specification of the norms and rules makes the decisions by the Council implementable. Moreover, norm-object describes the strategy sanctions imply while being enforced: Is it only targeted at certain political fields within the country (whether that might be the economy or political figures) or does it also aim at neighboring countries or do they maybe even support oppositional forces? Norm-depth frames the expectation of the norm-enforcement. With regard to the SC, it means that it is important to examine what the sanctions actually demand: Do they force the norm- defiance state to change its behavior or are they of less complexity and just admonishing? Norm-depth differentiates whether the SC only offers its decision to the member states and suggests implementing them in order to uphold the institution’s principles, or if the SC itself implements the norm. 133
Norm-addressee identifies whether the norm-enforcement is targeted at democratic or autocratic states, predicting a rather difficult enforcement (in terms of achieving a norm- compliance) among autocratic regimes. As Wallensteen 2000 notes, authoritarian regimes do not only portray and present themselves as victims of sanctions, they are also quite likely to fight tenaciously with every means necessary. 134 This can imply “smuggling, shady deals, strange transaction, shipments that have gone ‘astray’, falsification of documents, etc.” 135 However, with the introduction of smart sanctions, the nature of addressees shifted from whole countries to individuals and supposedly culprits, regardless of their political system. It will be interesting to analyze whether this gives the SC an advantage in enforcing its norms or inhibits member states to enforce sanctions properly due to the regime’s behavior.
Norm-internalization comprises the organization’s decisions by member states. Norm- internalization discusses whether states overall identify with the norm-enforcement. Moreover, it examines if member states internalize the rules with regard to their behavior. Usually non-compliance states breach norms which have not been internalized yet, e.g. humanitarian norms (or at least this could be assumed). 136 This includes whether member states might have internalized opposite norms already that might reason their non-norm- enforcing behavior. The stronger member states have internalized the norms by the SC and enforcing them in the respective case, the stronger they contribute to the legitimacy of the Council’s enforcement power.
Norm-institutionalization emphasizes the structural and social integration of the norms within the organization itself. Hypothetically, states who do not comply with a norm of the SC (whether it is a human right, a security or even an economic norm) do disturb the overall rationale of the organization. The assumption is that the higher the norm is institutionalized within the organization, the more successful will be the norm-enforcement since violators underlie certain blame and can be threatened with social exclusion. 137 Additionally, norm- institutionalization implies a look at the monitoring function of an organization in order to facilitate norm-enforcement. Their role is therefore not only to present reasons for norm- enforcement due to the institution’s constitution; they also serve as an arbitrator and watchdog. 138 This also implies the observation of a norm-breach. With regard to the UN, the SC is in charge of deciding whether there is a norm-breach (e.g. a violation of the charter) and who is to blame for it. 139 Table 2 brings the terms and measurements in order:
Table 2 Five dimensions of output legitimacy
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2.4 Setting up the chain of causation
Chapter 2.3 framed the concept of input and output legitimacy. While the large variety of literature about legitimacy in order to develop measurable variables for a later analysis was reviewed, it was also distinguished between the terms compliance and enforcement. The concept of norm-enforcement in terms of output dimension was thereby proved most suitable when dealing with sanctions as an instrument to maintain peace and prevent war. While the term compliance is difficult to link to legitimacy, it also makes more sense normatively to look for measurement of sanctions’ implementation. Since compliance is part of the sociological integration of states, sanctions reflect an active behavior by an IO to enhance norm-commitment. Thereby, the commitment to the social collective is part of the inside legitimacy of an IO and includes the categorizations process and procedure; values and symbols; knowledge and specialization; as well as persuasion and reasonability. Altogether, the chain of causation is constructed as presented in the following Figure 1:
Figure 1 Chain of causation
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What can be derived from Figure 1 is that the independent variable - the degree of legitimacy - consists of an input and output dimension. The rate of effectiveness of sanctions is thus the dependent variable, pointing to a variable dependence on the strength of the collective interest and the will to convert this interest into action. In summary, if the overall degree of legitimacy is high, the possibility that the IO is effective with their sanctions is high, too. Altogether and importantly, differentiating between an input and an output dimension opens room for a more detailed analysis of the SC. While it has usually been argued among scholars within the legitimacy school that legitimacy of an IO is high as states comply, it can now be stated that an IO does also increase its legitimacy when it applies its rules and decisions appropriately and reasonable. This is in accordance with the constructivist argumentation that IO’s are socially constructed by its member states, aiming for a comprehensive, socially embedded purpose.
However, the chain of causation leads ultimately to the necessity to establish potential outcomes in terms of an analysis of the SC.
1 http://www.un.org/en/aboutun/index.shtml (valid 08/11/11); Cronin and Hurd 2008; Lowe et al. 2008
2 UN Charter, Article 1, 1 - There are currently nine subsidiary bodies of the SC active, to which the sanctions committees count as the most important one for this specific research: http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/
3 UN Charter, Articles, 39, 41 and 42 and Imber 2006
4 This is in line with the UN SC’s original intention to limit legislative and judicial power to the most powerful nations at that time in order to maximize security assurances as well as predictability. As a matter of fact, the UN was never intended to be democratic, neither in its authority nor in its political decision structure. Moreover, the UN was power structured in which the most powerful countries during that time will always remain as the head of the decision-making process. Additionally, “the United Nations was never intended to be representative of peoples but of sovereign states” (Schlesinger 1997, p.2). Therefore, the principle is that the power to protect the constitution (namely the Charter) lies in the hand of the few.
5 “As a body compromising the world’s most dominant and influential states - as well as representatives from each of the world’s region - it has the means to establish and implement a wide range of policies regarding international peace and security broadly defined.” (Cronin and Hurd 2008, p.1)
6 Henceforth, the term IO will refer to the SC.
7 UN Charter, Article 25
8 The UN was born out of the recall of the failure of its predecessor, the League of Nations. Thus, the founders of the UN were required to find a balance between the old instruments and procedures and the urgent need for a more functional, efficient peace-maintaining organization. For further research see Goodrich 1947.
9 Morris 2000; Imber 2006; Weiss and Young 2005; Low et al. 2008 p.31 ff.
10 Bruno 2010; Perkovich 2010; Tarock 2006; McMahon 2006
11 Compare Hufbauer et al. 2008 and Cortright et al. 2008
12 “In Haiti the relatively porous sanctions imposed by the Organization of American States and the subsequent trade embargo adopted by the UN were associated with serious hardships, including an increase in infant mortality […] In Yugoslavia, UN trade sanctions seriously damaged Serbian society, including the health care system […] Nonetheless, humanitarian concerns have rightly become an overriding consideration in sanctions decision making, especially at the United Nations, where officials are determined never to repeat the tragedy of Iraq” (Cortright and Lopez 2002, p.1-2).
13 For a coherent overview see Security Council Report 2007
14 http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/committees/sanctions/index.html (valid 08/11/11)
15 Compare Cortright and Lopez 2002, Smith 2004; McMahon 2006; Doxey 2000; Wallensteen et al. 2003; http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/committees/sanctions/index.html (valid 08/11/11)
16 While conventional sanctions are comprehensive, comprising a variety of measures such as trade boycotts and embargoes against the entire country, smart sanctions, on the contrary, are selective, targeting only at certain areas or individuals (Tostensen and Bull 2002, pp. 374-375). The difference between the nature of both types of sanctions will be discussed in more detail chapter 3.2.1.
17 Basically, there have been a number of important initiatives taken place so far in order to debate, discuss and compile expertise on what is called a “smart approach” towards the tool of sanctions. The initiatives vary in their focus and orientation, as for example the Interlaken process in 1998 was directed at the improvement of targeted financial sanctions; the Bonn and Berlin conferences in 1999 and 2000 placed an emphasis on arms embargoes and travel sanctions; and the Stockholm Process was concerned with the implementation and monitoring of these targeted sanctions.
18 “If the primary consideration is political effectiveness, that is, persuading a targeted regime to alter objectionable policies, targeted measures are not necessarily more effective or ‘smart’” (Cortright and Lopez 2002, p.1).
19 Bruno 2010; Perkovich 2010; Tarock 2006; Takeyh and Maloney 2010
20 Smith 2004, p.2
21 “If a relatively peaceful option, such as sanctions, are seen as unsuccessful, the temptation for military action may increase as the ‘only alternative’ available” (Wallensteen 2000, p.16).
22 Or as Tostensen and Bull put it: “It may be the reflection of wishful thinking or the desire to maintain the legitimacy of sanctions as an instrument of peaceful coercion in international relations that leads advocates to view the reduction of damage resulting from humanitarian exemptions as not weakening what is a punitive instrument” (Tostensen and Bull 2002, p.382).
23 Cortright and Lopez 2002, p.2
24 See Cortright and Lopez 2002, Bothe 2007, Bothe 2008, Reich 2008, Chaitkin 2009 and Bierstecker and Eckert 2006
25 See Tostensen and Bull 2002, Wallensteen 2000, Bierstecker and Eckert 2006, Magnusson 2008, Chaitkin 2009 and Eriksson 2008.
26 See comparatively Weiss and Young 2005, Strandow and Wallensteen 2007, Imber 2006, O’Neill 1996 as well as Morris 2000.
27 Eriksson 2008, p.13
28 By recalling smart sanctions, it is also worth to remember that politicians, experts and scholars strive for a more humane, effective, and targeting approach. This promises a near flawless approach of handling threats to international peace. However, what remains questionable is whether member states of the UN perceive the latest instrument of targeted sanctions similar to its critics’ perceptions. This would weaken the Council’s ability to ratify and finally implement them in the long run.
29 Doxey 1972 quoted after Werthes 2003, p.48
30 The level of a member state’s dedication to support sanctions is linked to its ineffectiveness. Despite this, the problem can also be attributed to technical or structural problems. This becomes especially important when considering the sanction decade in the post-CW era. During this era, sanctions have been seen as the most important tool of statecraft and as an alternative to actual interventions (see Cortright et al. 2008).
31 See Drezner 2011, p.99 ff.
32 “The tool chosen is not necessarily the one that has the best chance of working. It may be the tool that offers a plausible chance of working and that costs less to implement than the alternatives” (Feaver and Lorber 2010, p.16).
33 See Werthes 2003, p.45 ff. and Wallensteen 2000, p.16 ff.
34 However, this perception developed over time. Between 1914 and 1945 for instance, sanctions were primarily deployed to cease military adventures (as with the US sanctions against Japan in 1917 and 1940, or the sanctions by the United Kingdom against Italy in 1935) or to mandate a war effort (as in the case of the United Kingdom and its sanctions against Germany from 1914 to 1918). After World War II and the failure of the League of Nations, sanctions “pursued for a much broader range of international goals: forestalling war; hastening the achievement of freedom and democracy; cleaning up the environment; strengthening human rights or labor rights; nuclear non-proliferation; the freeing of captured citizens; and the reversal of captures of land” (Davis and Engerman 2003, p.190). Additionally, they were implemented in a multilateral setting, augmenting their integration into an institutional setting such as the UN. Creating the UN as an IO, which granted higher leverage in terms of deterrence and cooperative conflict solution (whether it is of interstate of intrastate nature) signaled to the world that the most powerful nations during that time acknowledged their responsibility.
35 Davis and Engerman 2003, p.194
36 Strandow and Wallensteen 2007; Smith 2004; United Nations Sanctions Secretariat 2000
37 See Appendix, A.1
38 In three cases, the SC applied comprehensive - or conventional - sanctions (Iraq, Haiti and Yugoslavia); in one case, a combination of conventional and selective sanctions (Angola) and in all other cases smart sanctions. Among the cases where smart sanctions were imposed, nine included financial restrictions, six commodity boycotts, ten travel bans and fifteen cases included arms embargoes (see Cortright et al. 2008 p.211).
39 Drezner 2011, p.97
40 For further research on the general importance of IOs see: Hafner-Burton et al. 2008; Skjelsbaek 1972
41 See Hufbauer et al. 2008 and Cortright et al. 2008
42 Compare Bothe 2007, Bothe 2008, Reich 2008, Chaitkin 2009 and Bierstecker and Eckert 2006
43 Hurd 2007, p.11
44 Lowe et al. 2008 as well as Cronin and Hurd 2008
45 For instance, the League of Nations which suffered explicitly from the egotistic behavior by its member states as well as from a tremendous lack of legitimacy.
46 Elliott 1995, p.60
47 Cronin and Hurd 2008, p.1
48 Hurd 2007, p.37
49 As chapter 3.2.2. will highlight in more detail, SACOs are the institutional framework of the SC. Hence, they are the measurable effort undertaken by the Council with regard to execute the resolutions. It is the Council’s source of operation and at the same time origin of legitimacy. SACOs are moreover, by definition, an extended version of the SC. A SACO is constituted by those same member states that currently posses a seat in the SC. Their primary goal is to observe and report how the sanctions are carried out and how successful they are with regard to prior defined goals. Although the SC can create certain bodies within the SACO in order to fulfil their objectives more effectively, they are always bound to the SC.
50 Regarding the SACO documents, the analysis will consider meeting records from 2006 until 2011. This includes relevant statements made by the P-5 (China, United States of America, Russia, France and Great Britain) as well as the respective annually changing N-10, Argentina, Denmark, Greece Japan, Tanzania (2005- 2006); Ghana, Qatar, Republic of Congo, Peru, Slovakia (2006-2007); Italy, Belgium, South Africa, Indonesia, Panama (2007-2008); Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Croatia, Libya, Vietnam (2008-2009); Uganda, Japan, Mexico, Turkey, Austria (2009-2010); Gabon, Brazil, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nigeria, Lebanon (2010-2011) as well as Germany, Portugal, India, Columbia, South Africa (2011-2012).
51 Technically, the UN adopted the instrument of smart sanctions with the unanimously resolution 1409 of May 14th in 2002, see: http://www.uncc.ch/resolutio/res1409.pdf (valid 08/11/11)
52 See critically Adler 1997 and Harnisch 2008
53 Axelrod 1986, p.1097
54 Axelrod 1986, p.1097
55 According to Goertz and Diehl 1992, a norm consists of four elements: behavioural regularity, a non- coterminous relation to self-interest, the possibility of sanctions and a moral or normative aspect (see Goertz and Diehl 1992, p.639). Complementarily, Finnemore and Sikkink 1998 have established a three stage division of how a norm can be categorized. While stage 1 (also called “norm emergence”) and 3 (named “internalization”) are the extreme appearances or non-appearances of a norm, stage 2 (norm cascade) highlights the possibility that states can end up in a socialized network. Stage 1 frames simply the emergence of a norm, stressing that “norm entrepreneurs” try to use organizational platforms in order to persuade each other to achieve empathy for their norm. Stage 3 emphasizes the highest degree of a norm: internalization. This can mainly be found in the form of laws, professions or bureaucracies and shows a habitual character by the actors as far as the use of the norm is concerned. Stage 2 on the contrary, stresses the purpose of legitimacy among the actors in order to fulfil the norm. It can be achieved within a socializing or institutionalizing process and is performed by states or IOs.
56 This can be manifested as the most significant difference between the structural theories such as realism or liberalism and is in accordance to Wendt’s perspective on IR (see Wendt 1987).
57 Wendt 1994, p.386
58 Wendt 1994, p.385
59 Legitimacy is usually part of the term authority which describes “a relation among actors within a hierarchy in which one group is recognized as having both the right and the competence to make binding decisions for the rest of the community…” (Cronin and Hurd 2008, p.6). According to Cronin and Hurd 2008, the three crucial elements of authority are “(1) a relation between subordinate and superior” (which entails some sort of hierarchy), “that is (2) recognized by both as (3) legitimate” (Cronin and Hurd 2008, p.24-25).
60 Suchman 1995 quoted by Hurd 2007
61 As shall be seen in chapter 2.3 and 2.4, legitimacy can be separated in an input and output dimension, dividing the measurement of effectiveness into two parts.
62 Rittberger and Zangl 2003, p.166 (own translation)
63 Cronin and Hurd 2008, p.26
64 Hurd 2007, p.12
65 See chapter 2.4.
66 Jackson 2007, p.163
67 For a critical overview of the major constructivist discourses, their implications and analytical formations see Adler 1997 and Harnisch 2008
68 Jackson 2007, p.163 ff.
69 Because the former may be described as “idealist” and the latter as “structural”, constructivism can be understood as a kind of “structural idealism” (Wendt 1999, p.1).
70 Wendt 1987, p.357
71 Wendt 1994, p.385
72 "(1) states are the principal units of analysis for international political theory; (2) the key structures in the state system are intersubjective, rather than material; and (3) state identities and interests are in important part
73 Hurd 2007, p.26
74 Or as Hurd 2007 puts it: „Studying possible relations of authority between states and international organizations requires that we pay attention to both how states are affected by the existence of legitimated structures and how those international organizations are affected by the behavior of states“ (Hurd 2007, p.26).
75 Basically, there are four types of ideas within the constructivism paradigm which represent some sort of preset for evaluation the theoretical circumstances of a case study: Ideologies or shared, normative or causal beliefs as well as policy prescriptions.
76 Jackson 2007, p.163 and Wendt 1987: “Structuration theory, then, conceptualizes agents and structures as mutually constitutive yet ontologically distinct enteritis. Each is in some sense an effect of the other; they are codetermined” (Wendt 1987, p.360). Since anarchy is not necessarily the case in a constructivism sense, there are three possible “cultures” of anarchy - Hobbesian (states view each other as enemies), Lockean (states consider each other as rivals, but they recognize their right to exist), and Kantian (states view each other as friends) - in each of which the influence of material differences on state behaviour will be different. Additionally, the three different cultures can be categorized in different degrees. The degree reflects the state’s cultural internalization, the higher the commitment to shared ideas, the higher its degree see (Wendt 1999, 254).
77 They can be ideologies, normative beliefs, cause-effect believes or policy prescriptions (see Jackson 2007).
78 See Wendt 1999
79 See Jackson 2007, p.169
80 Jackson 2007, p.170
81 Zangl and List 2003, p.383 (own translation)
82 Wendt 1987, p.359
83 Wendt 1994, p.386
84 Although Wendt talks in his 1987 published article “The agent structure problem in international relations theory” only about the decision-making process of a single state, he reiterates a window of analysis concerning performance: “Individual and organizational decision-making pathologies in the state, for example, may be crucial for determining how social structural of objective imperatives for competent state practice - a state’s ‘real interest’ - translate into subjective interests and actual performance” (Wendt 1987, p.359).
85 Among scholars, the term legitimacy has its origin in the studies of Max Weber (i.e. his theory of rational legal domination) and Jürgen Habermas (i.e. his idea of legitimacy through justificatory discourse).
86 Hurd 2007, p.1
87 Hurd refers here explicitly to the idealist and rationalist thinking of anarchy, noting that the interaction of states in a “social space” - such as IOs - contradicts the principle of dealing with an anarchic system. He strengthens the constructivist perception of the international system, namely that states perceive and interpret international relations, IOs as well as state’s characteristics (i.e. power, authority, capabilities or interdependence) differently.
88 Hurd 2007, p.6
89 Hurrell 2005, p.16
90 See alternatively Buchanan and Keohane 2006.
91 Steffek 2003
92 Steffek 2003, p.271
93 Risse 2004, p.19
94 His work is basically concerned with a more deliberative approach, putting the emphasis on “external stakeholders” such as international regimes, public-private partnerships or cooperative arrangements among nonstate actors and their responsibility to those who are affected by their decisions and rules.
95 „In fact, we must call it legitimate if its audience has internalized its authority and accepts it as right, regardless of whether the institution’s values conform to those of the outside observer. Legitimacy does not rely on serving ‘real’ interests of the actor, and false consciousness is certainly a possibility.” (Hurd 2007, p.34)
96 „Where legitimacy, as a psychological phenomenon based on internalization, is a quality that exists in the minds of individuals, validity is a quality of the system that exists when the general expectations is that one might encounter a believer of norms in one’s international interaction.” (Hurd 2007, p.46)
97 Boekle et al. 2001
98 Hurd 2007, p.41
99 Hurd 2007, p.42-43
100 Hurd 2007, p.42
101 Hurd 2007, p.46
102 The work of Renate Mayntz 2005 for instance, enriches the output dimension with additional variables. While Mayntz also starts with the Weberian interpretation of legitimacy and the definition by Scharpf on input and output legitimacy. She basically connects the output dimension with compliance. More specifically, she links performance with legitimacy, thus noting that an IO can be measured along its formal and material capabilities: „The democratic maxim of ‚rule by the people,’ meaning that political decisions are derived from the preferences of the population in a chain of accountability linking those governing to those governed, is said to produce input legitimacy. Output legitimacy, in contrast, is derived from the capacity of a government or institution to solve collective problems and to meet the expectations of the governed citizens” (Manytz 2005, p.10).
103 Compare Narlikar 2009 and Hurrell 2005.
104 Narlikar 2009,p.295
105 Here, Narlikar 2009 remains slightly unclear while linking transparency of the decision-making process to the effectiveness of the implementation of the decisions: “It is worth noting that the goal of input legitimacy is often at odds with that out of output legitimacy: improving the transparency of decision-making processes can generate costs in term of the effectiveness of decision making…” (Narlikar 2009, p.297). 106 Hurrell 2005, p.22
107 See for a different approach Rittberger and Zangl 2003, p.115 ff.
108 Werthes 2003, p.50
109 „...deliberation - understood as the opportunity for participation and voice according to known procedures - legitimizes outcomes (Cronin and Hurd 2008, p.8)
110 see the first dimension of Narlikar 2009 111 Cronin and Hurd 2008, p.8
112 Cronin and Hurd 2008, p.7
113 See Hurd 2007 p.52 ff.
114 Werthes 2003, p.50
115 Cronin and Hurd 2008, p.8
116 This also prevails against any unbalanced power within the IO. What matters more is the perception by the member states that the intrinsic procedure follows transparent rules and correctness. See Cronin and Hurd 2008, p.9
117 Werthes 2003, p.50 118 Werthes 2003, p.50
119 Note that I finally filtered four dimensions out of the initial five dimensions as I see the output dimension as a separate form of legitimacy.
120 See for both quotations: http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter6.shtml (valid 08/11/11)
121 According to Cronin and Hurd 2008, compliance can be measured along numerous categories (e.g. strategic or norm-driven), although none of them can be pointed out or emphasized as the right one: „State behaviour is rarely understandable as either entirely norm-driven or strategic - instead, most decision situations appear to be affected both by strategic assessments that at least some of these are also inconsistent with competing explanations of social order, such as coercion or self-interest” (Cronin and Hurd 2008, p.33-34).
122 See also Mayntz 2005, p.13 123 Cronin and Hurd 2008, p.34
124 Risse 2004, p.8 and: „In an attempt to enquire into the legitimacy of governance beyond the nation-state, Take (2009) was in fact able to show on the basis of empirical case studies that the belief in the legitimacy of a regime or institution, defined as reasoned acceptance (not compliance!), is in many cases related to a number of organizational and procedural characteristics, including participation, representatively, and due process. Where he found a regime to enjoy high acceptance in spite of the lack of these procedural prerequisites, its acceptance could be explained by the conformity of its goals to universal values, i.e., its substantive rationality.” (Mayntz 2005, p.12)
125 Cronin and Hurd 2008, p.35
126 This excludes states such as South-Sudan or Kosovo who are international recognized but not yet member states of the UN.
127 Hurd 2007, p.35
128 Wendt 1994, p.392
129 The important significance about the concept of norm-enforcement is also its strong connection to authority. While the term “norm” implies that all member states are deliberatively dedicated to the fundamental principle of the norm, norm-enforcement frames the action a social group undertakes in order to establish this norm, upholds and promotes it. This is important to mention, since I do not speak of coercion. “Coercion refers to a relation of asymmetrical physical power among agents, where this asymmetry is applied to changing the behaviour of the weaker agent” (Hurd 2007, p.35). As Hurd 2007 frames it, coercion is a concept of fear that threatens to punish weaker states who do not comply with a set of rules established by stronger states. Hence, social control is the underlying basis of coercion, not social embedment or social construction of norms and therefore not linked to the concept of legitimacy (i.e. aspects on the input dimension such as deliberation, internalization or subordination in order to accept authority in a social meaning).
130 Zangl 1999, p.6 (own translation)
131 Zangl 1999, p.7-8 (own translation)
132 See Rittberger and Zangl 2003, p.168 ff.
133 In the latter case, the SC technically interferes in state’s sovereignty (see Rittberger and Zangl 2003, p.169 ff.).
134 Nevertheless, some authors argue that it is precisely because of their authoritarian nature that autocratic regimes are often the target of sanctions, i.e. because of their threatening behaviour to international peace (see Tostensen and Bull 2002, p.378).
135 Wallensteen 2000, p.14
136 Zangl 1999, p.8
137 Rittberger and Zangl 2003 accordingly: „Moreover, the existence of norms and rules imposes social costs in the form of loss of reputation, or increased public pressure on those who try to oppose a valid norm or rule, so that even in situations in which a disobedience promises short-term gains there is a stimulus to keep behaving according to the rules.“ (Rittberger and Zangl 2003, p.165-166, own translation).
138 Rittberger and Zangl 2003, p.171
139 According to Rittberger and Zangl 2003, the UN SC usually does this with the help of the International Criminal Court.
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- Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg – Politische Wissenschaft
- 2012 (Juni)
- United Nations Security Council International Organization Smart Sanctions Contructivism Iran North-Korea