Research Handbook on International Law and Peace
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Research Handbook on International Law and Peace

Edited by Cecilia M. Bailliet

Peace is an elusive concept, especially within the field of international law, varying according to historical era and between contextual applications within different cultures, institutions, societies, and academic traditions. This Research Handbook responds to the gap created by the neglect of peace in international law scholarship. Explaining the normative evolution of peace from the principles of peaceful co-existence to the UN declaration on the right to peace, this Research Handbook calls for the fortification of international institutions to facilitate the pursuit of sustainable peace as a public good.
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Chapter 5: Protecting which peace for whom against what? A conceptual analysis of collective security

Pål Wrange


This chapter offers a critical, conceptual analysis of collective security, both in the current UN shape and as a general concept. The basic premise for the chapter is that even though collective security is a fundamental goal of the UN Charter, the collective security system is fraught with many political and practical problems. The chapter analyses a number of conceptual difficulties, but argues that these difficulties do not mean that collective security is impossible. The chapter asks whether collective security could be improved better to maintain international peace and security or if there is an inherent contradiction in the idea. The analysis is informed by critical traditions in international law and international relations.

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