Consultation and Accountability: Building Democracy Through Benevolent Autocracy

Simon Chesterman

in You, The People: The United Nations, Transitional Administration, and State-Building

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780199263486
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191600999 | DOI:
Consultation and Accountability: Building Democracy Through Benevolent Autocracy

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Once control has been established, how should the territory be governed? What treaties and conventions bind the temporary administration? The UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (untaet) was granted a period of benevolent autocracy to prepare East Timor for local democratic rule. In Kosovo, ongoing security concerns and the absence of a clear future made the UN‐administered province an oddity: the depository of human rights treaties itself detained persons without trial for over a year at a time and acted with impunity. Different attempts have been made to restrain the power of the United Nations, including ombudspersons in East Timor and Kosovo (with varying degrees of success) and a Timorese Office of the Inspector General to oversee the trust fund set up with the World Bank. In addition to concerns about abuse of power, questions also arise about the impact of such rule on the development of mature political actors within the population under international administration.

Keywords: accountability; governance; ombudsperson; rule of law

Chapter.  11206 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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