Janus‐faced Structure of the Security Council: Open System and Closed Shop

Jochen Prantl

in The UN Security Council and Informal Groups of States

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780199287680
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603723 | DOI:
Janus‐faced Structure of the Security Council: Open System and Closed Shop

Show Summary Details


This chapter analyzes the institutional setting of the United Nations. The underlying assumption is that the Security Council can best be described as a Janus-faced structure of both an open system and a closed shop. This notion reflects the Council’s sensitivity towards external change, while the restrictive provisions of the Charter constrain the possibilities of formal adaptation. The chapter examines: (1) the role of great powers in international organizations, (2) the role and function of the Security Council according to the Charter of the United Nations, and (3) the ‘constitutional practice’ of the Council, elaborating on certain variants of the collective security scheme as envisioned in the Charter.

Keywords: military force; decision-making; formal consultations; informal consultations; peacekeeping; regional alliances; great powers; collective security

Chapter.  6859 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.