Chapter

Proliferation of Informal Groups in the Post‐Bipolar Era

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199287686.003.0004
 							Proliferation of Informal Groups in the Post‐Bipolar Era

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This chapter examines the question of why informal groups of states proliferated in the post-Cold war era. It argues that the proliferation of groups of friends and contact groups must be analyzed in the context of the mounting pressure on the United Nations’ conflict resolution machinery to respond to more complex crises than ever before. Informal groups of states are agents of incremental change, without formally changing the constitutional foundation of the Organization. At the same time, the post-Cold War era has permitted a political context that furthers the trend towards devolution of the substance of crisis management to informal groups of states, whereas the Security Council provides — at least in most cases — the form, that is, the legitimization for state action. The functions of diplomacy and its collective legitimization have become decoupled.

Keywords: complex crises; contact groups; diplomacy; groups of friends; incremental change; legitimization; post-Cold War security; process; substance

Chapter.  6758 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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