The Security Council and non-state domestic actors: changes in non-forcible measures between international lawmaking and peacebuilding


Elaborating on a newly compiled dataset of all Security Council resolutions passed under Chapter VII in the thirty years from 1990 to 2019, this Article is the first attempt to survey aggregated Council practice with a view to analyzing the ways in which the Council’s non-forcible measures have been transformed as a consequence of the growth in importance of non-state actors in international relations. The data demonstrate that the Council has increasingly adopted resolutions that apply and draw in individuals and other non-governmental actors more than what previous studies merely suggest. Related is the second, and more significant, finding of the Article: in light of the aggregate practice analyzed, the Article argues that, by expanding the preventative use of its powers under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the SC has inserted itself into a new interface between international lawmaking and peacebuilding. It has operated in the context of both conflict prevention and actions on generalized threats, adopting non-forcible measures that not only address the immediate objective of crisis management, but also increasingly engage in mapping out future regulation and structure of governance. Though the further expansion of these developments remains uncertain, the Article also contends that their normative implications are already significant. To mention the most salient: the establishment of direct international duties on armed groups and individuals by the Council; its growing influence on the external articulations of statehood and the internal dynamics of transitions towards peace; the mediated imposition on associations and corporations established under private law of prophylactic obligations; the creation, via its quasi-legislative resolutions, of a completely regulated international sphere where terrorists and proliferators are starved of means and chances to perpetrate attacks.