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Legitimizing Vetoes: A Discourse Analysis of How Vetoes are Motivated in the United Nations Security Council
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

How is a veto justified? Within the discipline of International Relations, discourse analysis is gaining a higher status. However, there is a surprising lacuna in the literature as a discursive approach to the veto in the United Nations Security Council, is yet to be taken. This is unfortunate, given the Security Council’s prominence. The way in which the council members make meaning through their word choice has profound effects for politics in the international system. There is, nonetheless, a growing debate on the functioning of the council, and the veto-power is an important object of contestation. Motivated by current veto-restraining initiatives, this thesis performs a discourse analysis on the 19 cast vetoes between 2005-2016. The actors of relevance are the permanent Security Council members China, Russia, and the US, and the study demonstrates how the concepts of sovereignty, intervention and legitimacy are employed in the discursive construction of the legitimate veto. The thesis further argues that there are patterns and reoccurring themes in the way meaning is created that can be summarized into a contra-discourse —a veto-discourse —contrasting the dominating discourse within the Security Council. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 46 p.
Keyword [en]
United Nations Security Council, veto, discourse analysis, contra-discourse, legitimizing
National Category
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-295965OAI: diva2:935625
Subject / course
Political Science
Educational program
Bachelor Programme in Political Science
Available from: 2016-06-13 Created: 2016-06-11 Last updated: 2016-06-13Bibliographically approved

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