Security Council Sanctions Governance: The Power and Limits of Rules, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Security Council Sanctions Governance

The Power and Limits of Rules, 1st Edition

By Thomas Dörfler


240 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138337497
pub: 2019-02-21
SAVE ~$29.99
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429442322
pub: 2019-02-13
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


Little is known about how far-reaching decisions in UN Security Council sanctions committees are made. Developing a novel committee governance concept and using examples drawn from sanctions imposed on Iraq, Al-Qaida, Congo, Sudan and Iran, this book shows that Council members tend to follow the will of the powerful, whereas sanctions committee members often decide according to the rules. This is surprising since both Council and committees are staffed by the same member states.

Offering a fascinating account of Security Council micro-politics and decision-making processes on sanctions, this rigorous comparative and theory-driven analysis treats the Council and its sanctions committees as distinguishable entities that may differ in decision practice despite having the same members. Drawing extensively on primary documents, diplomatic cables, well-informed press coverage, reports by close observers and extensive interviews with committee members, Council diplomats and sanctions experts, it contrasts with the conventional wisdom on decision-making within these bodies, which suggests that the powerful permanent members would not accept rule-based decisions against their interests.

This book will be of interest to policy practitioners and scholars working in the broad field of international organizations and international relations theory as well as those specializing in sanctions, international law, the Security Council and counter-terrorism.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Security Council Sanctions Governance: The Power and Limits of Rules

The Argument: How Committee Governance Triggers Rule-Based Politics

Committee Governance and International Organizations

Methods and Outline of The Book

Chapter 2 - Committee Governance, Rules and Precedents

The Foundations of International Organizations

Power Politics

Committee Governance and The Power of Rules

The Constraints of Rule-Making

The Constraints of Rule Implementation

The Logic of Coordination Situations at The Committee Stage

Coordination Situations at Committee Stage Create Demand for Focal Points

The Logic of Committee Governance in The Security Council

Research Design and Observable Implications

Chapter 3 - Security Council Sanctions Regimes: Complex Governance Entities

The Security Council as Master of Its Sanctions Regimes

The Sanctions Committees as Implementing Agents

The Panels of Experts as Reflexive Component

The Un Secretariat’s "Sanctions Branch" As Administrative Component

The Focal Point and The Office of The Ombudsperson as Individual Complaints Mechanisms

Concluding Thoughts

Chapter 4 - Disarming Iraq – Governing Comprehensive Sanctions Under Siege

The Political Origins of The Iraq Sanctions Regime

The Beginnings: Setting and Enforcing Rules on The Issue of Foodstuffs In "Humanitarian Circumstances"

After the Gulf War: The Need for Precedents On "No-Objection Items"

Quality of Requests, Not Power Determines Committee Decisions

The Power of Rules and Precedents in Governing Flight Approvals

Concluding Thoughts

Chapter 5 - Terrorist or Scapegoat? Targeted Sanctions and The Threat of Al-Qaida And the Taliban

The Political Origins of The Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Regime

Laissez-Faire Decision-Making Without Criteria, Rules and Procedures

Criteria, Rules and Procedures Trigger Rule-Based Governance on The Listing of Individuals and Entities

Stalemate Creates Demand for Delisting and Review Procedures

Deadlock on Taliban Prompts Division of The Sanctions Regime

The Ombudsperson as Safeguard for Rule-Based Governance

Concluding Thoughts

Chapter 6 - The Democratic Republic of The Congo – Targeted Sanctions and Civil War

The Political Origins of The Democratic Republic of The Congo Sanctions Regime

Targeting Individuals and Entities – No Listing Without Procedures

Decision Rules Provide Focal Points for Listing Requests Among the P3

Rwanda In the DRCi Committee: The Limits of Committee Governance

Concluding Thoughts

Chapter 7 - The Sudan – How the Committee Failed to Implement Targeted Sanctions

The Political Origins of The Sudan Sanctions Regime

The Creation of The Sudan Sanctions Regime

Down the Committee Route

Bypassing the Committee: The Prelude to Resolution 1672 (2006)

A Committee Without Consensus

Concluding Thoughts

Chapter 8 - The West Vs. Iran – Sanctions in The Context of Nuclear Non-Proliferation

The Political Origins of The Iran Sanctions Regime

Down the Council Route: Imposing Rounds of Sanctions Package

The Committee Route: Substantive Criteria and Independent Evidence Determine Committee Designations

The Alternative Route: Rule-Based Governance Through Opting For Nsg And Mtcr Lists Of Proliferation-Related Items

Concluding Thoughts

Chapter 9 - Conclusion: What Can We Learn from Committee Governance in The Security Council?

The Security Council as An International Organization

Policy Implications

About the Author

Thomas Dörfler holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Bamberg, Germany, and a Master’s Degree from Leiden University, The Netherlands. He has been a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)-UNU Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the UNU Centre for Policy Research, a visiting scholar at John-Jay College of Criminal Justice (City University of New York) and a consultant for the Security Council Affairs Division of the UN Secretariat. Most recently, he held a post-doctoral position at the Technical University Munich, Germany, TUM School of Governance and will shortly be taking up a research fellow position at the University of Potsdam, Germany. Thomas has published in academic journals including Regulation & Governance, Global Governance, Journal of International Relations and Development, Terrorism & Political Violence, Journal of Economic Policy Reform, as well as several chapters in edited volumes and policy-relevant articles. For his work on UN sanctions, he has received the 2018 Hans-Löwel-Prize and the 2017 Award of the UN Association of Germany.

About the Series

Routledge Research on the United Nations (UN)

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General