chapter  3
20 Pages

The AU’s legitimation of the AU-UN response in Darfur

This chapter examines how African states made use of the AU to legitimate decisions on intervening in Darfur. It demonstrates that African states have valued the AU as a multilateral expression of a general ‘African’ will over the case of Darfur. I focus on how the AU’s intra-organisational process of legitimation played out; how various legitimacy claims embodying different moral, legal and political reasons were accommodated and forged into one common AU position. This focus on collective legitimation opens up new perspectives for understanding the AU’s role, as well as AU-UN interplays, which go beyond the existing material, legal and political arguments. I show in this chapter that when there are conflicting, alternative and supporting proposals among African states the AU can provide the social parameters within which legitimacy contests are conducted. Demonstrating that these contests took place is significant because they are indicators of the value that an institution has for its member states.