chapter  5
Authority
WithRamesh Thakur
Pages 19

Scholarly inquiry into the nature, scope, justification, organization and control of political authority in international relations is singularly sparse. The literature in political science suggests that authority signifies the capacity to create and enforce rights and obligations which are accepted as legitimate and binding by members of an all-inclusive society who are subject to the authority. The reality of international conflict in turn necessitates third-party intervention in the name of international society, backed by its authority, to resolve differences between members of that society. In an international system made up of states, authority is a necessary means of regulating the international conduct of states. The lack of clear authority derived from the UN Charter has led to difficulties in some peacekeeping operations in the past. A discussion about authoritative policy for international society therefore leads to inquire derivatively into the U.N.'s ability to dispose of power.