New working paper by Prof. Antonia Chayes titled “Chapter VII 1/2 of the UN Charter”

Prof. Antonia Chayes has produced a new piece titled “Chapter VII 1/2 of the UN Charter,” which addresses the responsibilities that may arise for victorious states in the aftermath of successful military intervention.  This issue has become especially salient of late given the interventions in Libya and Cote D’Ivoire.  Prof. Chayes concludes that the dominant motivation toward a responsibility for post-conflict reconstruction is nether legal, nor moral, but instead resides in the practical necessities of self-protection.  Here’s a snippet (footnotes omitted):

“I argue here that no legal requirement exists, and while perhaps there should be a moral imperative, no such norm is yet established. Although official language and commentary may imply an obligation to reconstruct, the reality seems more instrumental to self‐interested ends. Attempts have been made to impose a moral requirement by both philosophers and statesmen, as discussed below. But the results in actual situations have been half‐hearted, misguided or woefully short‐term. Nevertheless some effort at post conflict rebuilding now does seem to be accepted as a necessary part of engaging in military action. My conclusion is that the dominant motivation is not altruistic, but self‐protective. A nation that engages in war to be rid of an assumed threat will take measures to assure that the threat will not return. The international community has an interest in preventing violence from recurring or spreading especially when states have invested “blood and treasure” in ending the violence. Festering internal conflict can lead to threats to a widening area, as the Great Lakes region of Africa and the Balkans have shown, as well as the historic case of post World War I Europe. Even when support for military intervention has been lacking, support does develop—although unevenly‐‐ for assisting social and physical reconstruction. I call this Chapter VII 1/2, as a parallel to peacekeeping, known as chapter VI 1/2, since that concept was also nowhere explicit in the UN Charter.”

This paper will be part of the ASIL “works-in-progress” workshop taking place at the Fletcher School from 9 AM to 3 PM on Friday, October 28th in the Chase Center.  A full-version of the paper is posted at:



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