Photo Jonathan Blair

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Security Council: A "payback" vote from those kept out?

So non-permanent members Brazil, India and Germany abstained and refused to go along with Britain, France and the US in the Security Council's vote on military action in Lybia. How interesting that these three countries, along with Japan, are the leading candidates to permanent seats in the Council itself...

This sounds a lot like "We won't make trouble this time, but we could in the future," and it fits with Brazil's messy involvement in the debate about sanctions against Iran's nuclear program: global governance is becoming ever more tricky, not so much for lack of means, but for lack of legitimacy at the top. And take legitimacy, as Jacques Ellul does, in its narrowest and most cynical acception here, not in any normative way: a legitimate power is one that can command support, for any reason.