Heuristics and Repertoires of Collective Security: a Comparative Analysis in the Field of International Law
The professorial chair of the head of the research group at the Justus Liebig University Gießen is part of the interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Centre/Transregio 138 "Dynamics of Security". Since April 2014, researchers from the Philipps-Universität Marburg, the Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen and the Herder Institute for Historical Research on Eastern Central Europe have been working on the topic "Dynamics of Security" in the SFB/TRR 138. They examine how notions of security developed in history and how they entered the political process. The focus lies on the representation and production of security - processes that are interdependent and whose relationship is to be researched in historically different dynamics and process structures. The SFB/TRR 138 conceptualizes these dynamic processes as 'securitization'.
On the basis of the findings gained in the first funding period, the International Law-focused subproject A04 will investigate in the second phase whether and under what conditions the securitization of interstate relations leads not only to processes of institutionalization under international law, but also to the collectivization of international security.
The research incentive for subproject A04 stems from a changing dynamic of international law. Since the end of the 20th century, international security has no longer been pursued primarily through collective action institutionalized under international law, such as universal collective action or the establishment and active maintenance of international security organizations, but rather through the increasing (self-)isolation of some actors and unilateral or bilateral intervention. This development stands in contrast to the efforts towards legalization and institutionalization, especially after the two world wars in the 20th century, and the associated collectivization of international security. The question of the relationship between securitization on the one hand and processes of institutionalization and collectivization under international law on the other is based on this in the pioneering preliminary phase of the two major international peacekeeping organizations of the 20th century, the League of Nations and the United Nations.
The approach (further) developed and concretized in the first funding period in the discussion of political science theories for the collaborative project, which explores this from the perspective of securitization, opens up through its question about the classification of a situation as security-relevant, The heuristics and the available options for action (repertoires) that are decisive in this context provide a helpful perspective, especially for international jurisprudence, if legalization and institutionalization as well as the development of the concept of collective security are understood as repertoires with which perceived security problems are dealt with.
At the centre of the second funding phase are three PhD-projects, two of which deal directly with the practice of the League of Nations Council and the UN Security Council in comparison, while the third deals with the principle of distinction under international humanitarian law. All three papers ask under which conditions and on the basis of which heuristics a situation is classified as relevant to security (in the case of the League of Nations the definition of "war" or "threat with war" as a "matter for the whole Confederation" within the meaning of Art. 11 of the Statutes); in the case of the UN Security Council the definitions in Art. 39 of the UN Charter; in the case of the principle of distinction, the existence of an armed conflict (international or non-international) and what repertoires are available to respond (collectively) to it ("the measures appropriate to the effective protection of international peace". These PhD projects are supplemented by three additional projects jointly pursued by the subproject leaders, which develop a security perspective on the law of international organizations, seek to grasp the institutional design of the implementation of humanitarian norms under international law as a repertoire and are intended to present the subproject approach for discussion at a conference on international law analysis of the peacekeeping practice of the Council of Nations.
Further information on the projects first funding stage are available on the website of SFB 138.