Do Small States Matter? : A comparative analysis of the discourses by three of the non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council on the crisis in Libya and Syria between 2011 and 2012.

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Uppsala universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Sammanfattning: A new era of wars and instability have left the world shaken with the civil wars in Syria and Libya. Although there are many similarities with Syria and Libya, the two states did not have the same end due to actions by the United Nations Security Council. Libya resulted in a military humanitarian intervention, while Syria did not. Studies about the Security Council usually focuses on the actions of the Permanent Five members who holds institutional power and influence over the council, mostly due to their quantitative economic and military power, leaving smaller states, the non-permanent members out of research. The point of this study is to fill in the lacuna of the studies on the non-permanent members to see they behave in the council by how they problematize the crisis in Syria and Libya. This paper compares the discourses of Colombia, Portugal and South Africa, three of the non-permanent members of the Security Council between 2011-2012 in how they speak about the decision to intervene in Libya and not in Syria. To conduct my normative study I use Tal Dingott Alkopher’s study on Military Humanitarian Intervention Norms by analysing speeches found in UNSC meeting protocols that regarded Syria and Libya. I do this to find evidence for how these non-permanent members argue for or against norms of intervention. My results show that the non-permanent members are more aligned with intervention norms for Libya rather than Syria.

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