This book argues that the international community confers legitmacy upon the hegemonic use of force, even if the intervention is prima face illegal under international law. As the Security Council unwillingly lends its support to the exercise of hegemonic power through resolutions on the maintenance and restoration of peace, structural pressue on the law of force is mounting.
The book analyses the alleged legality of hegemonic interventions, resting as it does on grounds such as self-defense, ex post or implicit authorization by the Security Council, intervention upon invitation, or humanitarian intervention. It assesses a range of case studies, from the war in Iraq to the Russian intervention in Georgia, and addresses the nature and function of the forcible countermeasures restorted to in these situations.
This book argues that hegemonic intervention lacks the capacity to crytallize into a general principle of international law. This form of use of force does, however, appear to be ingrained in the power structure and legal architecture of the contemporary international system as a predictable pattern of state conduct, and as a general principle of international legal relations.