Library Talk: Governing the Use-of-Force in International Relations

Related Files
  • DATE / TIME:
    2015•01•28    15:00 - 16:30

    On 28 January 2015, the UNU Library is hosting the launch of the book Governing the Use-of-Force in International Relations: The Post-9/11 US Challenge on International Law (by Aiden Warren and Ingvild Bode, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

    The book evaluates under what circumstances the Bush and Obama administrations have used military force in response to security threats. Both administrations have justified using force with their right to self-defence. While the UN Charter allows states to use force in self-defence after an attack, its preemptive use in response to imminent attacks finds support only 
in customary international law. The Bush administration, however, advocated using force in preventive self-defence against potential threats. This policy was cloaked in the language of preemptive self-defence to make it more acceptable. President Obama promised to follow international norms regulating the use-of-force, but did not reject 
his predecessor’s reasoning. In fact, to the contrary, his administration extended the meaning of imminence and began to use military force on a regular basis through its drone program. The book concludes that Bush and Obama have chosen a remarkably similar approach in expanding the use-of-force.

    This Library Talk is open to the public and will be in English only; Japanese interpretation will not be provided. If you wish to attend the event, please contact the UNU Library by email (, phone (03-5467-1359) or fax (03-5467-1360) by Tuesday, 27 January 2015.

    The book is available at the UNU Library. You can read a sample chapter on the Palgrave Macmillan website.


    Ingvild Bode, JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow, UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)

    Ingvild Bode joined UNU-IAS as a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Postdoctoral Fellow in September 2013. Her research interests include the human element in international relations, humanitarian affairs, state recourse to the use-of-force and conflict narratives. At UNU-IAS, Ingvild works primarily on individual influence in the UN while concentrating on peace and security issues. She is exploring how it becomes possible for bureaucrats, diplomats or civil society representatives to influence UN policies and politics in operational or intellectual ways. Ingvild’s work has been published in journals such as Global Governance and she is also the author of Individual Agency and Policy Change: The People of the United Nations (Routledge, forthcoming).

    Aiden Warren, Senior Lecturer, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University Melbourne

    Aiden Warren‘s teaching and research interests are in the areas of International Security, US national security and foreign policy, US Politics (ideas, institutions, contemporary and historical), International Relations (especially great power politics), and issues associated with Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) proliferation, non-proliferation and arms control. He has published widely on US security policy, as illustrated by his books The Obama Administration’s Nuclear Weapon Strategy (Routledge, 2013) and Prevention, Pre-emption and the Nuclear Option: From Bush to Obama (Routledge, 2011). He is also the Series Editor of the forthcoming book series with Rowman and Littlefield, New York: Studies on Weapons of Mass Destruction.



    Sebastian von Einsiedel, Director, UNU Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR)

    Sebastian von Einsiedel has been the Director of UNU-CPR since its inception in 2014. Prior to joining UNU, Sebastian served in the Policy Planning Unit of the UN Department of Political Affairs, where he was at the forefront of UN policy development since 2009. In 2013, he was also a Non-Resident Fellow with the Center on International Cooperation at New York University. He has published widely on multilateral security issues and is co-editor of two books: The UN Security Council in the 21st Century (Lynne Rienner Publishers, forthcoming) and Nepal in Transition: From People’s War to Fragile Peace (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

    Vesselin Popovski, Professor and Vice Dean, Jindal Global Law School, Jindal Global University, India, and Visiting Fellow, UNU-IAS

    Vesselin Popovski  joined Jindal Global University in 2014 and is also a Visiting Fellow at UNU-IAS. He undertakes research and postgraduate teaching and supervision in the field of international relations, peace and security, international law, human rights, international criminal justice, and governance. Vesselin wrote chapters for, and co-edited numerous books such as World Religions and Norms of War (United Nations University Press, 2009), Legality and Legitimacy in Global Affairs (Oxford University Press, 2012), and The UN Security Council as a Global Legislator (Routledge, 2014).


    UNU Library, 2F
    United Nations University

    5-53-70 Jingumae
    Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925