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Debating Syria in the Security Council: The Discursive Processes of Legitimisation and Delegitimisation of Actors Involved in the Syrian War


The dynamics of the Syrian war have been surrounded by discursive moves of delegitimisation and legitimisation of the parties involved – above all, the Syrian government. Here, on the one hand, Western countries such as France, the United Kingdom and the United States have discursively attempted to delegitimise the Syrian government and its position within the international community. On the other hand, Syria, Russia and China have discursively rejected these processes and discursively reaffirmed the Syrian government’s legitimacy as sovereign – understanding sovereignty as the nature of a legitimate government. These opposite positions gave rise to discursive clashes in the United Nations Security Council.
Keywords: Syria; war on terror; sovereignty; United Nations Security Council; legitimacy