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Transformation of the OSCE legal status


Steinbrück Platise,  Mateja
Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Max Planck Society;

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Steinbrück Platise, M. (2018). Transformation of the OSCE legal status. MPIL Research Paper Series, 2018-23. doi:10.2139/ssrn.3248991.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-E5DC-3
The concluding paper of the volume on the legal framework of the OSCE (forthcoming in Steinbrück Platise/Moser/Peters (eds), The Legal Framework of the OSCE, Cambridge University Press) brings together some of the main empirical and theoretical insights of the research project which has been conducted by lawyers and political scientists, scholars and practitioners, politicians and international civil servants. The variety of contributions results in a diversified yet nuanced analysis of the legal status of the OSCE, a prime example of an informal international organisation. The paper examines their contrasting results as well as their common features and structures along three themes. First, the paper contrasts different roles that the authors ascribe to the OSCE, ranging from a Cold War instrument over an informal mode of governance to a global governance actor in its own right. Second, it analyses the transformation of relevant interests of different actors (states, the OSCE bodies themselves, and governed individuals) which took place since the inception of the Conference/Organization. Third, the paper demonstrates that the competing reform proposals for strengthening the OSCE legal framework manifest divergent underlying ideas about the role and functioning of international organisations, both in the political and the legal dimension. The paper concludes that the debate on the reform of the OSCE’s legal framework should acknowledge the interdependence of effectiveness and legitimacy of the OSCE as a global governance actor and that an OSCE ‘constitution’ would not only empower the OSCE but also render it more accountable.