The end of the Cold War led to great optimism about the future capacity of the UN to regulate inter-state relations (Berdal 2003: 9; Barnett 2010: 21; Chesterman 2011: 2). With the end of the ‘Superpower Standoff’ – which had severely restricted the ability of the Security Council to enforce the vast corpus of international laws ratified since 1945 – we had, according to Geoffrey Robertson, entered ‘the age of enforcement’ (2000: xvii). Indeed, the ‘happy nineties’ (Kaldor 2003: 149) appeared to some to evidence the growing dominance of international law over traditional realpolitik; indicatively, Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2000 presented a very favorable analysis of the international community’s ‘new willingness’ to uphold international law, and heralded ‘a new era for the human rights movement’ (Human Rights Watch 2000).
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