Exploring the Effective Authority of International Administrations from the League of Nations to the United Nations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Colleges, School and Institutes


This article analyses the concept of international administration by a multilateral organization through the lens of the effective authority of example missions, arguing that the United Nations Interim Administration of Kosovo (UNMIK) and the United Nations Transitional Administration of East Timor (UNTAET) are very specific and distinct attempts at statebuilding. The article’s main argument is that the two most-cited cases in the interwar years – the Saar Territory and the Free City of Danzig, as well as the international administration of West New Guinea by the United Nation (UN) – while presenting interesting parallels with and providing useful insights into the challenges faced by the contemporary international administrations of Kosovo and Timor-Leste, are in fact drastically different endeavours in terms of the effective authority exerted on the ground. The article builds on this special section’s contribution on authority building, analysing the five international administrations through the prism of claimed, recognized, and exercised authority.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-489
JournalJournal of Intervention and Statebuilding
Issue number4
Early online date1 Nov 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Nov 2017


  • peacekeeping, statebuilding, Kosovo, Timor-Leste, legitimacy, Saar Territory, Free City of Danzig, West New Guinea