Evidence for Hope? Assessing the Role of the UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteurs on the Course of the Palestinian Question

Gonca Oğuz Gök


The Palestinian Question has been at the heart of the United Nations (UN) since its establishment. Yet, the “intergovernmental” mechanisms of the world organization have proven to be largely ineffective in finding a just and sustainable solution to one of the most important and intractable issues of the UN-era. In between political and diplomatic struggles, the UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteurs on Palestine are increasingly regarded as the only truly independent and expert voices as well as valuable sources of information regarding the issue. However, the special rapporteurs are one of the least studied aspects of the UN regarding the Palestinian question. Drawing highly on the social constructivist premise on the role of ideas and norms in constructing/deconstructing the legitimacy discourse in international politics, this study attempts to theoretically question and empirically analyse how the “actorness” of the special rapporteurs have the potential to affect the course of the Palestinian question. The article concludes that the mobilization of normative arguments on the Palestinian Question at the transnational level and framing the issue for collective debate supported by technical and knowledge-based legal expertise of UN Special Rapporteurs may confer a renewed legitimizing role for the United Nations.  


Palestinian Question; United Nations; Human Rights Council; Special Rapporteurs; Legitimization

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.29311/nmes.v8i2.3051


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 New Middle Eastern Studies

We use both functional and performance cookies to improve visitor experience. Continue browsing if you are happy to accept cookies. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.

New Middle Eastern Studies

ISSN: 2051-0861