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Determinants of Election to Nonpermanent Membership in the UN Security Council: A Reputational Mechanism

Yasemin İrepoğlu Carreras
University of Pittsburgh
Yasemin İrepoğlu Carreras
University of Pittsburgh
Open Panel

Abstract

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is regarded by scholars and policy makers as one of the most influential international platforms for states to play an effective role in global security. The voting behavior of states in the UNSC and the repercussions of being a non-permanent UNSC member have been analyzed extensively. However, the study of election of non-permanent members to the UNSC has been neglected. This study aims to fill this gap by analyzing the impact of a series of structural and institutional factors on election to this body. The only good predictor of election to the UNSC according to previous studies is population size. I argue that the international reputation of a country is another key predictor of election to the UNSC. I run a series of rare events logistic regressions that show that several factors that have an impact on the states’ reputation, such as the observance of human rights, contribution to the UN peacekeeping operations, and adherence to international treaties, are significantly related to the likelihood of election to the UNSC. In addition to the statistical analysis, I conduct an in-depth study of the successful case of Libya in 2007 and the failed case of Venezuela in 2006 to show how my proposed causal mechanisms work.