Building: VMP 5 Floor: Ground Room: 029
Despite the attention given to international civil service in the early years of the United Nations (Langrod 1963, Reymond 1967, Meron 1976), international civil servants seem currently “invisible” in the academic literature (Yi-Chong and Weller 2008) despite the fact that many scholars advance that « people matter » (Weiss 2010). Some recent empirical studies have addressed some UN staff-related issues such as the values of international civil servants (Anderfuhren-Biget, Häfliger, and Hug 2013), the conflicts of interests they may experience (Mele, Anderfurhen-Biget, and Varone 2015) and their attitudes towards management reforms (Bauer and Knill 2007). However, knowledge about international civil servants as a corps remains scarce.
In comparison we know a lot more about European bureaucrats in terms of socialization experiences (Hooghe 2005, Checkel 2005, Beyers 2005), professional skills (Georgakakis and Weisbein 2010, Georgakakis 2010) and attitudes and behaviours (Egeberg 1999, 2006). Overall it is argued that we need to bring people back into the study of international bureuacracies and focus on individuals within the organizations in order to advance scientific knowledge of organizations at a whole.
The objective of this panel is thus to discuss what we know about the international civil service and also to provide new theoretical and methodological perspectives pertaining to the study of UN staff. We define « UN staff » in a broad manner as people working for the UN, internationally recruited or not, in the field or at headquarters.