GOV_298_10 - The Political Economy of the UN Security...

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The Political Economy of the UN Security Council Presentation by James Raymond Vreeland Georgetown University Co-authors: Axel Dreher & Jan-Egbert Sturm (ETH)
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UNSC IMF World Bank IMF/WB project in Ghana
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The question: To gain leverage over one international institution can a country use its power in another international institution?
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Yes. Why? The US and other powerful countries, who virtually control the IMF & World Bank, care about how the UNSC votes.
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Plan What is the UNSC? What is the IMF/World Bank? Evidence Anecdotes Large-n The book project
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What is the UNSC? 5 permanent members with veto power 10 elected members (2 year term - limited) Nominated by regional caucus, elected by GA Africa (3), Asia (2), Latin America (2), Eastern Europe (1), Western Europe+ (2) Decisions (open ballot) require 9 votes (5+4) UNSC votes on UN military action against aggressors Elected members of the UNSC potentially will vote on matters of extreme international importance.
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Accountability, the UNSC, Probability of reelection Accountability Criteria are too high! Criteria are too low!
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Importance of UNSC temporary members to the US average US aid increases 54% average UNDP aid increases 7% Particularly through UNICEF where the US provides their largest-share contributions
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Why bribe/reward votes? Voting power? Unlikely- O’Neill (1996) shows total voting power of non-permanent members is <2%. Supermajority? Vote-buying literature shows that over-sized coalitions tend to be established. Pursuing unilateral action is more expensive than buying insurance votes. Legitimacy There is a premium for getting (near) unanimous votes to win domestic public support (Voeten). Chapman & Reiter (2004) find UNSC support significantly increases the rally behind the president by as many as 9 points in presidential approval & the effect is unique among international institutions other actions by the UN or regional security organizations do not significantly affect rallies. Regional influence Informational role of committees Legitimacy in the region may come from access
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Enter the IMF & the World Bank
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Involved with developing countries through “programs”: loans+conditions. Influence over decisions pegged to economic size. Growing evidence that the major shareholders use their influence for political reasons (e.g. Stone, Reynaud, Momani, Kilby). Especially when they agree (Copelovitch).
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IFI arrangements are a joint decision Recipient governments negotiate with the IFIs – business as usual – but when on the UNSC can negotiate for better terms. Why use IFIs to influence the UNSC?
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This note was uploaded on 01/16/2012 for the course GOVT 298 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '10 term at Georgetown.

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GOV_298_10 - The Political Economy of the UN Security...

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