The UN Secretary-General, role expansion and narratives of representation in the 2016 campaign

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Abstract

The contribution of bureaucratic actors, such as those of the UN Secretary-General, has been a focus in the study of individuals’ contribution to international relations and the study of UN reform. In this context, role expansion has been a central concern. In January 2017 a new Secretary-General took office on the 38th floor of the United Nations, following a successful campaign to reform the selection process by increasing its transparency. Despite different campaign foci, campaign groups framed their claims for reform in the context of ‘representation’, which shaped expectations and understanding of the role and its authority. Expectations play a key role in role expansion beyond personality, leeway or institutional demand. This paper discusses the representation of states, gender and the people as referents for the SG’s role, which corresponds to campaign claims regarding regional rotation, a woman Secretary-General and greater independence for the Secretary-General.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)898-912
JournalThe British Journal of Politics and International Relations
Volume20
Issue number4
Early online date20 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

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