Back to All Events

Middle Powers and the United Nations: Niche Agency or No Agency?

  • The Diplomacy Room, McQuaid Hall, Seton Hall University (map)

In debates on the UN, attention is typically focused on instances where the organization has failed, either because of tensions between the permanent members in the Security Council, or because it has failed to adequately respond to prevent famine, genocide, or other humanitarian disasters. However, the UN is more than its failures and its most prominent body. It is a bureaucracy in which states seek to have agency: where they seek to guide and take ownership of a particular international agenda. Yet, within the academic debates on this aspect of the UN, the issue of agency of middle powers is underdeveloped. 

This presentation seeks to fill that that gap by assessing why states contribute to the effective running of the UN, and why they send peacekeepers or other personnel to make the organization tick.  In contrast to many studies of middle power that focus on Western countries like Australia and Canada, this study analyses the role of Asian middle powers, particularly Indonesia and Malaysia.

This event is hosted by: NYSEAN, Center for Emerging Powers and Transnational Trends, and The Center for UN and Global Governance Studies.