Accepted Paper:

Extensive policies, inward focus - 'going native' in the United Nations Security Council  


Niels Nagelhus Schia (NUPI)

Paper Short Abstract:

Anthropology of politics, Practice theory, International organizations, Knowledge production, Diplomacy, Power, UN Security Council

Paper long abstract:

How do small states behave once they have a seat at the table? In this article, I describe how one small state - Norway - operated when it was a member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in 2001-2002. From my anthropological fieldwork in this period, I present a substantive, institutional, and methodological argument: substantively, that Norwegian diplomats at the Council were caught in a bind between representing national interests, on the one hand, and being 'team players' vis-à-vis the permanent members, on the other; institutionally, that organizational design shapes political decisions in significant and often unexpected ways; in terms of theory and method, that even in a highly formalized diplomatic setting like the UNSC, informal processes are central to understanding how states operate, as well as how the Council functions.

Panel P01
Anthropology, diplomacy and politics