Accepted Paper:

Life and work in UN headquarters: Analyzing narrations of early career professionals   

Author:

Linda Martina Mülli (University of Basel)

Paper short abstract:

This paper addresses the interdependence of careers and biographies of early career professionals employed in the UN headquarters in Geneva and Vienna through the analysis of their narrations and strategies of self-positioning.

Paper long abstract:

This paper addresses the interdependence of work and career related factors with individual biographic circumstances of early career professionals employed in the two European headquarters of the United Nations located in Geneva and Vienna. In view of highly competitive assessment processes of the UN system, it explores aims and strategies of mobile highly skilled individuals who seek to establish themselves as international civil servants.

Through the analysis of the informants' narrations and strategies of self-positioning within the UN system in particular and the field of international life and work context in general, this paper aims to understand international civil servants both as individuals and as agents of a large bureaucracy. The research study this paper is based on ultimately seeks to describe what could be grasped under the notion of 'habitus of transnational life and work'.

Panel Work02
Transnationalism and work-life (im)mobilites in the UN system and beyond