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Politics and Process at the United Nations: The Global Dance

Courtney B. Smith
Politics and Process at the United Nations: The Global Dance
ISBN: 978-1-58826-323-0
$60.00
ISBN: 978-1-58826-348-3
$27.50
ISBN: 978-1-62637-516-1
$27.50
2005/334 pages/LC: 2005011004

"A very well-written and informative account of the complex political processes of the UN."—Torunn L. Tryggestad, Journal of Peace Research

"Smith offers students countless insights into how the United Nations in New York actually works.... [His] attention to informal as well as formal decision-making processes is particularly useful ... as are his discussions of negotiating strategies."—Michael Schechter, International Studies Review

"This is the finest book on UN decision making in print today.... A comprehensive and articulate treatment of the internal politics of the UN system.... Essential. General readers, lower-division undergraduates through practitioners."—Choice

"This comprehensive guide to UN process provides a succinct but authoritative expose that is refreshingly informative.... Well written and resource-rich."—UN21 Newsletter, ASIL

"An essential companion read for any course on international organizations.... Smith provides a clear view of both the written and the unwritten rules of political processes at the UN, as he effectively weaves the intricate details of consensus-building mechanisms and procedures into a broader understanding of world politics."—Alynna Lyon, University of New Hampshire

"This is the most comprehensive introduction to the politics and processes of the United Nations that I have read."—Kenneth A. Rodman, Colby College

DESCRIPTION

How does the United Nations actually work? How does it reconcile the diverse interests of 191 sovereign member states—plus those of the multinational corporations that lobby it, the numerous NGOs with which it interacts, and the enormous international secretariat that services it—in the search for effective solutions to the myriad problems it confronts daily? Politics and Process at the United Nations answers these questions, providing a vivid picture of the dynamic interaction between actors and institutional structures.

Drawing readers into the "global dance" that takes place at UN headquarters, Courtney Smith introduces the various members of the troupe and explains the procedures and processes that make up the movements of the dance. He also addresses an often neglected core issue: do UN decisions really matter? The result is an unusual book, valuable both for scholars and for students in UN and IO courses.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Courtney Smith is associate professor in the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University.

CONTENTS

  • Introduction to the Global Dance.
  • MEMBERS OF THE TROUPE: ACTORS AT THE UNITED NATIONS.
  • Member States and Delegates.
  • Groups and Blocs.
  • The Secretariat and the Secretary-General.
  • Civil Society and the Private Sector.
  • THE MOVEMENTS OF THE DANCE: PROCEDURES AND PROCESSES.
  • Formal Arenas: The Structures of Decisionmaking.
  • Decision Rules and Parliamentary Procedures.
  • Informal Networking: The Personal Side.
  • Strategies of Influence: Positional, Personal, and Procedural.
  • IMPLICATIONS OF THE DANCE.
  • The United Nations and State Compliance.