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Equitable Representation in the Councils of the United Nations: Theory and Application

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  • Matthew Gould
  • Matthew Rablen

Abstract

We develop a theoretical framework for equity in council voting games (CVGs). In a CVG, a fully representative voting body delegates decision-making to a subset of the members, as describes, e.g., the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Three equity concepts are proposed: ex-ante (procedural) equity, ex-post (outcome) equity and regional equity. The last two concepts are consistent with a new square-root rule on the probability of council membership, but no CVG can meet all three concepts. We apply our framework to evaluate the equitability of the UNSC, and the claims of those who seek to reform it.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4519.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4519

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Keywords: United Nations Security Council; United Nations; voting power; councils; square-root rule; equity;

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References

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  1. Freixas, Josep, 2012. "Probabilistic power indices for voting rules with abstention," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 89-99.
  2. Axel Dreher & Matthew Gould & Matthew D. Rablen & James Raymond Vreeland, 2012. "The Determinants of Election to the United Nations Security Council," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 12-09, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  3. Dan S Felsenthal & Moshé Machover, 2004. "Analysis of QM rules in the draft constitution for Europe proposed by the European Convention, 2003," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 1-20, 08.
  4. Madeleine Hosli & Rebecca Moody & Bryan O’Donovan & Serguei Kaniovski & Anna Little, 2011. "Squaring the circle? Collective and distributive effects of United Nations Security Council reform," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 163-187, July.
  5. Laruelle, Annick & Widgren, Mika, 1996. "Is the allocation of voting power among EU states fair?," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1996022, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  6. Manno, Catherine Senf, 1966. "Selective Weighted Voting in the UN General Assembly: Rationale and Methods," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(01), pages 37-62, December.
  7. Josep Freixas & William S. Zwicker, 2003. "Weighted voting, abstention, and multiple levels of approval," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 399-431, December.
  8. Moshé Machover & Dan S. Felsenthal, 2001. "The Treaty of Nice and qualified majority voting," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 431-464.
  9. Iain McLean & Alistair McMillan & Dennis Leech, 2005. "Duverger's Law, Penrose's Power Index and the Unity of the UK," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 53, pages 457-476, October.
  10. Napel, Stefan & Widgren, Mika, 2004. "The Inter-institutional Distribution of Power in EU Codecision," Discussion Papers 944, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
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Cited by:
  1. Matthew Gould & Matthew D. Rablen, 2014. "Reform of the United Nations Security Council: Equity and Efficiency," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 14-01, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.

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