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

Author

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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Gould & Matthew Rablen, 2013. "Equitable Representation in the Councils of the United Nations: Theory and Application," CESifo Working Paper Series 4519, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4519
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp4519.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Axel Dreher & Matthew Gould & Matthew Rablen & James Vreeland, 2014. "The determinants of election to the United Nations Security Council," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 51-83, January.
    2. 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.
    3. Laruelle, Annick & Widgren, Mika, 1998. "Is the Allocation of Voting Power among EU States Fair?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(3-4), pages 317-339, March.
    4. Stefan Napel & Mika Widgrén, 2006. "The Inter-Institutional Distribution of Power in EU Codecision," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 27(1), pages 129-154, August.
    5. Moshé Machover & Dan S. Felsenthal, 2001. "The Treaty of Nice and qualified majority voting," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 18(3), pages 431-464.
    6. Freixas, Josep, 2012. "Probabilistic power indices for voting rules with abstention," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 89-99.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:48:y:1954:i:03:p:787-792_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. 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.
    9. 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;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 23(1), pages 1-20, August.
    10. Leech, Dennis, 2002. "Voting Power In The Governance Of The International Monetary Fund," Economic Research Papers 269354, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    11. 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.
    12. Josep Freixas & William S. Zwicker, 2003. "Weighted voting, abstention, and multiple levels of approval," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 21(3), pages 399-431, December.
    13. Loosemore, John & Hanby, Victor J., 1971. "The Theoretical Limits of Maximum Distortion: Some Analytic Expressions for Electoral Systems," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(04), pages 467-477, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthew Gould & Matthew D. Rablen, 2017. "Reform of the United Nations Security Council: equity and efficiency," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 173(1), pages 145-168, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques

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