Elected member influence in the United Nations Security Council

Jeremy Farrall, Marie-Eve Loiselle, Christopher Michaelsen, Jochen Prantl, Jeni Whalan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This article reassesses how members of the UN Security Council exercise influence over the Council’s decision-making process, with particular focus on the ten elected members (the E10). A common understanding of Security Council dynamics accords predominance to the five permanent members (the P5), suggesting bleak prospects for the Council as a forum that promotes the voices and representation of the 188 non-permanent members. The assumption is that real power rests with the P5, while the E10 are there to make up the numbers. By articulating a richer account of Council dynamics, this article contests the conventional wisdom that P5 centrality crowds out space for the E10 to influence Council decision-making. It also shows that opportunities for influencing Council decision-making go beyond stints of elected membership. It argues that the assumed centrality of the P5 on the Council thus needs to be qualified and re-evaluated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-115
Number of pages15
JournalLeiden Journal of International Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • decision-making
  • elected members' influence
  • reform
  • UN Security Council
  • decsion-making


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