Institutional Constraints and Institutional Tensions in the Reform of the UN Security Council

  • Charlotta Friedner Parrat
Part of the Palgrave Studies in International Relations book series (PSIR)


This chapter discusses how international organizations affect change and continuity of primary institutions. It conceptualises primary institutions as fundamentally flexible over time, although subject to locking-in as well as to emergence in international organizations. Primary institutions are practice-based and therefore evolving continuously, but international organizations are formally negotiated between states and so are notoriously difficult to change. This leads to constant tensions between practice and rules, and sometimes to calls for reform. This claim is illustrated by examples from the UN Security Council. The conclusion to draw is that international organizations are neither window-dressing of international affairs nor necessarily pushers for change. Rather, they contribute to stabilising an otherwise fluid institutional order.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charlotta Friedner Parrat
    • 1
  1. 1.Uppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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