Producing State Effects: Everyday Practices and Diplomacy in the UN Security Council

  • Niels Nagelhus Schia
Part of the Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series (RCS)


Most resolutions adopted by the Security Council are concerned with the peace operations of the UN. Council decisions generally contain intentions that have been expressed at the topmost executive level of the organization. Through UNSC resolutions, these intentions influence, guide, and impact on peacebuilding activities around the world. Consequently, in order to understand the origin of the intentions behind the resolutions adopted by the Council, it is necessary to explore what the Council does and how it actually works.

This chapter describes how the UNSC has an introspective focus, but far-reaching policy. The resolutions of the UNSC are binding. However, what occupies the delegates of the Security Council on a daily basis is very different from the everyday focus and concerns of a peacebuilder working in Liberia. Activities in the Security Council are quite distinct from those on the ground, in, for instance, Liberia. The Security Council is not a tool that can be used to solve conflicts, challenges, and problems on the ground: its main task is to reach compromises by incorporating various processes, ideals, and structural differences and providing a course for the way ahead. The informal rules of the game in the UNSC provide the Council with an inward focus while at the same time producing extensive and far-reaching policies. The distance between this level and the level where the conflicts, challenges, and problems have to be solved in practice is enormous, a huge gap. Through this chapter I trace zones where Liberian state practices are negotiated all the way back to the UNSC’s horseshoe table at UN headquarters in New York.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niels Nagelhus Schia
    • 1
  1. 1.NUPIOsloNorway

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