Department of Political Science

The Bear in the Room: Russia’s Role in the United Nations Security Council (and How to Deal with It)

Project: Research

See relations at Aarhus University

Description

Multilateralism has come under pressure in the past few years. Russia in particular has emerged as a main challenger and spoiler of the rules-based international order (USS, 2022: 16). This is evident in Russia’s voting behavior at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), where it is frequently using its veto prerogative as one of the five permanent members to block decisions. Most recently, Russia predictably vetoed a UNSC resolution condemning its aggression towards Ukraine. Ahead of Denmark’s prospective UNSC membership, this project aims to examine Russia’s diplomatic activities and practices at the world body. Based on this analysis, it explores opportunities and constraints from a small state perspective of how to deal effectively with Russia in the UNSC. Specifically, it investigates three strategies: (1) Pragmatist deal making, which refers to an approach of combining a low-key stance on matters involving great power rivalry with cooperative engagement on issues such peacekeeping, aid programs, and humanitarian disaster relief. (2) Isolation, which refers to an approach of close coordination with other Western council members to insulate Russia. (3) Bridge building, which refers to an approach of using formal and informal practices at the council to overcome Russia-Western divisions (where possible) at a time of heightened tensions. The project discusses the benefits and pitfalls of each strategy, aiming to identify the conditions under which one or the other approach are most likely to be successful. By highlighting the opportunities and challenges of each strategy, the project provides hands-on recommendations to assist Denmark in fulfilling its commitment to safeguard an international order based on rules and right (USS, 2022: 11).
Short titleThe Bear in the Room
AcronymBEAR
StatusNot started
Effective start/end date01/08/202231/12/2022

ID: 265725091