The UNSC and the Shift in Global Power

Judy Dempsey offers a typically insightful piece on the challenges facing the EU at the U.N. these days. Ironically, Dempsey pivots off of Germany's election as a non-permanent member of the council, whereas the real news of this year's batch of non-permanent members is the presence of India and South Africa. With Brazil already there from last year, that means the council will now include all the member states of IBSA and BRIC, with Turkey thrown in for good measure.

We already got a taste this spring of what an alternative emerging powers line at the UNSC could look like with the Brazil-Turkey vote against sanctions on Iran. In some ways that was an exceptional case, since their vote resulted in part from resentment over the U.S. rejection of their joint diplomatic effort to try to avert those sanctions.

But in other ways, it was illustrative of several more general realities. First of all, it revealed the ways in which the rules of the global governance game are clearly stacked against the possibility of emerging powers increasing their influence by force, rather than persuasion. In other words, in a direct confrontation with the status quo powers, there is little chance they will come out on top.

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