Equitable representation in councils: theory and an application to the United Nations Security Council

Gould, M. and Rablen, M.D. 2016. Equitable representation in councils: theory and an application to the United Nations Security Council. Public Choice. 169 (1), pp. 19-51. doi:10.1007/s11127-016-0368-x

TitleEquitable representation in councils: theory and an application to the United Nations Security Council
AuthorsGould, M. and Rablen, M.D.
Abstract

We analyze democratic equity in council voting games (CVGs). In a CVG, a voting body containing all members delegates decision-making to a (time-varying) subset of its members, as describes, e.g., the relationship between the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). We develop a theoretical framework for analyzing democratic equitability in CVGs at both the country and region levels, and for different assumptions regarding preference correlation. We apply the framework to evaluate the equitability of the UNSC, and the claims of those who seek to reform it. We find that the individual permanent members are overrepresented by between 21.3 times (United Kingdom) and 3.8 times (China) from a country-level perspective, while from a region perspective Eastern Europe is the most heavily overrepresented region with more than twice its equitable representation, and Africa the most heavily underrepresented. Our equity measures do not preclude some UNSC members from exercising veto rights, however.

JournalPublic Choice
Journal citation169 (1), pp. 19-51
ISSN0048-5829
Year2016
PublisherSpringer
Publisher's version
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1007/s11127-016-0368-x
Publication dates
Published13 Sep 2016
Published online13 Sep 2016
LicenseCC BY 4.0

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