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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences (BGSS)

Nicolas Scharioth

Nicolas Scharioth
BGSS Alumni 2004
scharioth (at) pollion.com
Web Adresse

BGSS Membership

2004 - 2009


Current Occupation

Founder of Pollion - The Smartphone App for Research


Dissertation Topic

Western Democracies in the UN: Who Gets Elected and Why - A Quantitative Examination of Elections to United Nations Councils and Committees



This dissertation examines the membership distribution of Western democracies in internal boards, councils, committees and commissions of the United Nations in the years between 1990 and 2006. The relative electoral success of 21 democratic states in these committee elections is analysed to test three competing international relations hypotheses, neorealism, institutionalism, and liberalism. The resulting panel regression analysis finds that for the time frame a neorealist variable attributable to military, economic and diplomatic power is best at explaining the observed variance. In comparison to an institutionalist variable arguing for a situation-specific account in the United Nations it is more important by a factor of about 3.5. In the immediate short-term, no theory-based variable revealed statistical significance - except for incumbency which was shown to have a substantial role. No statistical significance could also be found for liberal variables connected to the attractiveness and reputation of a state to influence committee membership distributions.



A full version of the dissertation's statistical appendix can be found here.

An updated Excel-dataset containing the electoral and membership data of 24 United Nations subsidiary bodies (including the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Commission on Human Rights and many others) can be accessed here.