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Authors: Bernard, Brian
Advisors: Gowa, Joanne
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: The U.N. Security Council (UNSC) is the main body of the United Nations charged with maintaining international peace and security. Ten of its fifteen seats are held by temporary members that serve two-year terms, and five seats are held by permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States). Substantial evidence in the literature suggests that these temporary members of the UNSC receive side payments in exchange for votes. Most of these studies limit their scope to foreign aid, however, and few explore other means by which permanent UNSC members may provide economic benefits to temporary UNSC members. Expanding upon existing literature, this thesis investigates whether temporary UNSC members engage in more bilateral trade with permanent UNSC members and, if the relationship is positive, whether these patterns of increased bilateral trade are consistent with votebuying. I use a panel data set of 727,562 observations between 1946 and 2004 and a gravity model of trade for my analyses. My findings are mostly consistent with the literature: I find that temporary members trade 20% more with permanent members on the UNSC than do UNSC nonmembers. Furthermore, this effect is even greater during years in which key diplomatic events occur and when the permanent-temporary member dyad shares a defense pact. Lastly, the timing of these increases in trade mirror the election to, serving on, and exit from the UNSC; in fact, I estimate trade dips below ex ante levels when a country finishes its two-year tenure on the council. I also find reliable evidence that the Cold War increased permanent-temporary member trade. Overall, these results emphasize the importance of political factors that influence trade and indicate that scholars may have underestimated the ways in which countries exchange economic benefits for political support in international institutions.
Extent: 101 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2016

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