Empirical Public Economics
Edited by Attiat F. Ott and Richard J. Cebula
Chapter 18: An Analysis of the UN Security Council Veto
Nevila Kote 1 Introduction Recent events in conjunction with the US invasion of Iraq brought to the forefront the veto power issue as it is exercised by a member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), an issue which had been long overlooked. Five permanent members of the UNSC have the veto power. These members of the UN Security Council (the United States, Russian Federation – formerly known as USSR, United Kingdom, France and China) have often exercised this power in opposition to majority rule, which gave rise to dissatisfaction with the veto and a call for its abolition. Advocates for retaining the veto power have argued that its use is important in a governing structure such as the Security Council, although they admit that the way it is invoked, as well as the issue of who should have the right of veto, may have to be reexamined. This chapter provides an analysis of the use of veto power in the context of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The economic and political literature reports on both theoretical and empirical analysis of the vetoes exercised by US presidents in the federal budget process. Few studies, however, have dealt with the veto power of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. The organization of the chapter proceeds as follows: section 2 provides a brief review of the veto. Section 3 presents a survey of some of the choice models which incorporate the veto power. Section 4 spells out the theoretical...
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