In 1953 Dag Hammarskjöld assumed the office of UN Secretary General. At that time a little-known Swedish academic and bureaucrat, he was to become a model of global leadership. Sixty years later it seems fitting to reflect on the nature and conditions of leadership in global governance. Upon his arrival in New York on 9 April, 1953, Dag Hammarskjöld himself compared leadership to mountaineering, one of his favorite pastimes. Both, he said to the assembled press, require “perseverance and patience, a firm grip on realities, careful but imaginative planning, a clear awareness of the dangers but also of the fact that fate is what we make it and that the safest climber is he who never questions his ability to overcome all difficulties.” Scholars since then have analyzed leadership in the international arena from different perspectives.
We know that leadership may be provided by individuals or groups representing international organizations, states or civil society, but we know less about the conditions under which leading figures emerge and acquire followers. We know that leadership does not necessarily follow official offices and may take several different forms. Distinctions have been made, for example, between structural, entrepreneurial, and intellectual leadership; or between inspirational, procedural, and substantive leadership. Other typologies distinguish between “crusaders,” “salesmen,” “agents” and “fire fighters.” Yet, how these various aspects of leadership are combined, or fail to materialize, in response to different global governance problems needs further study.
The 2013 ACUNS Annual Meeting offers an opportunity for scholars and practitioners to address a number of questions concerning leadership in global governance: To what extent and under what circumstances can the United Nations and other international organizations provide leadership? Can national and international leadership be combined in today’s world? What can we learn from past experiences, and what are the prospects for the future? How do technological developments and new media affect the possibilities of global leadership? Does academia have a role in global leadership? You are invited to discuss these, and many other challenging issues, at the 2013 ACUNS Annual Meeting.
Hans Corell was Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and the Legal Counsel of the United Nations from March 1994 to March 2004. From 1962 to 1972, he served in the Swedish judiciary. In 1972, he joined the Ministry of Justice where he became Director of the Division for Administrative and Constitutional Law in 1979. In 1981, he was appointed Chief Legal Officer of the Ministry. He was Ambassador and Under-Secretary for Legal and Consular Affairs in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs from 1984 to 1994. Since his retirement from public service in 2004 he is engaged in many different activities in the legal field, inter alia as legal adviser, lecturer, and member of different boards. Among other engagements, he is involved in the work of the International Bar Association, the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis University and the Hague Institute for the Internationalization of Law. He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Lund University, Sweden, from 2006-2012.