A. J. R. Groom
Professor Emeritus of International Relations, University of Kent


John Groom of the University of Kent discusses the popular question of United Nations Security Council reform. For Groom, efforts aimed at reform can be envisioned as part of a much broader multifaceted project, where considerations of organizational dynamics, understandings of power relations, and relationships of inclusion and exclusion must be emphasized. In fact, suggestions of reform necessitate the weighing of different values. Is reform to be thought of, for example, in terms of the potential for collective security action and the projection of military force, or in terms of political representation and the settling of disputes? Groom encourages one to consider the historical foundations of reform, pointing to the implications of sometimes forgotten changes such as the role of concurring votes, and the institutionalization of complex peacekeeping operations. For Groom, one must also recognize the opportunities associated with the expansion of non-voting participation. Perhaps, the notion of quasi-permanent membership represents a valuable balancing feature. This leads Groom to suggest that the question of reform must not be separated from the complementary question of usage. For what underlying purposes does one perceive reform as being necessitated?

Works by Dr. A.J.R. Groom

  • Groom, A.J.R.  (2007). The Security Council: A Case for Change by Stealth?. In Vincent Chetail (Ed.), Conflicts, Security and Cooperation. Brussels: Bruylant.

Additional Resources

  • Blum, Yehuda Z.  (2005).  Proposals for UN Security Council Reform.  American Journal of International Law 99 (3), 637-649.
  • Bourantonis, Dimitris.  (2005).  The History of Politics of UN Security Council Reform.  London: Routledge.
  • Bruemmer, Emily.  (2006).  Join the Club: Japan’s Security Council Bid.  Harvard International Review 28 (2), 32-36.
  • Burns, Patrick.  (2009).  The Never-ending Effort for Security Council reform. http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/article.aspx?id=4387
  • Chapnick, Adam.  (2005).  Reforming the Security Council: What goes around, comes around.  Policy Options/Options Politiques 26 (7), 21-24.
  • Chapnick, Adam.  (2006).  UN Security Council reform and Canadian foreign  policy: Then and now.  Canadian Foreign Policy 13 (1), 81-99.
  • Heinbecker, Paul and Patricia Goff (Eds.).  (2005).  Irrelevant or indispensable?  The United Nations in the twenty-first century.  Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
  • Imber, Mark.  (2006).  The reform of the UN Security Council.  International Relations 20 (3), 328-334.
  • Krasno, Jean.  (2006).  Legitimacy, representation, and accountability: A proposal for UN Security Council reform.  Yale Journal of International Affairs 1 (2), 93-100.
  • Langmore, John.  (2008).  A step towards Security Council reformhttp://www.globalcollab.org/Nautilus/australia/apsnet/policy-forum/2008/langmore-UNSC/
  • Malik, J. Mohan.  (2005).  Security Council reform: China signals its veto.  World Policy Journal 22 (1), 19-29.
  • Malone, David (Ed.).  (2004).  The UN Security Council: From the Cold War to the 21st century.  Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc.
  • Okouma, Ghislain Ondias.  (2009).  Security Council reform: A transitional approach http://www.un.org/Pubs/chronicle/2007/webArticles/120307_security_council_reform.html
  • Price, Gareth.  (2005).  UN reform: Security Council: Top table trouble.  The World Today 61 (8-9), 8-9.
  • Slaughter, Anne-Marie.  (2006, May).  A new U.N. for a new century.  Fordham Law Review 74 (6), 2961-2970.
  • Thakur, Ramesh.  (2004).  United Nations Security Council Reform. http://www.iss.co.za/pubs/ASR/13N03/EThakur.htm
  • Thakur, Ramesh.  (2009).  Time for system upgradehttp://www.cigionline.org/articles/2009/07/time-system-upgrade
  • The New York Times.  (2009).  Times topics: Security Councilhttp://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/organizations/s/security_council/index.htmlRecorded August 2009