The ACUNS Series on the UN System

Stephen Browne, UN Reform: 75 Years of Challenge and Change (Edward Elgar, 2019).


Over three-quarters of a century, the UN has been impacted by major changes in the balance of powers among its member states. This unique and insightful book offers detailed commentary on its historic effectiveness and reviews the capacity of the UN to reform and adapt to global challenges. This book constitutes a judgement on the overwhelming importance as well as the vulnerability of multilateralism at a time when the UN has never been more indispensable.

This book describes:
• How autocracy in the US, China and Russia constrains the UN

• Why North-South politics has been a constant feature of intergovernmental debate

• How the UN development system became an extended patronage system

• What the UN learnt from its peacekeeping failures, and how it continues to adapt

• Four areas of needed and feasible reform to restore UN credibility

This impressive book will be vital to the staff of permanent missions of member governments to the UN, as well as UN secretariat staff. It will also benefit researchers exploring international organizations and the staff of development NGOs, as well as a broader audience of those interested in UN and global politics.

About the Author
Stephen Browne is Founder and co-director of Future United Nations Development System (FUNDS) project, Senior Fellow at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, Graduate Center, City University of New York, US. He is also a Visiting lecturer on the UN and global governance, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland.