From San Francisco to New York: discussing “China at the United Nations”

In a context often shaped by (geo)political concerns, IDOS researchers have co-edited a special issue to be published in the journal Global Policy. They also participated in conferences in cities important in the history of the UN.

Photo: Contributors to the panel standing in front of a screen and smile

Photo: Contributors to the panel Power shifts in international organisations: China at the United Nations at the 2024 convention of the International Studies Association in San Francisco – from left to right: Cai Yiping (UC Irvine), Shin Hong Lam (UCLA), Rosemary Foot (Oxford), Steven Langendonk (KU Leuven), Zhang Xueying (Fudan), Courtney Fung (Macquarie) and Sebastian Haug (IDOS).
Copyright: ISA

One of the currently most discussed – and most controversial – topics at the United Nations is arguably China’s rise across the UN system. Together with Prof. Rosemary Foot, Dr Sebastian Haug and Dr Max-Otto Baumann have been co-editing a forthcoming special issue with the journal Global Policy on “Power shifts in international organisations: China at the United Nations”. Ahead of the publication, seven of the 17 contributing authors gathered on 4 April in San Francisco at the annual convention of the International Studies Association (ISA) to present key findings to an academic audience.

In the city where the UN Charter was signed in 1945, the special issue contributors provided insights into the evolution of Chinese funding for the UN, Chinese representation among UN staff, and China’s engagement with the UN’s peace and security, human rights and development pillars. Background conversations followed in New York City – today’s host of UN headquarters – to brief diplomats about the special issue findings and share insights with academics. Across venues, the interest expressed by audiences and lively discussions with contributors underlined the relevance of bringing systematic evidence into a debate that is often shaped by (geo)political concerns. The special issue builds on IDOS’ work on China’s engagement with the UN development pillar and will be published soon.

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