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The league of legends : an exploratory public service bargain analysis of United Nations secretaries-general Lin, Jungroan


This paper attempts to explain the variation in leadership style among United Nations Secretaries-General. In doing so, I co-opt the typology of public service bargains (PSB), traditionally used to understand the behavior of public servants acting on behalf of their political masters. I frame the Secretary-General as an international public servant, working as the agent of the five permanent members of the Security Council. The historical PSB analysis of Secretaries-General demonstrates that the clear majority of Secretaries must possess diplomatic competencies in order to manage their multiple principals on the Security Council who often have clashing interests. However, Secretaries-General are increasingly found to need administrative prowess in the face of financial strain within the United Nations and pressure from members states for reform. Further, breakdowns in the bargain are identified, which lead to misplaced blame on the Secretary-General.

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