A priori voting power distribution under contemporary Security Council reform proposals

  • Alexandru Volacu
Original Article


This paper analyses the distribution of a priori voting power of states and regional groups within the UN Security Council, under the most salient reform proposals of the past decade. The results obtained show that moderate proposals, which do not seek to expand veto rights, generally yield a higher voting power share for non-veto states in the Council (both individually and collectively), at the expense of veto states, but they do not alter the geographical distribution of voting power significantly. By contrast, the more radical proposals, which seek to expand veto rights, yield a more balanced regional representation, but have the adverse effect of concentrating voting power almost entirely in the hands of the small number of states with veto rights, with non-veto states holding cumulatively less than 2 per cent of all voting power shares in the Security Council under the Normalized Banzhaf index and less than 0.01 per cent under the Shapley-Shubik index.


reform proposals security council voting power voting power indices voting rules 



The author would like to thank the audience at the 23rd IPSA World Congress of Political Science, 19–24 July, 2014, Montreal, Canada, where an earlier draft of this paper was presented, and three anonymous reviewers for comments. He is also grateful to Robert Leech for providing him with the programmes used in computing voting power indices.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National School of Political and Administrative StudiesBucharestRomania

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