Interaction and Negotiation in a Committee of the United Nations General Assembly

  • Chadwick F. AlgerEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs on Pioneers in Science and Practice book series (BRIEFSPIONEER, volume 7)


The careful observer of main committees of the General Assembly, and other public United Nations bodies as well, soon becomes aware that two kinds of activity are taking place simultaneously before his eyes. There is a continuous flow of public debate heard by all in the room, and there are frequent private conversations between two or more delegates that are heard only by those involved. Delegates are seated at two long horseshoe desks, one placed inside the other. Conversations may be carried on by delegates seated next to each other. They also move around the chamber, sometimes sitting down behind another delegate to talk and at other times standing and talking with others who also are circulating. An observer in the press gallery, after he learns to recognize the participants, can make a record of who talks to whom, who initiates the interaction, and how long they talk. Such a record was kept during 18 of the 22 meetings of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary Committee) during the Fourth Special Session of the General Assembly in May and June 1963. This paper will be devoted primarily to an analysis of the 1,752 interactions observed during the 18 meetings.


Public Debate Special Session Nation Rank Legislative Process Little Develop Country 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science and Mershon CenterThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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