The split term of the 2017–2018 non-permanent membership on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) between Italy and the Netherlands was not unprecedented but was nevertheless a puzzling instance of states deciding to invest significant resources, time, and effort in return for a seat at the table. Unpersuaded that materialist accounts can provide the full picture, this Capstone adopts a constructivist approach and poses the following question: How did the Netherlands engage in status-seeking during the elections of non-permanent members to the UNSC in 2016 and its one-year term on the Council in 2018? The Capstone synthesises the literature on Social Identity Theory, system-maintaining diplomacy, and niche diplomacy and analyses primary sources, such as an interview with the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Bert Koenders, UNSC minutes, briefings, reports, and Dutch government letters. The project found empirical evidence which strongly suggests that the Netherlands engaged in status-seeking by (1) utilising its ad hoc alliance with Italy; (2) by acting as a “good” state that actively contributes to the maintenance of the international society; and (3) by setting water security on the agenda of the UNSC as a way of conducting niche diplomacy. The Capstone concludes that, overall, the Netherlands received recognition from the international community of its status-seeking attempts but it must be careful that its future actions do not undermine the hard-earned boost in the social hierarchy of states.
Status-Seeking At The United Nations Security Council: A Case Study of The Netherlands in 2016-2018 by Anna-Liisa Merilind is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0