In the United Nations as in other political organizations elective offices are eagerly sought as badges of prestige and levers of influence. Some of the most hotly contested political battles in the United Nations have centred around elections to the prestigious and influential nonpermanent seats on the Security Council. Contests have sometimes run to many ballots before any country emerged with the required two-thirds majority, and deadlock has more than once forced a compromise in which the two-year term was divided between two contenders. Indicative of the feeling sometimes aroused was Indonesia's withdrawal from the United Nations in 1965 which, although prompted by other motives as well, was timed to serve as a protest against the seating of Malaysia on the Security Council. Contests for other positions are generally less spirited, but there are invariably more office seekers than offices.
Studying for the doctorate in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota. This study was supported in part by a grant from the Office of International Programs of the University of Minnesota