Case 362 - Ousting Boutros-Ghali - The Clinton Administration and the Politics of the United Nations
This case examines the Clinton Administration's decision to deny Boutros Boutros-Ghali a second term as Secretary-General of the United Nations. Vincent A. Auger, an international relations scholar of U.S. foreign policy, international organizations, and counterterrorism, presents the important players involved, the competing interests of the administration domestically and internationally, as well as the inner workings of the United Nations and the Security Council. He also explains how the United States government used its position in the United Nations to eventually get its way.
This case study exposes the complexities of the U.S. policy process during a decade of post-Cold War global dominance in the 1990s, and the nature of the relationship between the United States and the United Nations. Crucial questions include: How did the rules and politics of the UN influence the way that U.S. officials thought about their options? How did U.S. officials build their strategy to block Boutros-Ghali, and what obstacles did they face in implementing that plan? Why did the administration ultimately resort to a unilateral strategy to achieve its goal? What role did American domestic politics and the media play in shaping the administration’s goals and strategy?