Date: Tuesday, 11 October, 2016 – 12:30

Location: UN Library – UNOG (Geneva)

Valentina Mele (Bocconi University) and Simon Anderfuhren-Biget (University of Geneva), co-authors of the article that was prized in 2015 with the International Geneva Award will present the key finds of their research and discuss the topic with representatives of UNOG. The seminar is organised in collaboration with the UN Library.

The independence of international civil servants (ICSs) from their country of origin is often presumed but rarely accounted for empirically. A peer-reviewed article published in June 2016 in the journal “Public Administration” addresses this gap. The authors* investigate whether ICSs face conflicts between national and international interests and which conditions are more conducive to the manifestation of this conflict in international organisations. The findings show that such conflicts matter for ICSs and that hierarchical grade has stronger explanatory power than the other factors. The higher the level in the international organisation, the less frequently ICSs face conflicts. The qualitative analysis explains these results by pointing to the effects of socialization among ICSs but also by shedding light on a related effect: dilution of national identity, as well as on the implications of locally recruiting lower-level staff.

Introductory Remarks
Bernhard Fuhrer, Director, Swiss Network for International Studies

Presentation of the Research and Key Findings
Valentina Mele, Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management, Bocconi University, Milan
Simon Anderfuhren-Biget, Faculty of Political Science and International Relations, University of Geneva

Richard Lukacs, Advisor, Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations Office at Geneva
Nataliya Myronenko, Chief, UNOG Human Resources Management Service
Kara Nottingham, Legal Office, UNOG Human Resources Legal Unit