Kseniya Oksamytna will discuss her recent book, Advocacy and Change in International Organizations: Communication, Protection, and Reconstruction in UN Peacekeeping.

How do international organizations change? Many organizations expand into new areas or abandon programmes of work. The book - Advocacy and change in international organizations: communication, protection, and reconstruction in UN peacekeeping - is the 2024 winner of the Chadwick F. Alger Best Book Award, International Studies Association. It argues that international organisations do so not only at the collective direction of member states.

Advocacy is a crucial but overlooked source of change in international organizations. Different actors can advocate for change: national diplomats, international bureaucrats, external experts, or civil society activists. They can use one of three advocacy strategies: social pressure, persuasion, and “authority talk”.

This book demonstrates how the advocacy-focused framework explains the origins of three workstreams of contemporary UN peacekeeping operations: communication, protection, and reconstruction. The issue of strategic communications was promoted by UN officials through the strategy of persuasion.

Protection of civilians emerged due to a partially successful social influence campaign by a coalition of elected Security Council members and a subsequent (and successful) persuasion efforts by Canada. Quick impact projects entered peacekeepers' practice as the result of “authority talk” by an expert panel.  

About the speaker

Dr Kseniya Oksamytna is a Senior Lecturer at City, University of London. She is also a Visiting Research Fellow in the Conflict, Security, and Development Research Group at King’s College London. Her research interests are international organizations, international security, and peace operations.

This seminar presentation is an online-only event. Please note the special time of 10.30am rather than the routine 12.30pm as the speaker will be in the UK time zone.

Image credit: ‘Advocacy and change in international organizations: communication, protection, and reconstruction in UN peacekeeping’ book cover, supplied by the author.

Event details

Event date

Tue, 16 Apr 2024, 10:30 - 11:30am

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