Political Science (B.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Barry Balleck


The United Nations Security Council (UNSC)’s mandate gives it the unique authority to maintain international peace and security. Made up of ten nonpermanent rotating and five permanent Member States (P5), the UNSC gives this decision making power to less than eight percent of the Member States of the UN at a time, five of whom never change. It has long been argued that the P5 represent a power distribution of the world as it existed in 1945, directly after World War II, and has not kept up with changing membership and power dynamics. This paper analyzes the history of the Council, efforts for its reform, and the legitimacy of the body as a whole by looking at Brazil’s bid for permanent representation through the Group of Four’s proposal.