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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The international civil service (ICS) offers—in theory at least—an ideal model of administration within international organizations. This chapter explores the origins and evolution of the ICS from the classical model following WWI to the twenty-first century era. For its early supporters, the ICS was the international community’s hope for the peaceful coexistence of states and functional cooperation. Yet tensions between these normative ideals and the reality facing international secretariats have never been resolved. The ICS operates under tremendous pressure from states, and in the twenty-first century, increasingly from the global public too. How does an ICS ethos that was developed in the early twentieth century travel to the twenty-first century? Is the concept still relevant today?

Keywords: international civil service, international public policy, League of Nations, United Nations, peace and security

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