Chairmanship in international organizations is one institutional form of soft power major states use to establish common policy frameworks and enhance their leadership potential. The agendas of chairing governments usually reflect policy spheres in which they have major traction and can thus lead by example.
Many countries have used their rotating presidencies in international organizations in this fashion. For instance, Germany and Poland used their presidencies in the European Union to promote more intensive policies toward Eastern Europe, while Hungary took advantage of its EU presidency to promote the Danube regional project.
For Russia, this topic is currently salient due to its chairmanship of the G20 and hosting of the G20‘s forthcoming summit in St. Petersburg in September 2013. This memo assesses Russia’s efforts to utilize its multiple chairmanships in regional and global organizations for the sake of fostering its own international agenda.
Russia’s Chairmanship of International Organizations: The Questionable Pursuit of Soft Power in Multilateral Settings
PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo No. 259
by Andrey Makarychev