Open Access

Working for World Peace: Between Idealism and Cynicism in International Organizations

   | Mar 03, 2023


In International Organizations (IOs), noble ideals often clash with harsh realities on the ground. It should therefore come as no surprise if IO employees become cynical over time. However, while there is a large body of work on “organizational cynicism” in sociology and management studies, a systematic examination of cynicism is lacking in IO research. The article addresses this gap and explores the causes and consequences of cynicism among IO staff based on insights gained in 50+ in-depth interviews with staff members at the UN Secretariat from 2020 to 2022.