Kathryn C. Lavelle, The Challenges of Multilateralism (Yale University Press, 2020).

Multilateralism has long been a study of contrasts. Nationalist impulses, diverging and shifting goals, and a lack of enforcement methods have plagued the international organizations that facilitate multilateralism. Yet the desire to seek peace, reduce poverty, and promote the global health of people and the planet pushes states to work together. These challenges, across time and the globe, have brought about striking, yet diverging, results. Here, Kathryn Lavelle offers a history of multilateralism from its origins in the nineteenth century to the present. Lavelle focuses on the creation and evolution of major problem-solving organizations, examines the governmental challenges they have confronted and continue to face from both domestic and transnational constituencies, and considers how non-governmental organizations facilitate their work. Comprehensive, accessible, and narrative-driven, The Challenges of Multilateralism should appeal to readers with interests in global development, public health, trade, international finance, humanitarian law, and security studies.

About the Author
Kathryn Lavelle is the Ellen and Dixon Long professor of World Affairs at Case Western Reserve University.  She teaches political science courses in international relations, international political economy, and foreign policy.  She served as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Toronto’s Munk Centre, an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, and a West Africa Research Association Fellow in Cote d’Ivoire.  Early in her career, she worked as an intern in the political and economic sections of the US embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  Dr. Lavelle holds a Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University, an M.A. in government and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia, and a B.S.F.S. in International Economics and Finance from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.