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Edited by Edward Newman, Ramesh Thakur and John Tirman

Multilateralism Under Challenge? Power, International Order, and Structural Change

Multilateralism Under Challenge?

Multilateralism Under Challenge?
Edited by Edward Newman, Ramesh Thakur and John Tirman

ISBN 92-808-1129-0
ISBN 978-92-808-1129-2
572 pages; paper; US$49.00
November 2006

Table of Contents

Sample Chapter

The principles, values and manifestations of multilateralism, including the United Nations, are under sustained scrutiny and assault. Their performance and effectiveness are questioned, as are their decision-making procedures and their representation according to 21st Century standards of accountability and democracy. All this has a corrosive effect on their legitimacy.

Multilateralism under Challenge? explores the performance and future of multilateral approaches and institutions with reference to major global challenges such as international security, terrorism, HIV/AIDS, environmental sustainability, economic justice, human rights and humanitarian assistance.

"For a concept and an institution that is under 'challenge' - if not duress - multilateralism is an essential component of international life, as the contributions to this volume clearly demonstrate. We need to make multilateralism more effective and more accountable, to be sure. This book advances constructive ideas on how to do just that."
—John G. Ruggie, Harvard University, USA

"An essential reference on the current state of the debate on multilateralism and institutional reform. As a desktop reference it could prove invaluable. I know of no other book that attempts to assess what has happened to multilateralism in all aspects of contemporary international relations. It is this comprehensive approach - in which the security, environmental, humanitarian and economic aspects of international order are seen as bound together by a common approach, albeit one that is now under challenge - that will establish the comparative advantage of this book."
—James Mayall, Former Director, Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge, UK

"A key conclusion is that multilateralism is not in crisis but that its institutions, as currently constituted, are arguably under serious challenge. This book is likely to appeal to a wide audience of academics and politicians, representatives of civil society and others concerned with foreign policy issues and interested in multilateralism and global politics."
—Sally Morphet, Visiting Professor, University of Kent, UK


Edward Newman is the Director of Studies on Conflict and Security in the Peace and Governance Programme of the United Nations University,Tokyo, Japan. Ramesh Thakur is Senior-Vice Rector of the United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan and a UN Assistant-Secretary-General. John Tirman is the Executive Director of the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.

Contents Overview

Part I: Themes

Part II: Issues and Challenges

Conclusions: multilateralism under challenge or in crisis?



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