From Globalism to Nationalism and Back Again

The origins and modern dilemmas of multilateralism

Front cover of "The Challenges of Multilateralism" by Kathryn C. Lavelle

During the last 200 years, countries and organizations around the world have come together in a common search for peace and prosperityand also have seen that unity strained by nationalism, populism, and divisions of wealth and power.

After the 2016 Brexit vote for the United Kingdom to exit the European Union, an editor at Yale University Pressread Kathryn Lavelle's expert commentary on the Politico website and asked Lavelle, PhD, the Ellen and Dixon Long Professor in World Affairs at Case Western Reserve University, to write a book.

The result is The Challenges of Multilateralism, which offers a sweeping review of the concept from its Napoleonic-era origins to the present. It examines the forces that have stalled the development of new multilateral agreements or undermined long-standing international accords as part of the push-pull dynamic between multilateralism (working together to achieve a goal) and nationalism (putting a country's own perceived interests first).

Despite a global resurgence of nationalism, including in the United States, which pulled out of the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2017 and gave notice of its intention to pull out of the World Health Organization (WHO), "there are many international organizations cooperating in meaningful ways," Lavelle said. For example, the WHO is collaborating with its partner organizationswhich still include U.S.-based entities such as the Gates Foundationand the health ministries of member states to combat illnesses such as COVID-19.

Lavelle explains in the book that even as some countries withdrew from joint initiatives, individuals, nongovernmental organizations and others act on issues,such as health and the environment, to influence outcomes across borders.

"Sometimes it can be really depressing to look at the contemporary political scene and think people can't get along," Lavelle said. "But at the same time, beneath it all, there are countervailing forces of people who are quietly working to cooperate in all kinds of ways."

— Julie H. Case

Front cover of "Black Privilege: Modern Middle-Class Blacks with Credentials and Cash to Spend" by Cassi Pittman Claytor

Black Privilege: Modern Middle-Class Blacks with Credentials and Cash to Spend (Stanford University Press) by Cassi Pittman Claytor, PhD, the Climo Junior Professor in sociology. She also was recently named one of 10 people transforming retail in North America by Business Insider. The book examines how middle-class Black people living in New York City experience a duality: They have access to elite spaces, work in prestigious occupations, and can purchase luxuries, but still confront persistent anti-Black bias and racial stigma. Drawing on her subjects' everyday lives, Pittman Claytor illuminates how Black people experience privilege in social worlds diverging over race and class lines.

Front cover of "The Empire of Depression: A New History" by Jonathan Sadowsky

The Empire of Depression: A New History (Polity) by Jonathan Sadowsky, PhD, the Theodore J. Castele Professor in history. "When is sorrow sickness?" That is a central question Sadowsky probes in this journey through the history of depression. He writes for general readers, explaining how understandings and treatments have varied by time and place; how depression, commonly called a "mental" illness, always involves physical changes; and how it disproportionately strikes socially disadvantaged or persecuted people. Sadowsky also lays bare the politics of depression, describing the prejudice sufferers face as they are blamed for their illnessor suspected of not having one at all.

Front cover of "Cabinets, Ministers, and Gender" by Karen Beckwith, Claire Annesley, and Susan Franceschet

Cabinets, Ministers, and Gender (Oxford University Press) by Karen Beckwith, PhD, the Flora Stone Mather Professor in political science; Claire Annesley, PhD, dean of arts and social sciences at the University of New South Wales; and Susan Franceschet, PhD, professor of political science at the University of Calgary. Their book focuses on seven democracies, exploring why men have been more likely than women to be appointed to cabinet positions, why gendered patterns of appointment vary cross-nationally, and why women's inclusion has grown significantly, establishing each country's "concrete floor," the minimum number of women appointed to the cabinet to ensure its legitimacy.

Front cover of "Parenting Musically" by Lisa Huisman Koops

Parenting Musically (Oxford University Press) by Lisa Huisman Koops, PhD, a professor of music education and coordinator of graduate studies in music education. Koops takes readers into the lives of eight Cleveland families, exploring how they bring music into their liveswhether it's parents using music to further connect with their children, accomplish familial tasks or guide childhood musical developments. Drawing on research in music education, psychology, family studies and sociology, the book examines musical parenting (using actions to support a child's musical development) and parenting musically (using music to accomplish nonmusic goals), and argues for the value of both.