A newly published book by an Adelphi University political science professor and a London School of Economics (LSE) international relations professor has been awarded the 2020 Friends of Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) Biennial Book Award. Group Politics in UN Multilateralism (Brill, 2020), edited by Katie Laatikainen, PhD, professor of political science and director of the Levermore Global Scholars program at Adelphi, and Karen E. Smith, PhD, LSE professor of international relations, provides a new perspective on diplomacy and negotiations at the United Nations.
The Friends of ACUNS, an endowment fund established to help ensure the financial future of the council and the continuation of its programs, offers a biannual book award. The award goes to the author or editor of the best book that focuses on some aspect of the United Nations or the United Nations System.
“We are deeply grateful to all those who helped us craft this volume over the past decade, and we are honored by the recognition it has received,” said Dr. Laatikanien.
According to Dr. Smith and Dr. Laatikainen, Group Politics in UN Multilateralism finds that few states “act individually” at the United Nations, despite having permanent representation. Instead they work cooperatively, such as in the Africa Group, the European Union or the Arab League.
“At the UN, groups are not static,” said Dr. Laatikanien. “New groups emerge in multilateral negotiations on issues such as climate, security and human rights. UN multilateralism is shaped by long-standing group dynamics as well as shifting, ad-hoc groupings. These intergroup dynamics are key to understanding diplomatic practice at the UN.”
This isn’t the first time Dr. Smith and Dr. Laatikanien have published work on the United Nations. In 2017, the duo’s research was featured in a special issue of The Hague Journal of Diplomacy. This year’s award-winning volume on group politics builds on that work. They also co-edited the 2006 book The European Union at the United Nations: Intersecting Multilateralisms.
“We hope that our work on group politics at the United Nations increases understanding of the role that groups play at the United Nations and prompts further research into intergroup dynamics in UN investigations,” said Dr. Smith.
To read Group Politics in UN Multilateralism, visit brill.com.