International politics in the 21st century is distinctive in several ways. First, new regional powers have emerged. In addition, certain international organizations, NGOs or non-state actors, have become prominent and unignorable actors in world politics. Furthermore, issues such as security, trade, migration and climate all have become more interconnected. In this respect, multilateralism, which is one of the most contested concepts in international relations (IR), has gained more importance in this century, due to increased interest in solving issues more peacefully with the participation of diversified actors. As one of the prominent actors, the European Union (EU) also has come to the fore with its advocacy of multilateralism in the current age. Thus, Bouchard et al. thoroughly research the evolution of multilateralism and examine whether it is implemented effectively by the EU in this edited volume, Multilateralism in the 21st Century: Europe’s Quest for Effectiveness.
This edited book is based on the findings of a three-year, EU-funded research program, MERCURY (Multilateralism and the EU in the Contemporary Global Order). Throughout the volume, the authors try to find answers to the question of whether the EU delivers on its commitment to utilize effective multilateralism. As stated in the Introduction, the fundamental aims of the volume are twofold: firstly, to develop a new definition of multilateralism, and secondly, to specify the EU’s contribution to developing effective multilateralism (p. 3).
The volume consists of four parts and fourteen chapters, including an introduction and conclusion. The first part, “Mapping Modes of Multilateralism,” which consists of four chapters, is the backbone of the volume. These background chapters provide historic information about the evolution of the concept of multilateralism in IR in general, and in the E