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Margaret Karns

Professor Emerita


College of Arts and Sciences: Political Science


Email: Margaret Karns
Phone: 937-229-3538
Website: Visit Site


Margaret P. Karns is a Professor Emerita of Political Science at the University of Dayton, former director of the International Studies Program, and the founding director of the University of Dayton's Center for International Programs from 1983 to 1995. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan and specializes in international politics, foreign policy analysis, and international organizations, with a particular emphasis on U.S. foreign policy and multilateral institutions. With Professor Karen Mingst of the University of Kentucky she has published two books: The United States and Multilateral Institutions: Patterns of Instrumentality and Influence (1990) and The United Nations in the Post-Cold War Era (1995; second edition, 2000) as well as numerous articles on UN peacekeeping, global governance, and the future of the UN system. Her textbook, Networks of International Organizations: Politics and Processes of Global Governance was published in 2004. Professor Karns has worked with two UD undergraduate students on collaborative research projects, one with Jason Enia (1999) on the consequences of the Asian financial crisis for regional cooperation and another with Jill Marie Gerschutz (2002) on implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Both papers were presented at professional meetings.

During 1995-96, Professor Karns was Visiting Professor of International Relations at the John Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China. She returned to Asia from February through May 1998 to teach a training course entitled "Multilateral Diplomacy and the United Nations System" for mid-career Vietnamese officials at The Institute of International Relations in Hanoi. She is a past Vice President of International Studies Association, a member of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, and a long-time board member as well as past president of the Dayton Council on World Affairs. She serves on the editorial boards for Rowman & Littlefield's Millennium Series, the International Studies Quarterly, and Global Governance.

Research Interests

  • The challenges of building institutions for regional cooperation in Asia-Pacific
  • The changing role of the United States in multilateral institutions
  • The power of words: the evolution of self-determination

Selected Publications

Networks of International Organizations: The Politics and Processes of Global Governance with Karen A. Mingst. (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, forthcoming).

The United Nations in the Post-Cold War Era with Karen A. Mingst. (Boulder: Westview Press, 1995; second edition, 2000).

The United States and Multilateral Institutions: Patterns of Changing Instrumentality and Influence, co-contributor and co-editor with Karen A. Mingst. (Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1990).

"Peacekeeping and the Changing Role of the United Nations: Four Dilemmas," in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Ad Hoc Missions, Permanent Engagement, edited by Ramesh Thakur and Albrecht Schnabel (Tokyo and New York: United Nations University Press, 2002).

"The United States as 'Deadbeat'? U.S. Policy and the UN Financial Crisis," in Multilateralism & U.S. Foreign Policy: Ambivalent Engagement edited by Stewart Patrick and Shepard Forman (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2002).