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Kathryn C. Lavelle

Global Fellow


October 1, 2014 — August 31, 2025

Professional affiliation

Ellen and Dixon Long Professor of World Affairs, Department of Political Science, Case Western Reserve University

Wilson Center Projects

"The Problems of Regulatory Convergence in the Wake of the Global Financial Crisis."

“Legislating for International Organizations: The US Congress and the Bretton Woods Financial Institutions.” Multilateralism holds great potential to resolve contemporary transnational issues. Yet international organizations are plagued by governance questions associated with their lack of democratic accountability. This project will trace Congressional involvement in the Bretton Woods financial institution in order to explore the connection between legislatures in democratic donor states and the international organizations they fund, and to consider broader questions of democratic processes in international relations. It will draw upon the archival record, Congressional hearing records, and interviews with policymakers in funding the IMF and World Bank.

Full Biography

Kathryn Lavelle is currently the Ellen and Dixon Long professor of World Affairs at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  Her research explores the exchange between domestic and international and political institutions with a particular emphasis on political economy and multilateralism.

Dr. Lavelle’s first book, The Politics of Equity Finance in Emerging Markets, explored the political circumstances that surround large issues of stock in the developing world.  After being granted tenure at Case Western, she was awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship and named the William A. Steiger fellow, a designation given to the most promising political scientist in her class of fellows.  While in Washington during 2006-2007, she worked on the staff of the House Committee on Financial Services on issues related to domestic and international monetary policy. 

She later drafted the manuscript for a book, Legislating International Organization:  the US Congress, the IMF, and the World Bank, during the 2008-9 academic year while a resident fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.   The next year, she was the inaugural holder of a Fulbright Visiting Chair in Global Issues at the University of Toronto Munk Centre where she completed Money, Banks and the American Political System.  In her fourth and most recent book, The Challenges of Multilateralism, she returned to her overarching interest in international organizations with a study of their appearance and influence on domestic and global politics.  Her next project is a book tentatively titled American Foreign Relations in the Arctic:  Science, National Security, and the Economics.  In addition to her books, she is the author of numerous articles and book chapters appearing in Asian SecurityInternational Studies QuarterlyPerspectives on PoliticsInternational OrganizationReview of International OrganizationsEnvironment and Security, Problems of Post Communism, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Third World Quarterly, Review of International Political EconomyInternational Journal of Political EconomyInternational Studies ReviewJournal of International Affairs and The Columbia Journal of World Business.

Dr. Lavelle holds a PhD in political science from Northwestern University; an M.A. in government and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia; and a bachelor’s degree in international economics from Georgetown University.  She is a permanent member of the New York Council on Foreign Relations.

Major Publications

The Challenges of Multilateralism (Yale University Press, 2020)

Money and Banks in the American Political System (Cambridge University Press, 2013)

Legislating International Organization: The US Congress, the IMF and the World Bank (Oxford University Press, 2011)

The Politics of Equity Finance in Emerging Markets (Oxford University Press, 2004)

Previous Terms

Fellow, United States Studies, September 1, 2008 - May 1, 2009