This special section on the AIIB as new multilateralism is dedicated to Robert W. Cox, who inspired generations of scholars to study international organization and emerging global governance, and the sources of global change.
Analysts across the disciplines have started to address the development and agenda of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), however the collective understanding of major aspects of the AIIB's institutional evolution, and related multilateral cooperation and international contestation, remain fuzzy and fragmented. This Introductory article discusses how the AIIB has progressed so rapidly in three years, and provides an overview of the unique contributions of the 13 essays in this collection, and of the ways the essays complement one another. Focusing on the main trends and patterns in the AIIB's early development, four essays address major overarching themes that reflect the multilateral character of the Bank, and nine essays provide member‐country or regional perspectives on the new Bank, highlighting variations and complementarities in interests, ideas, and priorities among the broader membership of the Bank. The Introduction concludes with some implications for future research, and for AIIB policy and programming that can be drawn from the essays.