Vol. 39 of IAPSS Politikon includes four research articles. In the first one, Jessica Neafie puts forward a hypothesis that, contrary to conventional assumptions, foreign direct investment decreases access to clean water. She presents and statistically tests the validity of this hypothesis, as well as of several possible explanations of it. Her findings contribute to the broader debate about the ways how potable water access can be increased. The issue continues with Paola Imperatore’s analysis, based on her paper presented at the IAPSS World Congress 2018 in Paris. She shows how the opposition movement towards locally unwanted land use (LULU) has emerged in Italy, and how it functions. Applying frame analysis to evaluate primary sources from a number of these oppositional movements, she discovers the pushback of infrastructure owners to these movements, and the subsequent ways of reacting to it. These ways indicate how a particular contentious issue may be generalized so that it speaks to general public concerns such as democracy, corruption, the application of public finances and social justice. The background of these discursive constructions point to the dialectic between the local and the global, exemplified in the IAPSS 2018 Annual Theme ‘Diversity and Globalization’ as well. Thirdly, Adil Nussipov presents the revised and abridged version of his graduate thesis which argues that there is an inverse U-shaped relationship between the ‘international authority’ of international organizations and the levels of access these IOs provide to transnational actors (such as international NGOs or multinational companies). His article explains how organizations with medium authority provide the most access through a perspective of rationalist self-interest: it is these organizations that can gain most by allowing the participation of transnational actors in their decision-making processes. In the final article of this year, also based on a presentation at the IAPSS World Congress 2018, Fiammetta Colombo explores the possible connections between several phenomena that are frequently associated with economic globalization (such as growing rates of inequality and unemployment rates), and the rise of nationalist political parties in the Western Balkans. While no causal relationship emerges, she shows how nationalism goes hand in hand with support of economic globalization in the majority of the nationalist parties of the region, and suggests avenues for further research based on this observation.