Reus-Smit, Chris (2020). International Relations: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: OUP. (visit publisher site)

- Presents a new perspective on the nature of international relations, as more than just external relations between sovereign states

- Provides the tools for thinking about large scale historical changes in international relations, particularly the transformation from a world of empires to a world of sovereign states

- Demystifies theory, and treats it as an essential tool of analysis





Brown, Chris and Robyn Eckersley (eds.) (2018). The Oxford Handbook of International Political Theory. Oxford: OUP. (visit publisher site)

This Handbook sets out to describe the current state of the art in International Political Theory, and to advance this discourse into new areas. A key feature of the Handbook is the way in which its contributors engage with “real politics”: although the importance of developing so-called ideal theory is acknowledged in several chapters, the main emphasis of the book is on an engagement with empirical data and real-world politics. Conventional distinctions such as that between “critical theory” and “problem-solving theory” are challenged—the underlying contention is that, ultimately, all theory is problem-solving, and an emphasis on norms and normative theory cannot be understood as separate from so-called positive International Relations Theory. The contributors have approached the themes of the Handbook from different angles in relation to a wide range of different topics in ways that showcase the diversity of perspectives and traditions that make up the field of International Political Theory.

Reus-Smit, Chris (2018). On Cultural Diversity: International Theory in a World of Difference. Cambridge: CUP. (visit publisher site)

The rise of non-Western Great Powers, the spread of transnational religiously-justified insurgencies, and the resurgence of ethno-nationalism raise fundamental questions about the effects of cultural diversity on international order. Yet current debate - among academics, popular commentators, and policy-makers alike - rests on flawed understandings of culture and inaccurate assumptions about how historically cultural diversity has shaped the evolution of international orders. In this path-breaking book, Christian Reus-Smit details how the major theories of international relations have consistently misunderstood the nature and effects of culture, returning time and again to a conception long abandoned in specialist fields: the idea of cultures as coherent, bounded, and constitutive.

Selchow, Sabine (2017). Negotiations of the 'New World': The Omnipresence of 'Global' as a Political Phenomenon. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag. (visit publisher site)

'Global' is everywhere – recent years have seen a significant proliferation of the adjective 'global across discourses. But what do social actors actually do when using this term? Written from within the political studies and international relations disciplines, and with a particular interest in the US, this book demonstrates that the widespread use of global is more than a linguistic curiosity. It constitutes a distinct political phenomenon of major importance: the negotiation of and play with the notion of the 'new world'. As such, the analysis of the use of 'global' provides fascinating insights into an influential and politically loaded aspect of contemporary imaginations of the world. Thanks to a grant from Knowledge Unlatched, this book is freely available as an ebook on the LSE Research Online site.

Sluga, Glenda and Patricia Clavin (eds.) (2016). Internationalisms: A Twentieth-Century History. Cambridge: CUP. (visit publisher site)

This is a pioneering survey of the rise of internationalism as a mainstream political idea mobilised in support of the ambitions of indigenous populations, feminists and anti-colonialists, as well as politicians, economists and central bankers. Leading scholars trace the emergence of intergovernmental organisations such as the League of Nations, the United Nations, the International Labour Organisation and the World Health Organisation, and the corresponding expansion in transnational sociability and economic entanglement throughout the long twentieth century.

Dunne, Tim and Chris Reus-Smit (eds.) (2016). The Globalization of International Society. Oxford: OUP. (visit publisher site)

The Globalization of International Society re-examines the development of today's society of sovereign states, drawing on a wealth of new scholarship to challenge the landmark account presented in Bull and Watson's classic work, The Expansion of International Society (OUP, 1984). The book examines the institutional contours of contemporary international society, with its unique blend of universal sovereignty and global law, and its forms of hierarchy that coexist with commitments to international human rights.

Sluga, Glenda (2015). Internationalism in the Age of Nationalism. Philadelphia: U Penn Press. (visit publisher site)

Internationalism in the Age of Nationalism traces the arc of internationalism through its rise before World War I, its apogee at the end of World War II, its reprise in the global seventies and the post-Cold War nineties, and its decline after 9/11. Drawing on original archival material and contemporary accounts, Sluga focuses on specific moments when visions of global community occupied the liberal political mainstream.

Goh, Evelyn (2013). The Struggle for Order: Hegemony, Hierarchy, and Transition in Post-Cold War East Asia. Oxford: OUP. (visit publisher site)

How has world order changed since the Cold War ended? Do we live in an age of American empire, or is global power shifting to the East with the rise of China? Arguing that existing ideas about balance of power and power transition are inadequate, this book instead conceives of an ‘order transition’ that has occurred in East Asia since 1989. Building on advances in ‘English School’ approaches, this book highlights that hegemonic power is based on both coercion and consent, and hegemony is crucially underpinned by shared norms and values. Thus hegemons must constantly legitimize their unequal power to other states. In periods of strategic change, the most important political dynamics centre on this bargaining process, conceived here as the negotiation of a social compact. This book studies the re-negotiation of this consensual compact between the U.S., China and other states in post-Cold War East Asia. 

Johns, Fleur (2013). Non-Legality in International Law: Unruly Law. Cambridge: CUP. (visit publisher site)

nternational lawyers typically start with the legal. What is a legal as opposed to a political question? How should international law adapt to the unforeseen? These are the routes by which international lawyers typically reason. This book begins, instead, with the non-legal. In a series of case studies, Fleur Johns examines what international lawyers cast outside or against law - as extra-legal, illegal, pre-legal or otherwise non-legal - and how this comes to shape political possibility. Non-legality is not merely the remainder of regulatory action. It is a key structuring device of contemporary global order. Constructions of non-legality are pivotal to debate in areas ranging from torture to foreign investment and from climate change to natural disaster relief. Understandings of non-legality inform what international lawyers today do and what they refrain from doing. Tracing and potentially reimagining the non-legal in international legal work is, accordingly, both vital and pressing.

Leane, Elizabeth (2012). Antarctica in Fiction: Imaginative Narratives of the Far South. Cambridge: CUP. (visit publisher site)

This comprehensive analysis of literary responses to Antarctica examines the rich body of literature that the continent has provoked over the last three centuries, focussing particularly on narrative fiction. Novelists as diverse as Edgar Allan Poe, James Fenimore Cooper, Jules Verne, H. P. Lovecraft, Ursula Le Guin, Beryl Bainbridge and Kim Stanley Robinson have all been drawn artistically to the far south. The continent has also inspired genre fiction, including a Mills and Boon novel, a Phantom comic and a Biggles book, as well as countless lost-race romances, espionage thrillers and horror-fantasies. Antarctica in Fiction draws on these sources, as well as film, travel narratives and explorers' own creative writing. It maps the far south as a space of the imagination and argues that only by engaging with this space, in addition to the physical continent, can we understand current attitudes towards Antarctica.

Kaldor, Mary, Henrietta L. Moore and Sabine Selchow (eds.) (2012). Global Civil Society: Ten Years of Critical Reflection. London: Palgrave. (visit publisher site)

It is a decade since the debut of the landmark Global Civil Society Yearbook. During that time, as the yearbook has attempted to debate, map and measure the contours of this contested phenomenon, relationships between state and society have shifted. On both sides promises have been made and broken, expectations raised and shattered, partnerships brokered and roles reversed. Moreover, from the instigation of the International Criminal Court by a coalition of NGOs to the mass protests of civilians across North Africa, the influence of non-state actors has become impossible to discount.​ In this anniversary edition, activists and academics look back on ten years of 'politics from below', and ask whether it is merely the critical gaze upon the concept that has changed - or whether there is something genuinely new about the way in which civil society is now operating.

Erskine, Toni (2008). Embedded Cosmopolitanism: Duties to Strangers and Enemies in a World of ‘Dislocated Communities’. Oxford: OUP. (visit publisher site)

Many would argue that 'cosmopolitanism' provides the most convincing account of why we have duties to 'strangers' and 'enemies' in world politics: everyone--regardless of political borders, community boundaries, or enemy lines--is entitled to equal moral consideration. However, this 'impartialist' perspective is often seen to be deeply problematic: cosmopolitanism neglects the profound importance of local ties and loyalties, community and culture, and therefore is incapable of adequately describing our moral experience and wholly unworthy of our aspirations. To answer these criticisms, Dr Erskine seeks to construct an alternative 'embedded cosmopolitan' position. Bringing together insights from communitarian and feminist political thought, she explains that embedded cosmopolitanism recognizes community membership as being morally constitutive. The communities that define us are not necessarily territorially bounded, and a moral perspective situated in the community need not be parochial.

Eckersley, Robin (2004). The Green State: Rethinking Democracy and Sovereignty. MIT Press. (visit publisher site)

What would constitute a definitively "green" state? In this important new book, Robyn Eckersley explores what it might take to create a green democratic state as an alternative to the classical liberal democratic state, the indiscriminate growth-dependent welfare state, and the neoliberal market-focused state—seeking, she writes, "to navigate between undisciplined political imagination and pessimistic resignation to the status quo." In recent years, most environmental scholars and environmentalists have characterized the sovereign state as ineffectual and have criticized nations for perpetuating ecological destruction. Going consciously against the grain of much current thinking, this book argues that the state is still the preeminent political institution for addressing environmental problems. States remain the gatekeepers of the global order, and greening the state is a necessary step, Eckersley argues, toward greening domestic and international policy and law.

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