The Anarchical Society at 40: Contemporary Challenges and Prospects

ISBN : 9780198805144

Hidemi Suganami; Madeline Carr; Adam Humphreys
384 Pages
153 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jun 2017
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Hedley Bull's The Anarchical Society was published in 1977. Forty years on, it is considered one of the classic texts in International Relations. It does not, however, address many world political issues that now concern us deeply, such as terrorism, global financial crises, climate change, the impact of the internet revolution, deep-rooted racial inequalities, and violence against women. Moreover, while the development of International Relations as an academic subject has consolidated the status of the 'English School' as one of the principal approaches to the study of world politics, and The Anarchical Society as its key text, significant limitations in Bull's approach have also been identified. This volume examines how far The Anarchical Society continues to illuminate world politics and how well Bull's method and argument stand up today. The volume argues that although many of Bull's substantive judgements require updating, his approach remains valuable, not only for thinking about enduring problems of violence and security, but also, as a starting point, for thinking about many issues that Bull himself neglected. However, the contributors also develop important criticisms of Bull's approach and identify ways in which it could be strengthened. A key insight is that although The Anarchical Society is famous for explicating the concept of 'international society', there is more to it than that. Indeed, the contemporary relevance of Bull's work is clearest when we recognize the often overlooked potential of his concept of the 'world political system', referring to the global network of interactions of which modern international society is only a part.


1 Hidemi Suganami: Bull and The Anarchical Society Now at 40

Part I: Reading The Anarchical Society 40 Years on
2 Hidemi Suganami: The Argument of The Anarchical Society
3 Richard Falk: Ordering the World: Hedley Bull after 40 Years

Part II: Three Foundational Critiques
4 William Bain: The Anarchical Society as Christian Political Theology
5 Christian Reus-Smit: The Anarchical Society and Human Rights
6 Mustapha Kamal Pasha: Decolonizing The Anarchical Society

Part III: The Anarchical Society and World Politics 40 Years on
7 Robert Ayson: The Anarchical Society and the Control of Global Violence
8 Jan Ruzicka: A Plea for Restraint: The Anarchical Society and Nuclear Proliferation
9 Harmonie Toros and Filippo Dionigi: International Society and Islamist Non-state Actors: The Case of the Islamic State Organization
10 Madeline Carr: Cyberspace and International Order
11 Louis W. Pauly: The Anarchical Society and a Global Political Economy
12 Robert Falkner: The Anarchical Society and Climate Change
13 Paul Keal: The Anarchical Society and Indigenous Peoples
14 Jacqui True: Anarchy and Patriarchy in World Politics

Part IV: Augmenting The Anarchical Society
15 Heikki Patomaki: The Anarchical Society as Futurology
16 Katarzyna Kaczmarska: International Society Encounters the Russian World: the Role of Representations in International Relations
17 Andrew Linklater: The International Society of 'Civilized States'
18 Adam Humphreys: Bull's Political Vision

About the author: 

Hidemi Suganami is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at Aberystwyth University. His major publications include The Domestic Analogy and World Order Proposals (CUP, 1989), On the Causes of War (OUP, 1996), and The English School of International Relations: A Contemporary Assessment (with Andrew Linklater, CUP, 2006).; Madeline Carr is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Cardiff University. Her research looks at the ways in which new technology both reinforces and disrupts conventional frameworks for understanding International Relations and the implications of this for state and global security, order and governance. Madeline has published on cyber norms, Internet Freedom, multi-stakeholder Internet governance, and the public/private partnership in national cyber security strategies (research funded by the British Council). Her publications include US Power and the Internet in International Relations (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016).; Adam R.C. Humphreys is Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Reading. Previously he taught at the University of Oxford, where he was also a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow. His principal research interests are in International Relations theory, especially the methodological questions it raises.

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