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Historical International Relations

Historical International Relations

Four Volume Set
Edited by:

July 2015 | 1 480 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

As a quarry for data, testing-ground for theory and site of investigation, history has been one of the unacknowledged partners of International Relations. The last two decades has witnessed both a substantial increase in the scope of historical IR scholarship and in the sophistication of methodological approaches to history, accompanied by a rapidly increasing (and multidisciplinary) interest in the history of international thought, as well as an ever more sophisticated historiography of the discipline itself.


This Major Work is structured in a way to engage with the key recent developments in the field of international relations, providing the reader with an overview of approaches to history in IR; the history of international thought/historiography; and the emergence of the state and the state system.


Volume One: Doing Historical International Relations

Volume Two: The History of International Thought

Volume Three: The State in Historical Perspective

Volume Four: The State System in Historical Perspective


Part One: Classic Takes
Why Is There No International Theory?

Martin Wight
International Relations: The Long Road to Theory

Stanley Hoffmann
International Relations and the Relevance of History

Arthur Gilbert
Part Two: Reconceptualizations
History and Structure in the Theory of International Relations

Rob Walker
Diplomatic History and International Relations Theory: Respecting Difference and Crossing Boundaries

Colin Elman and Miriam Elman
The Pragmatics of International History

Donald Puchala
The Historical Problem in International Relations

Thomas Smith
Still ‘Marking Time’? Text, Discourse and Truth in International History

Patrick Finney
Part Three: Ways of Doing Historical International Relations
On the Historical Imagination of International Relations: The Case for a ‘Deweyan Reconstruction’

Jonathan Isacoff
What’s at Stake in ‘Bringing Historical Sociology Back’ into International Relations? Transcending ‘Chronofetishism’ and ‘Tempocentrism’ in International Relations

John Hobson
International Relations and the ‘Problem of History’

Nick Vaughan-Williams
History, Action and Identity: Revisiting the ‘Second’ Great Debate and Assessing Its Importance for Social Theory

Friedrich Kratochwil
Narrative Explanation and International Relations: Back to Basics

Hidemi Suganami
What Is History in International Relations?

John Hobson and George Lawson
What’s at Stake in the Historical Turn? Theory, Practice and Phronesis in International Relations

David McCourt
Part One: Rethinking International Thought
The International Turn in Intellectual History

David Armitage
Why International Relations Theorists Should Stop Reading Thucydides

David Welch
Justus Lipsius, Political Humanism and the Disciplining of 17th Century Statecraft

Halvard Leira
The Forgotten Prophet: Tom Paine’s Cosmopolitanism and International Relations

Thomas Walker
Justice, Order and Anarchy: The International Political Theory of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865)

Alex Pritchard
Part Two: International Relations before the Discipline
Birth of a Discipline

Robert Vitalis
Origins and Originality: IR Scholarship before World War I

Torbjørn Knutsen
Feminism, War and the Prospects for Peace

Lucian Ashworth
Part Three: Reconceptualizing Disciplinary History
The Myth of the ‘First Great Debate’

Peter Wilson
Lessons from the Past: Reassessing the Interwar Disciplinary History of International Relations

Brian Schmidt
Who Killed the International Studies Conference?

David Long
The Construction of an Edifice: The Story of a First Great Debate

Joel Quirk and Darshan Vigneswaran
The Realist Gambit: Postwar American Political Science and the Birth of IR Theory

Nicolas Guilhot
Writing the World: Disciplinary History and Beyond

Duncan Bell
The Big Bangs of IR: The Myths That Your Teachers Still Tell You about 1648 and 1919

Benjamin de Carvalho, Halvard Leira and John Hobson
Part One: Classic Takes
State Formation and State Building in Europe

Thomas Ertman
Reflections on the History of European State-Making

Charles Tilly
The Absolutist State in the West

Perry Anderson
The Autonomous Power of the State: Its Origins, Mechanisms, and Results

Michael Mann
The Rise and Demise of the Territorial State

John Herz
Part Two: Reconceptualizations
Approaches to the State: Alternative Conceptions and Historical Dynamics

Stephen Krasner
Reformation, Counter-Reformation, and the Early Modern State: A Reassessment

Wolfgang Reinhard
Culture in Rational-Choice Theories of State Formation

Julia Adams
Body and Soul: Calvinism, Discipline, and State Power in Early Modern Europe Modern Europe

Philip Gorski
Part Three: Beyond the European Experience
The Latin American Puzzle and Wars and Nation States in Latin America

Miguel Angel Centeno
War and the State in Africa

Jeffrey Herbst
Part Four: Reflections
On the Ontological Status of the State

Erik Ringmar
The Territorial Trap: The Geographical Assumptions of International Relations Theory

John Agnew
Sovereignty as Symbolic Form

Jens Bartelson`
Polities Past and Present

Yale Ferguson and Richard Mansbach
Part One: Nature and Emergence
Systems of States

Adam Watson
The Concept of Order in World Politics

Hedley Bull
Sovereignty, International Relations, and the Westphalian Myth

Andreas Osiander
Of Systems, Boundaries and Territoriality: An Inquiry into the Formation of the State System

Friedrich Kratochwil
Territoriality and Beyond: Problematizing Modernity in International Relations

John Ruggie
Agraria and Industria: Two Models of the International System

George Modelski
Part Two: Facets of the International System
Institutional Selection in International Relations: State Anarchy as Order

Hendrik Spruyt
Testing Balance-of-Power Theory in World History

William Wohlforth et al.
Gendering Sovereignty: Marriage and International Relations in Elizabethan Times

Diana Saco
The Altered State and the State of Nature—The French Revolution and International Politics

Mlada Bukovansky
Japan’s Socialization into Janus-Faced European International Society

Shogo Suzuki
Part Three: The Problem of Empires
From International Law to Imperial Constitutions: The Problem of Quasi-Sovereignty, 1870–1900

Lauren Benton
What's at Stake in the American Empire Debate

Daniel Nexon and Thomas Wright
Part Four: Rethinking Change
Rethinking Benchmark Dates in International Relations

Barry Buzan and George Lawson

"The ambitious four-volume work Historical International Relations edited by Halvard Leira and Benjamin de Carvalho is an important contribution to the literature on international relations and likely to remain a standard collection on the topic for many years. It is comprehensive, well organized and encompasses many of the classic articles in the field by leading European and American scholars. Each of the volumes should be required reading for anyone who wishes to understand the origins and evolution of theory or practice in the discipline of international relations since the beginning of the 20th century to the present."

Richard W. Mansbach
Professor of Political Science, Iowa State University

With the appearance of this volume of previously published texts the historical turn in IR has come of age. For me there are two points that stand out  from this marvellous collection. The first is how much excellent historical IR research has been written in the last decade or so, and what an excellent job the editors have done in picking out a strong representative sample of this scholarship. The second is the deep roots of the ‘historical turn’ in IR. Leira and de Carvalho have reminded us of this last point by republishing some important older classics  that deserve to be reread by a new generation of IR scholars.

Lucian M. Ashworth
Professor and Head of Department, Department of Political Science, Memorial University of Newfoundland

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ISBN: 9781473902206