Global Cooperation and the Human Factor in International Relations: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Global Cooperation and the Human Factor in International Relations

1st Edition

Edited by Dirk Messner, Silke Weinlich


272 pages | 27 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780815355106
pub: 2017-12-21
Hardback: 9781138912991
pub: 2015-12-03
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This book aims to pave the way for a new interdisciplinary approach to global cooperation research. It does so by bringing in disciplines whose insights about human behaviour might provide a crucial yet hitherto neglected foundation for understanding how and under which conditions global cooperation can succeed.

As the first profoundly interdisciplinary book dealing with global cooperation, it provides the state of the art on human cooperation in selected disciplines (evolutionary anthropology and biology, decision-sciences, social psychology, complex system sciences), written by leading experts. The book argues that scholars in the field of global governance should know and could learn from what other disciplines tell us about the capabilities and limits of humans to cooperate. This new knowledge will generate food for thought and cause creative disturbances, allowing us a different interpretation of the obstacles to cooperation observed in world politics today. It also offers first accounts of interdisciplinary global cooperation research, for instance by exploring the possibilities and consequences of global we-identities, by describing the basic cooperation mechanism that are valid across disciplines, or by bringing an evolutionary perspective to diplomacy.

This book will be of great interest to scholars and postgraduates in International Relations, Global Governance and International Development.


"The new book is inspiring because it casts a new light on global cooperation." - Hans ­Dembowski, Development and Cooperation

Table of Contents

Part 1 Why Global Cooperation Research 1. The evolution of human cooperation—lessons learned for the future of global governance 2. The behavioral dimension of international cooperation 3. Cooperation in conflict. Ubiquity, limits and potential of working together at the international levelPart 2 Human behavior and cooperation across disciplines 4. The cooperative bias in humans’ biological history 5. Cooperation among humans 6. Can we think of the future? Cognitive barriers to future-oriented decision making 7. Approaching cooperation via complexity 8. The concrete utopia of the gift. A genuine sociological approach to interdisciplinary cooperation theory Part 3 Interdisciplinary approaches to global cooperation 9. The possibilities of global we-identities 10. Diplomatic Cooperation: An evolutionary perspective 11. Cognizing cooperation: clues and cues for institutional design

About the Editors

Dirk Messner is Co-director of the Centre for Global Cooperation Research, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany, where he is also Professor of Political Science and Director of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institute für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Germany

Silke Weinlich is Senior Researcher at the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institute für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) in Bonn, Germany.

About the Series

Routledge Global Cooperation Series

The Routledge Global Cooperation series develops innovative approaches to understanding, explaining and answering one of the most pressing questions of our time – how can cooperation in a culturally diverse world of nine billion people succeed?

We are rapidly approaching our planet’s limits, with trends such as advancing climate change and the destruction of biological diversity jeopardising our natural life support systems. Accelerated globalisation processes lead to an ever growing interconnectedness of markets, states, societies, and individuals. Many of today's problems cannot be solved by nation states alone. Intensified cooperation at the local, national, international, and global level is needed to tackle current and looming global crises.

This interdisciplinary series welcomes proposals from a wide range of disciplines such as international relations and global governance, environment and sustainability, development studies, international law, history, political theory or economy which develop theoretical, analytical, and normative approaches concerning pressing global cooperation questions. We favour books that take an interdisciplinary approach and appeal to an international readership comprised of scholars and postgraduate students.

To submit proposals, please contact the Development Studies Editor, Helena Hurd (

Tobias Debiel, Claus Leggewie and Dirk Messner are Co-Directors of the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany. Their research areas are, among others, Global Governance, Climate Change, Peacebuilding and Cultural Diversity of Global Citizenship. The three Co-Directors are, at the same time, based in their home institutions, which participate in the Centre, namely the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE, Messner) in Bonn, the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF, Debiel) in Duisburg and The Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI, Leggewie) in Essen.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy