International Institutions in World History: Divorcing International Relations Theory from the State and Stage Models (Hardback) book cover

International Institutions in World History

Divorcing International Relations Theory from the State and Stage Models

By Laust Schouenborg

© 2017 – Routledge

176 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138221628
pub: 2016-12-13
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Description

This book presents a case for a basic reorientation of International Relations away from the state and towards the study of social institutions in the sense of patterned practices, ideas and norms/rules. IR has always suffered from a parochial occupation with the state and the Western system of state. Its main theories revolve around these phenomena, and have resulted in the reification of the state: it has been turned into an essential actor, with certain immutable and fundamental properties that remain constant throughout time. A list of these properties usually includes territorial limits, centralisation, monopolisation of violence and exclusive loyalties.

International Institutions in World History shows how the state is an inherently modern phenomenon, a modern social institution, and that foundational concepts in IR should be based on a full appreciation of the wider record of human existence on earth, trans-historically and cross-culturally. Schouenborg argues that these social institutions may be captured via a universal functional typology consisting of four categories: legitimacy and membership; regulating conflicts; trade; and governance.

The book will be of interest to scholars and students within IR (particularly IR theory), anthropology, archaeology and sociology, and those interested in general social theory.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. - Introduction

Chapter 2. - The argument in the context of IR theory

Chapter 3. - The argument in the context of anthropology, archaeology and historical sociology

Chapter 4. – Principles of legitimacy and membership

Chapter 5. – Regulating conflicts

Chapter 6. – Trade

Chapter 7. – Governance

Chapter 8. – Conclusion

About the Author

Laust Schouenborg is Associate Professor of Global Studies in the Department of Society and Globalisation at Roskilde University, Denmark. His research interests include IR theory, security studies, and world history.

About the Series

Worlding Beyond the West

Historically, the International Relations (IR) discipline has established its boundaries, issues, and theories based upon Western experience and traditions of thought. This series explores the role of geocultural factors, institutions, and academic practices in creating the concepts, epistemologies, and methodologies through which IR knowledge is produced. This entails identifying alternatives for thinking about the "international" that are more in tune with local concerns and traditions outside the West. But it also implies provincializing Western IR and empirically studying the practice of producing IR knowledge at multiple sites within the so-called ‘West’.

We welcome book proposals in areas such as:

  • Critiques of Western-centric scholarship and policy-making.
  • The emergence of new theories and approaches from ‘the periphery’.
  • The challenges for the discipline at large in accommodating its post-Western phase, and the political and ethical dilemmas involved in this.
  • Concrete studies of the results of approaching issues and agendas in ‘the periphery’ with the tools offered by core thinking.
  • Work by scholars from the non-West about local, national, regional or global issues, reflecting on the importance of different perspectives and of geocultural epistemologies.
  • Studies of ‘travelling theory’ – how approaches, concepts and theories get modified, re-casted and translated in different contexts.
  • The meaning and evolution of major concepts in particular regions, such as security thinking, concepts of globalisation and power, understandings of ‘economy’ and ‘development’ or other key categories in particular regions.
  • The sociology of the discipline in different places – with a focus on a country, a region, on specific research communities/schools, subfields, or on specific institutions such as academic associations, journals, foundations or think tanks.
  • Empirical studies of epistemic practices and the conditions of knowledge production in different Western and non-Western locales and sites.
  • Studies of the interaction between different knowledge producers, such as processes of expertise or the dialogue between intellectuals, academics, bureaucrats and policy elites.

Series Editors: Arlene B. Tickner, Universidad del Rosario, Colombia, David Blaney, Macalester College, USA and Inanna Hamati-Ataya, Aberystwyth University, UK

Founding Editor: Ole Wæver, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POL000000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / General