1st Edition

The Art of World-Making Nicholas Greenwood Onuf and his Critics

Edited By Harry Gould Copyright 2017
    294 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    294 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    On its face, The Art of World-Making focuses on honouring the career of Nicholas Greenwood Onuf and his contributions to the study of international relations; of equal importance, however, while using Onuf’s work as their touchstone, the contributions to this volume range widely across IR theory, making important interventions in some of the most important topics in the field today.

    The volume considers the place of Constructivism and Republicanism in the field of international relations, and the contestation that accompanies the question of their place in the field, asking:

    • What explains the dominance of some forms of Constructivism and the relative lack of influence of other forms?
    • What can rule-oriented Constructivism, the focus here, provide our field that other forms of Constructivism have been unable to?
    • Into what new and productive directions can Constructivism be taken?
    • What are its gaps and what are the resources to remedy those gaps?
    • What can Republicanism tell us about ongoing issues in international law, global governance, liberalism, and crisis?

    Drawing together essays from some of the leading scholars in the field, space is given after each chapter for a detailed and highly personal response piece to each contribution, written by Onuf. This unique volume will be essential reading for students and scholars of international relations.


    J. Anne Tickner


    Harry D. Gould

    1. World of Our Making and Second Generation Constructivism

    David M. McCourt and Brent J. Steele

    Response to McCourt and Steele

    2. Onufian World-Making: Three, Yes Three, Vignettes

    Patrick Thaddeus Jackson

    Response to Jackson

    3. How to Gain Adherents

    Gavan Duffy

    Response to Duffy

    4. "In the Beginning was the Deed." Nicholas Onuf and the New Realisms

    Chris Brown

    Response to Brown

    5. Onuf’s Radical Subtlety

    L.H.M Ling

    Response to Ling

    6. Queering IR Constructivism

    Laura Sjøberg

    Response to Sjøberg

    7. What Do Rules Do? Making Room for Rationality in Constructivist Thought

    James C. Roberts

    Response to Roberts

    8. Contesting Rule(s)

    Cecelia Lynch

    Response to Lynch

    9. Acts and Effects: Conditions of Agency in Onufian Constructivism

    Jamie Frueh

    Response to Frueh

    10. Still Missing the Other Half: World Making and Sense Making

    Antje Wiener

    Response to Wiener

    11. Making Sense of Our World: Competence, Reason, and the Emergence of Ethical Systems

    Paul Kowert

    Response to Kowert

    12. What Is the American National Interest? Uncovering Fear, Anger, and Mourning

    Renée Marlin-Bennett

    Response to Marlin-Bennett

    13. Social Mechanisms: A Methodological Tool for Feminist IR

    Elisabeth Prügl

    Response to Prügl

    14. Following Onuf’s Rules on Rule: The Legal Road to Social Constructivism

    Stefano Guzzini and Anna Leander

    Response to Guzzini and Leander

    15. Rules, Power, and Constitutions: Following Onuf

    Anthony F. Lang, Jr.

    Response to Lang

    16. Of Maps, Law, and Politics: An Inquiry into the Changing Meaning of Territoriality

    Friedrich Kratochwil

    Response to Kratochwil

    17. Modern Crisis, Modern History: Nicholas Onuf’s Conceptual History

    Alexander D. Barder

    Response to Barder

    18. Aristotle and the Breakdown of Order

    Richard Ned Lebow

    Response to Lebow

    19. Lusotropicalism as an Imperial Ideology

    Jens Bartelson

    Response to Bartelson


    Harry D Gould is Associate Professor, Department of Politics and International Relations, Florida International University, USA.

    'A wonderfully engaging and illuminating appreciation of the groundbreaking scholarship of Nicholas Onuf taking the unusual form of a stimulating series of interactive essays of appreciative analysis and response. Valuable as an authoritative account of Constructivism as political thought and practice, heightened by Onuf’s high quality participation, part intellectual autobiography, part conceptual.' - Richard A. Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University, USA

    'A rare gem indeed! Departing from the usual format works marvelously when a scholar of Onuf’s integrity and intellectual depth responds to each entry. We have not only a collection of stimulating essays appraising and engaging Onuf’s constructivism, but also the ‘jewel’ of vintage Onuf: incisive and illuminating commentaries of an erudite scholar and skilled word craftsman, laced with personal reflections and life-time insights of a thoroughly engaged teacher, mentor and colleague. This rare opportunity to view IR’s intellectual landscape through Onuf’s keen observations and astute interpretations is not to be missed.' - V. Spike Peterson, Professor of International Relations, University of Arizona, USA

    'In a period of rethinking what constructivism is and does, this wonderful and thought-provoking volume provides careful reflection on the pivotal work of Nick Onuf, renowned as one of the founders of constructivism in International Relations. While rich in social theory, the texts are simultaneously often intimate and personal, providing almost a dialogue-in-print between the contributors and Onuf. The contributors also skillfully weave in commentary on the sociology of constructivism as practiced in IR during the past twenty-five years. The result is an accessible yet theoretically sophisticated volume which encourages a return to and re-engagement with Onuf’s work as constructivism develops as a perspective. In short, a truly joyous and stimulating read.' - Ann Towns, Associate Professor of Political Science and Wallenberg Academy Fellow, University of Gothenburg, Sweden