The Anarchical Society

A Study of Order in World Politics, fourth edition

Hedley Bull. With foreword by Andrew Hurrell and Stanley Hoffman

Columbia University Press

The Anarchical Society

Pub Date: July 2012

ISBN: 9780231161299

368 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $36.00

Pub Date: July 2012

ISBN: 9780231161282

368 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $105.00

The Anarchical Society

A Study of Order in World Politics, fourth edition

Hedley Bull. With foreword by Andrew Hurrell and Stanley Hoffman

Columbia University Press

In this fundamental text, Hedley Bull explores three key questions: What is the nature of order in world politics? How is it maintained within the contemporary states system? And do desirable and feasible alternatives to the states system exist? Contrary to common claims, Bull asserts that the sovereign states system is not in decline. Rather, it persists and thrives, as it is essential to maintaining an international world order.

More than three decades after its publication, Bull's classic work continues to define and direct research in international relations. In this thirty-fifth anniversary edition, the text has been updated and includes a new interpretive foreword by the world's leading expert on Bull and his contributions to the theory, structures, and practices of world politics. The Anarchical Society identifies and confronts the unwritten rules supporting the international order across history, despite sweeping changes in laws and institutions. It considers and rejects the idea that the states system is giving way to an alternative world government or some method of neo-medieval rule or that the states system has ceased to be viable or compatible with objectives such as peace, economic justice, and ecological control. Bull also reviews and comments upon a variety of proposals for states system reform.
A masterful analysis of the problem of international order in contemporary society and of the feasibility of such alternative models as disarmament, global organization, a highly proliferated world, and a radical redistribution of wealth and power. Foreign Affairs
Bull has written that rarest of books: it is not the last, but the first word on its subject. Political Science Quarterly
An important book likely to be read with profit for a long time to come. Times Literary Supplement
Foreword to the Fourth Edition by Andrew Hurrell
Foreword to the Second Edition by Stanley Hoffmann
Introduction
Part I. The Nature of Order in World Politics
1. The Concept of Order in World Politics
2. Does Order Exist in World Politics?
3. How is Order Maintained in World Politics?
4. Order versus Justice in World Politics
Part II. Order in the Contemporary International System
5. The Balance of Power and International Order
6. International Law and International Order
7. Diplomacy and International Order
8. War and International Order
9. The Great Powers and International Order
Part III. Alternative Paths to World Order
10. Alternatives to the Contemporary States System
11. The Decline of the States System?
12. The Obsolescence of the States System
13. The Reform of the States System?
14. Conclusion
Notes and References
Index

About the Author

Hedley Bull (1932–1985) was Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at Oxford University. He also taught at the Australian National University and the London School of Economics.

Andrew Hurrell is Montague Burton Professor of International Relations and a fellow of Balliol College, Oxford University. He is the author of On Global Order: Power, Values, and the Constitution of International Society and coeditor of Order and Justice in International Relations, Hedley Bull on International Society, and Inequality, Globalization, and World Politics.

Stanley Hoffman is the Paul and Catherine Buttenwieser University Professor of International Relations at Harvard University. His many books include Chaos and Violence: What Globalization, Failed States, and Terrorism Mean for U.S. Foreign Policy and Gulliver Unbound: America's Imperial Temptation and the War in Iraq.