The Social Evolution of International Politics

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-07-24
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Winner of the 2015 International Studies Association Annual Best Book Award

Deploying an original 'Social Evolution Paradigm' (SEP) and drawing from anthropology, evolutionary biology, and international relations, this book advances a sweeping account of the systemic transformation of international politics. More specifically, the book shows how the nasty and brutish Hobbesian/offensive realism world many of us take for granted had evolved from an Eden-like paradise; how the Hobbesian world had self-transformed into a more peaceful defensive realism world from 1648 to 1945; and how some regions of the post-1945 world have become more rule-based and peaceful. The book critically engages with all the key grand theories of international politics and provides neat solutions to some of the 'great debates' between those theories, from offensive realism to defensive realism, neoliberalism, the English School, and constructivism. This book is essential reading for scholars and students of international politics and of interest to those working in anthropology, sociology, political science, and social sciences in general.

Author Biography

Shiping Tang has very broad research interests and has published widely. He is the author of A Theory of Security Strategy for Our Time: Defensive Realism (Palgrave-Macmillan 2010) and A General Theory of Institutional Change (Routledge, 2011). He is also the co-editor of Living with China: Regional States and China through Crises and Turning Points (Palgrave-Macmillan 2009). His most recent publications include many articles in leading journals in international relations, comparative politics, and philosophy of social sciences. His next book is On Social Evolution. He is Professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs (SIRPA), Fudan Univeristy, Shanghai, China.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Part I: Preparing the Ground
Introduction: Why an Evolutionary Approach toward IR?
1. From Biological Evolution to Social Evolution
Part II: The Systemic Transformation of International Politics
2. Paradise Lost and Paradigm Gained: The Making of the Offensive Chapter From the Offensive Realism World to a Defensive Realism World
3. From the Offensive Realism World to a Defensive Realism World
Part III. Implications and Conclusion
4. A More Rule-based International System Unfolding
5. International System as an Evolutionary System
Appendix I. Evidences from Ethnographic Anthropology
Appendix II. Supplementary Tables for Chapter 2
Appendix III. The Coming of Warfare in Secondary Subsystems
Name Index
Subject Index

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