Harm in International Politics

Whether the human species can control the capacity for both violent and non-violent harm, previously central to its social and political development, is the central question which Woodrow Wilson Professor Linklater, Andrew is exploring in his three-volume study of the problem of harm in world politics.

Linklater's first volume will analyse the theoretical issues arising in the study of harm in world politics. It will lay the foundations for a second volume considering the way the Western international system has imprinted regulations for harm, and, more specifically, the development of cosmopolitan harm conventions (which are designed to protect all persons from harm irrespective of citizenship, nationality, gender, race, class and so forth).

The third volume will broaden this investigation to consider the Western international system in conjunction with three long-term processes in the development of the human race: the development of ever larger territorial monopolies of power, the growth of human interconnectedness and the widening scope of the emotional identification from kinship groups to large nation-states alongside still weak but not insignificant cosmopolitan bodies.

One of the central arguments of Linklater's approach to harm is that such loyalties will need to become stronger if the human race is to manage what might be called 'the ambiguities of global interconnectedness' - the fact that human beings have become more closely inter-related over the centuries, more capable of causing harm over greater distances but also more able to enjoy the benefits of global interaction and create forms of cooperation that relieve human beings from the burden of pointless and unnecessary harm.

Selected Recent Publications

  • Linklater, The Problem of Harm in World Politics: Theoretical Investigations (Cambridge University Press, 2011)
  • Linklater, Andrew (2009) "Human Interconnectedness", International Relations, 23(3), 481-97.
  • Linklater, Andrew (2009) "Grand Narratives and International Relations", Global Change, Peace and Security, 21(1), 3-17.
  • Linklater, Andrew (2007) "Public Spheres and Civilizing Processes" Theory, Culture and Society, Vol. 24, No. 4, 31-37
  • Linklater, Andrew (2007) "Towards a sociology of global morals with an ‘emancipatory intent’" Review of International Studies, Vol. 33, 135-150

Selected Recent Presentations

  • "Process Sociology and International Relations," Department of International Relations Research Seminar, London School of Economics, November 1, 2010
  • "The Problem of Harm in World Politics," University College Dublin, April 9 2010
  • "The Problem of Harm in World Politics: International Relations and Civilizing Processes", Symposium on International Relations in an Inter-disciplinary and Cross-Cultural Perspective, International Christian University, Tokyo, 27 March 2010
  • "Order and Justice in Contemporary World Politics: Essence of the English School of International Relations", Research Seminar, Ritsumaiken University Kyoto, 24 March 2010
  • "International Society and the Civilizing Process," Conference on International Theory at the Crossroads: Critical Scrutiny from Western / Non-Western Views, Ritsumaiken University Kyoto, 23 March 2010