Politics & International Affairs magazine

Global Politics

Politics & International Affairs magazine

Special Series: Regions in International Society: The English School at the Sub-Global Level

Global Politics launched the first publication of its new special series. Regions in International Society: The English School at the Sub-Global Level focuses on regional international societies which is one of the new topics within the English School of International Relations. It examines three regional case – East Asia, South America and Central Asia. Its effort to uncover existence of international societies at the regional level highlights new theoretical, methodological and empirical challenges the English School should deal with. The book is authored by Aleš Karmazin (Charles University, Prague), Filippo Costa-Buranelli (King's College London), Yongjin Zhang (Bristol), and Federico Merke (Universidad de San Andrés). The book was developed by Global Politics (supported by International Institute of Political Science, Masaryk University) and published by Masaryk University Press.

The English School of International Relations recently experienced some changes and attempts to establish new research agendas. The focus on regions in international society is one of the most significant ones. Since the late 2000s, some English School scholars realized that the English School's view on global politics, or international society (according to the English School vocabulary), is insufficient and incorrect as there are interactions between global international society, which has been analysed for long time, and regional level(s) whose existence has largely been neglected by the English School. Opening the new (regional) level of analysis might have serious implications for understanding institutions and norms like sovereignty, diplomacy, balance of power and others which exist and are performed at both global and regional level.

In many cases, regions form their own sub-global (regional) international societies which co-exist with global international society. The presented volume aims to (1) highlight the gap between the perception that international society is globally homogeneous and the current state of international society, (2) to develop the emerging issue of the English School’s analysis of the regional level and (3) provide empirical examinations of three regions, namely, East Asia, South America and Central Asia, which have not been much analyzed at the sub-global level in the existing English School scholarship.

Except for advancing discussions within the English School, the book is directly relevant to two other groups of scholars and students. Firstly, the book should deliver more understanding to area specialists. Secondly, through examination of different regional settings, the volume contributes to understanding of the contemporary global order. Much has been said about the decline of the USA and the West on the one hand and the rise of emerging powers on the other. Since the dynamics of this change (whether real or alleged) has a regional basis, looking at regions seems to be necessary and imperative.

The full text of the e-book can be downloaded here.

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Aleš Karmazin
Articles, Editorial board
22nd September 2014