Our book series

Cambridge Studies in International Relations is a joint initiative we have undertaken with Cambridge University Press (CUP). The series comprises over 150 books and publishes the best new scholarship in International Studies, irrespective of subject matter, methodological approach or theoretical perspective. We seek to bring the latest theoretical work in International Relations to bear on the most important problems and issues in global politics. The book series was established in 1985 and publishes three to four books per year.

You can browse through and purchase the full series on the CUP website. If you’re a BISA member you’re entitled to a 40% discount on any title in the series, as well as 25% off any other CUP titles. Access your discount by entering the code supplied in your membership welcome email.


  • Evelyn Goh
  • Christian Reus-Smit
  • Nicholas J. Wheeler
  • Cambridge University Press Editor: John Haslam: jhaslam@cambridge.org 

Editorial Board: Jacqueline Best, Karin Fierke, William Grimes, Yuen Foong Khong, Andrew Kydd, Andrew Linklater, Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Jacqui True, Leslie Vinjamuri, Mark Webber, Alexander Wendt

Featured titles

On Global Learning
On Global Learning
Pragmatic Constructivism, International Practice and the Challenge of Global Governance

Jason Ralph, University of Leeds

ISBN: 9781009385787

September 2023

Global security, climate and health challenges have all created a deep-seated unease about international society's capacity to cope with change. International Relations should help practitioners develop appropriate responses, but Jason Ralph argues that IR would be better positioned to do so if it drew more explicitly on the insights of classical Pragmatism. By bringing this tradition in from the margins, Ralph comprehensively engages norm, practice, realist and global IR theory to extend the 'new constructivist' research agenda in a normative direction. He develops a 'Pragmatic Constructivist' approach to assess how well communities of practice facilitate the learning that mitigates emergent social problems and improves lived experiences. This normative assessment focuses on the extent to which communities of practice are characterized by inclusive reflexivity and deliberative practical judgment. These two tests are then applied to critique existing communities of practice, including the UN Security Council, the UNFCCC and the WHO.

Right and Wronged in International Relations
Right and Wronged in International Relations
Evolutionary Ethics, Moral Revolutions, and the Nature of Power Politics

Brian C Rathbun, University of Southern California

ISBN: 9781009344685

August 2023

Brian Rathbun argues against the prevailing wisdom on morality in international relations, both the commonly held belief that foreign affairs is an amoral realm and the opposing concept that norms have gradually civilized an unethical world. By focusing on how states respond to being wronged rather than when they do right, Rathbun shows that morality is and always has been virtually everywhere in international relations – in the perception of threat, the persistence of conflict, the judgment of domestic audiences, and the articulation of expansionist goals. The inescapability of our moral impulses owes to their evolutionary origins in helping individuals solve recurrent problems in their anarchic environment. Through archival case studies of German foreign policy; the analysis of enormous corpora of text; and surveys of Russian, Chinese, and American publics, this book reorients how we think about the role of morality in international relations.

Making Global Society book jacket
Making Global Society
A Study of Humankind Across Three Eras


Barry Buzan, London School of Economics and Political Science

ISBN: 9781009372183

August 2023

Barry Buzan proposes a new approach to making International Relations a truly global discipline that transcends both Eurocentrism and comparative civilisations. He narrates the story of humankind as a whole across three eras, using its material conditions and social structures to show how global society has evolved. Deploying the English School's idea of primary institutions and setting their story across three domains - interpolity, transnational and interhuman - this book conveys a living historical sense of the human story whilst avoiding the overabstraction of many social science grand theories. Buzan sharpens the familiar story of three main eras in human history with the novel idea that these eras are separated by turbulent periods of transition. This device enables a radical retelling of how modernity emerged from the late 18th century. He shows how the concept of 'global society' can build bridges connecting International Relations, Global Historical Sociology and Global/World History.

Global Policymaking book jacket
Global Policymaking
The Patchwork of Global Governance

Vincent Pouliot, McGill University and Jean-Philippe Thérien, Université de Montréal

ISBN: 9781009344968

March 2023

This book analyzes the politics of global governance by looking at how global policymaking actually works. It provides a comprehensive theoretical and methodological framework which is systematically applied to the study of three global policies drawn from recent UN activities: the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, the institutionalization of the Human Rights Council from 2005 onwards, and the ongoing promotion of the protection of civilians in peace operations. By unpacking the practices and the values that have prevailed in these three cases, the authors demonstrate how global policymaking forms a patchwork pervaded by improvisation and social conflict. They also show how global governance embodies a particular vision of the common good at the expense of alternative perspectives. The book will appeal to students and scholars of global governance, international organizations and global policy studies.

Book series books on stands

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