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.

Editors

  • 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

Wrestling with God book cover
Wrestling with God
Ethical Precarity in Christianity and International Relations

Cecelia Lynch, University of California, Irvine

Available soon, check back for more information

Paperback ISBN: 9781108704847

Restraint book cover
Restraint in International Politics

Brent J. Steele, University of Utah

October 2019

Adobe eBook Reader ISBN: 9781316997840

The first comprehensive examination of restraint in international politics, considered across a range of psychological, social, political, and institutional contexts as a political process, device, and strategy. Surveying how restraint has been understood in international relations and political theory, with focus given to Aristotle and Machiavelli, Steele utilises Carl Jung's theories of complexes and the libido to broaden the conceptual definition of restraint as a phenomenon that is not only individual and inward-looking, but also relational and societal. Exploring its development, uses, expressions and challenges through history and in contemporary times, this book analyses the politics of restraint in processes of security, political economy, foreign policy and global public health. Situating restraint alongside similar concepts such as moderation, containment, and constraint, Steele asks against what, and from what, are we restraining ourselves, who authorises restraint, and what are the risks and rewards (both ethical and practical). Steele concludes with a balanced political and normative argument for restraint going forward.

World Ordering book cover
World Ordering
A Social Theory of Cognitive Evolution

Emanuel Adler, University of Toronto

March 2019

Paperback ISBN: 9781108412674

Drawing on evolutionary epistemology, process ontology, and a social-cognition approach, this book suggests cognitive evolution, an evolutionary-constructivist social and normative theory of change and stability of international social orders. It argues that practices and their background knowledge survive preferentially, communities of practice serve as their vehicle, and social orders evolve. As an evolutionary theory of world ordering, which does not borrow from the natural sciences, it explains why certain configurations of practices organize and govern social orders epistemically and normatively, and why and how these configurations evolve from one social order to another. Suggesting a multiple and overlapping international social orders' approach, the book uses three running cases of contested orders - Europe's contemporary social order, the cyberspace order, and the corporate order - to illustrate the theory. Based on the concepts of common humanity and epistemological security, the author also submits a normative theory of better practices and of bounded progress.

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Reasoning of State
Realists, Romantics and Rationality in International Relations

Brian C. Rathbun, University of Southern California

February 2019

Paperback ISBN: 9781108446181

Scholars and citizens tend to assume that rationality guides the decision-making of our leaders. Brian C. Rathbun suggests, however, that if we understand rationality to be a cognitive style premised on a commitment to objectivity and active deliberation, rational leaders are in fact the exception not the norm. Using a unique combination of methods including laboratory bargaining experiments, archival-based case studies, quantitative textual analysis and high-level interviews, Rathbun questions some of the basic assumptions about rationality and leadership, with profound implications for the field of international relations. Case studies of Bismarck and Richelieu show that the rationality of realists makes them rare. An examination of Churchill and Reagan, romantics in international politics who sought to overcome obstacles in their path through force of will and personal agency, show what less rationality looks like in foreign policy making.

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