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

Hybrid Sovereignty in World Politics
Hybrid Sovereignty in World Politics

Swati Srivastava, Purdue University, Indiana

ISBN: 9781009204507

November 2022

The idea of 'hybrid sovereignty' describes overlapping relations between public and private actors in important areas of global power, such as contractors fighting international wars, corporations regulating global markets, or governments collaborating with nongovernmental entities to influence foreign elections. This innovative study shows that these connections – sometimes hidden and often poorly understood – underpin the global order, in which power flows without regard to public and private boundaries. Drawing on extensive original archival research, Swati Srivastava reveals the little-known stories of how this hybrid power operated at some of the most important turning points in world history: spreading the British empire, founding the United States, establishing free trade, realizing transnational human rights, and conducting twenty-first century wars. In order to sustain meaningful dialogues about the future of global power and political authority, it is crucial that we begin to understand how hybrid sovereignty emerged and continues to shape international relations.

War, States, and International Order
War, States, and International Order
Alberico Gentili and the Foundational Myth of the Laws of War


Claire Vergerio, Universiteit Leiden

ISBN: 9781009098014

August 2022

Who has the right to wage war? The answer to this question constitutes one of the most fundamental organizing principles of any international order. Under contemporary international humanitarian law, this right is essentially restricted to sovereign states. It has been conventionally assumed that this arrangement derives from the ideas of the late-sixteenth century jurist Alberico Gentili. Claire Vergerio argues that this story is a myth, invented in the late 1800s by a group of prominent international lawyers who crafted what would become the contemporary laws of war. These lawyers reinterpreted Gentili's writings on war after centuries of marginal interest, and this revival was deeply intertwined with a project of making the modern sovereign state the sole subject of international law. By uncovering the genesis and diffusion of this narrative, Vergerio calls for a profound reassessment of when and with what consequences war became the exclusive prerogative of sovereign states.

Ascending Order book jacket
Purchase Ascending Order
Rising Powers and the Politics of Status in International Institutions

Rohan Mukherjee, London School of Economics and Political Science

ISBN: 9781009186810

August 2022

Why do rising powers sometimes challenge an international order that enables their growth, and at other times support an order that constrains them? Ascending Order offers the first comprehensive study of conflict and cooperation as new powers join the global arena. International institutions shape the choices of rising states as they pursue equal status with established powers. Open membership rules and fair decision-making procedures facilitate equality and cooperation, while exclusion and unfairness frequently produce conflict. Using original and robust archival evidence, the book examines these dynamics in three cases: the United States and the maritime laws of war in the mid-nineteenth century; Japan and naval arms control in the interwar period; and India and nuclear non-proliferation in the Cold War. This study shows that the future of contemporary international order depends on the ability of international institutions to address the status ambitions of rising powers such as China and India.

Uncertainty and Its Discontents book jacket
Uncertainty and Its Discontents:
Worldviews in World Politics

Peter J Katzenstein, Cornell University, New York

ISBN: 9781009068970

July 2022

This volume provides the first major study of worldviews in international relations. Worldviews are the unexamined, pre-theoretical foundations of the approaches with which we understand and navigate the world. Advances in twentieth century physics and cosmology and other intellectual developments questioning anthropocentrism have fostered the articulation of alternative worldviews that rival conventional Newtonian humanism and its assumption that the world is constituted by controllable risks. This matters for coming to terms with the uncertainties that are an indelible part of many spheres of life including public health, the environment, finance, security and politics – uncertainties that are concealed by the conventional presumption that the world is governed only by risk. The confluence of risk and uncertainty requires an awareness of alternative worldviews, alerts us to possible intersections between humanist Newtonianism and hyper-humanist Post-Newtonianism, and reminds us of the relevance of science, religion and moral values in world politics.

Share this page