Beyond the 'billiard ball' model of the international?
European Political Science
Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.
116 - 129
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In this review symposium, Pinar Bilgin, Ann Towns and David C. Kang discuss Barry Buzan and George Lawson’s The Global Transformation: History, Modernity and the Making of International Relations. In the book, Buzan and Lawson set out to provide a history of how we came to think about international relations in the way we do today. They explore the roots of our contemporary conceptions of the state, revolution, the international and modernity. They identify the long nineteenth century, from 1776 to 1914, as the key period in which the modern state and international relations as we know them today were forged. This was a global transformation in that it reshaped the bases of power, thereby also reshaping the relations of power that govern the relations between states and other agents today, across the world. In carrying through this project, Buzan and Lawson show us not only how the modern world was transformed, but also the kind of object it became for the discipline of International Relations. As such, this is also a book about the assumptions that have shaped, and continue to shape, that discipline.