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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
November 2021
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Book description

We need new analytical tools to understand the turbulent times in which we live, and identify the directions in which international politics will evolve. This volume discusses how engaging with Emanuel Adler's social theory of cognitive evolution could potentially achieve these objectives. Eminent scholars of International Relations explore various aspects of Adler's theory, evaluating its potential contributions to the study of world orders and IR theory more generally. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of the social theory of cognitive evolution, such as power, morality, materiality, narratives, and practices, and identifies new theoretical vistas that help break new ground in International Relations. In the concluding chapter, Adler responds, engaging in a rich dialogue with the contributors. This volume will appeal to scholars and advanced students of International Relations theory, especially evolutionary and constructivist approaches.


This masterful elucidation of Adler's seminal work on world ordering and cognitive evolution is a significant, independent contribution to vigorous debates about global orders. It features uniformly outstanding chapters that articulate meta-theoretical, conceptual and analytic-normative arguments while rethinking and extending different aspects of Adler's far-reaching work.

Peter J. Katzenstein - Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. Professor of International Studies, Cornell University

This is a volume that only Emanuel Adler could inspire.  One of the unheralded effects of Adler's distinguish career has been his ability to provoke, challenge, and energize those near and far to push the limits of their thinking and see a world filled with the patterns and contingencies.   This remarkable collection of essays is much more than a festshrift.  It shows how Adler's work, and his masterpiece, World Ordering, continue to plant the seeds for the wondrously unexpected.

Michael Barnett - University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science, George Washington University

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