Andrew Linklater was involved in developing new linkages between political theory and international relations in the 1970s and 1980s, and then in forging connections between critical social theory and world politics. His most recent research has investigated the problem of harm in world politics - specifically the challenges that arise as societies sought to balance the desire for increasingly destructive capabilities and the need for controlling violence and its consequences.
Analysis of the problem of harm involved engaging with the literature on moral and legal philosophy which explores the concept of harm, the varieties of harm, and the 'harm principle'. It also led to a major engagement with process sociology, as developed by Norbert Elias, and to a sequence of articles and book chapters that explore the importance of Elias's analysis of the 'civilizing process' for the study of international relations. Those themes were developed iin the book entitled, The Problem of Harm in World Politics: Theoretical Investigations which was published by Cambridge University press in 2011.
More recent research has explored Eliasian resources in order to build on Martin Wight's vision of a comparative sociology of states-systems. A book on that subject, Violence and Civilization in the Western States-System, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016. The volume was awarded the International Studies Association's International Ethics Section best book prize in 2018.
Two books are currently in progress. The first analyses the idea of civilization in the making of global order. The second investigates political symbols in long-term perspective. The approach to symbols has been outlined in a recent article entitled 'Symbols in World Politics: Long-Term Developments and Contemporary Challenges' which was published in the European Journal of International Relations in 2019.
Andrew Linklater joined the Department as Woodrow Wilson Professor in 2000, having previously been Professor and Dean of Postgraduate Studies at Keele University. He had earlier taught at Monash University and the University of Tasmania. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Academy of the Social Sciences and the Learned Society of Wales. Research and publications have included normative and critical theories of international relations and, in the most recent period, the development of linkages between process sociological studies of civilization and the English School tradition of analysis of international society.
Harm in World Politics
The Idea of Civilization in World Politics
Process Sociology and International Relations
World History and International Relations