Technology: From the Background to Opportunity

Leonie Tanczer in conversation with Barry Buzan
  • Leonie Tanczer
  • Barry Buzan


This conversation takes place between Leonie Tanczer of University College London and Barry Buzan, Professor Emeritus of International Relations at the London School of Economics. Buzan is a central figure of the Copenhagen School and Regional Security Complex Theory. He works currently with the English School approach to International Relations (IR), which is based on the understanding that there is not just an international system, but also an international society. The chapter discusses Buzan’s experience with technology. It highlights how the material side of technology is quite conventional in IR and how we might best understand technologies as the instruments and the knowledge behind tools that enhance the capabilities of both humans and animals to do things. As Buzan points out, we can hardly conceptualize anything in IR without thinking about the background technological conditions. Furthermore, we should go beyond seeing technology as a ‘sector’, rather conceptualizing it as a variable that affects all domains of the international system.


International society English school Change Internet International history 

Works Referenced

  1. Buzan, B. (1998). People, states and fear. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.Google Scholar
  2. Buzan, B., & Lawson, G. (2015). The global transformation: History, modernity and the making of international relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Buzan, B., Jones, C. A., & Little, R. (1993). The logic of anarchy: Neorealism to structural realism. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Buzan, B., Wæver, O., & De Wilde, J. (1998). Security: A new framework for analysis. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonie Tanczer
    • 1
  • Barry Buzan
    • 2
  1. 1.University College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.London School of EconomicsLondonUK

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