The Concept of Order in World Politics

  • Hedley Bull


A study of order in world politics must begin with the question: what is it? I shall indicate what I mean by order in social life generally, and proceed to consider what it means in the system of states and in world politics in general.


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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    Augustine, The City of God, bk xix, ch. XII (Everyman’s Library, 1950) p. 249.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    There are many sources for this analysis, but see especially H. L. A. Hart’s account of ‘the simple truisms’ that constitute ‘the core of good sense in the doctrine of Natural Law’: The Concept of Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1961) p. 194.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    For an attempt to view international relations as a special case of the relations of powers, see Arthur Lee Burns, Of Powers and their Politics: A Critique of Theoretical Approaches (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Raymond Aron, Peace and War: A Theory of International Relations (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1966) p. 94.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    See Martin Wight, Systems of States (Leicester University Press and London School of Economics, 1977) ch. 1.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Kaplan defines a system of action as ‘a set of variables so related in contradistinction to its environment, that describable behavioural regularities characterise the internal relationships of the variables to each other, and the external relationships of the set of individual variables to combinations of external variables’: ibid. p. 4.Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    See A. H. L. Heeren, A Manual of the History of the Political System of Europe and its Colonies, Göttingen, 1809 (Oxford: Talboys, 1834) vol. I. p. v.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hedley Bull 1977

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  • Hedley Bull

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