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Edited by T.V. Paul, Deborah Welch Larson, Harold A. Trinkunas, Anders Wivel, and Ralf Emmers

The Oxford Handbook of Peaceful Change in International Relations

The discipline of international relations offers much insight into why violent power transitions occur, yet there have been few substantive examinations of why and how peaceful changes happen in world politics. This work is the first comprehensive treatment of that subject. The Oxford Handbook of Peaceful Change in International Relations provides a thorough examination of research on the problem of change in the international arena and the reasons why change happens peacefully at times, and at others, violently. It contains over forty chapters, which examine the historical, theoretical, global, regional, and national foreign-policy dimensions of peaceful change. As the world enters a new round of power transition conflict, involving a rapidly rising China and a relatively declining United States, this Handbook provides a necessary resource for decisionmakers and scholars engaged in this vital area of research.

"Too much commentary on war and peace from pundits and the DC foreign-policy “blob” is based on an anachronistic set of cliches and anecdotes and is ignorant of the growing scholarship on peaceful change from a variety of perspectives. This handbook is a vital resource for introducing depth and fresh ideas into this arena." Steven Pinker, Harvard University, and author of The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence has Declined.

"This handbook examines one of the critical questions of international politics going back to Immanuel Kant: how to explain and promote peaceful change in the relations between states. This issue was a major concern of international relations scholars in the 1930s, but since the Cold War, it has been sidelined by other concerns. The editors have mobilized a group of international authors to explore the issue. Forty-one outstanding chapters address the problem from diverse theoretical, historical, and regional perspectives. This handbook should help restore the problem of peaceful change to the center of the discipline."

Kal Holsti, University of British Columbia, and author of Taming the Sovereigns: Institutional Change in International Politics.

Before the First World War, it was common for intellectuals in Europe and North America to proclaim war to be “necessary for human progress.” After that war, the sentiment was only rarely voiced, and over the next hundred years international war has declined greatly as a means for settling differences between states. Nonetheless, human progress has continued quite nicely without war’s stimulus. This volume gathers extensive commentary on the often neglected, but clearly important, process of peaceful change. It is much needed. “

John Mueller, Ohio State University and Cato Institute, and author of The Stupidity of War: American Foreign Policy and the Case for Complacency

In these times of transition and change, it is even more important than before to push the frontiers of our understanding of peaceful change in international relations. This unique volume is a very valuable resource for scholars and students alike.

Evelyn Goh,  The Australian National University, author of The Struggle for Orde:; Hegemony, Hierarchy and Transition in Post-Cold War Asia.

Its theoretical ambition, conceptual depth, and historical breadth make this volume a seminal contribution to the study of peaceful change. This book provides profound insight to scholars and practitioners alike into the potential for peaceful international change – but also illuminates the formidable obstacles that stand in its way. Peaceful change has long been understudied; this volume goes a long way toward filling the gap.

Charles A. Kupchan, Georgetown University and Council on Foreign Relations and author of How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace

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Book Launches

Centre for Advanced Security Theory, University of Copenhagen
December 9 2021
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University
November 12, 2021
Centre for International Peace and Security Studies (CIPSS), McGill University
September 17, 2021
Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), Stanford University
June 9, 2021

November 12, 2021: Roundtable on The Oxford Handbook of Peaceful Change in International Relations, Griffith University, Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Online event.