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Great Powers in the Changing International Order

Nick Bisley
Great Powers in the Changing International Order
ISBN: 978-1-58826-833-4
ISBN: 978-1-58826-974-4
2012/209 pages/LC: 2011031585
"Offers a wealth of interest and knowledge that will enlighten readers and broaden their thinking."—Jonathan H. Ping, Australian Journal of International Relations

"An important contribution ... [that examines] how great powers became associated with the management of the international system and how their role in this capacity has become outdated in the 21st century."—Choice

"Well written, well researched, and insightful. Bisley provides a historically rich analysis of the preconditions for great power cooperation as a foundation of international order—and how these preconditions are lacking in contemporary international relations."—Mark L. Haas, Duquesne University


What does it mean to be a great power? What role do great powers have in managing international order, and is that role still relevant in a globalizing world? Are new great powers likely to emerge? If so, to what effect? Addressing this set of questions, Nick Bisley provides a historically informed and theoretically grounded analysis of the part that great powers play in contemporary world politics.

Bisley traces the idea of great power management from its origins in European history to the present day. Arguing that the idea that great powers have a special responsibility for maintaining international order is badly out of step with contemporary circumstances, he offers an intriguing conclusion about the nature of the international system.


Nick Bisley is professor of international relations at La Trobe University. His publications include Rethinking Globalization and The End of the Cold War and the Causes of Soviet Collapse.


  • Great Powers in World Politics.
  • The Origins of the Great Power Role.
  • Confronting the Twentieth Century.
  • The Contradictions of the UN Order.
  • The Anachronism of the Great Powers.
  • The Greatest Power?
  • The Impact of the Emerging Powers.
  • Power and Order in Contemporary World Politics.
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