IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Illusion of Anarchy: Chaos, Complexity and the Origins of World War One

  • Dylan Kissane
Registered author(s):

    The discipline of international relations is, like all other social sciences, riddled with contests between committed academics. Passionate debates ensue where theoretical realists and theoretical liberals argue over the hope for cooperation in the international system, the former arguing that any cooperation will be time and commitment limited and the latter arguing that, with understanding and rules, cooperation is likely. Consider also the reasons for conflict in international relations: some argue it is simply a manifestation of human nature, others that irrational leaders are too quick to act, other still that the constraints of the system result in a system that will always be subject to conflict and war regardless of the individual actors intents. Debates rage too between those who see changes in international polarity as explicitly dangerous and those who see little difference between a multipolar, bipolar or unipolar world with regards to the incidence and extent of conflict. Further still, arguments proceed between those who see a state’s military as the best expression of power and those who consider economic power much more important, those who see a rising China as good for the US and those who see it is as bad, and those who see the UN as the culmination of humanity’s moral advance and those who consider the organisation merely a manifestation of great power politics. Anything within the discipline of international relations is, it seems, open to contention by otherscholars. Anything, that is, except for one notion that defines the field, separating it from wider political science: anarchy.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found. If this is indeed the case, please notify (Ariel González)

    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Argentine Center of International Studies in its series Working Papers - Programa Historia de las Relaciones Internacionales with number 016.

    in new window

    Date of creation:
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cis:histor:016
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Cafayate 1031, 1408 Ciudad de Buenos Aires
    Phone: +54 911 57651065
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information: Postal: Argentine Center of International Studies, Cafayate 1031, CP: 1408, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cis:histor:016. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ariel González)

    The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Ariel González to update the entry or send us the correct address

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.