Globalising International Theory | 2 December 2022

This symposium is a hybrid event organised in conjunction with the recent publication of Globalizing International Theory: The Problem with Western IR Theory and How to Overcome It, edited by Allan Layug and John M. Hobson in the Worlding Beyond The West book series at Routledge.

Venue: Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge, Room SG2 and via Zoom.

Time: 9 AM - 6 PM GMT


To attend in person, please email Dr. Zeynep Kacmaz-Milne (

To attend via Zoom, please register here: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Anahita Arian (University of Cambridge)

Gennaro Ascione (University of Naples L'Orientale)

Martin Bayly (London School of Economics)

David L. Blaney (Macalester College)

Zeynep Gülşah Çapan (University of Erfurt)

Raewyn Connell (University of Sydney)

Inanna Hamati-Ataya (University of Cambridge)

John M. Hobson (University of Sheffield)

Allan Layug (University of Queensland)

Sheryl Lightfoot (University of British Columbia)

Deepshikha Shahi (O.P. Jindal Global University)

Carsten-Andreas Schulz (University of Cambridge)

Arlene B. Tickner (Universidad del Rosario)

Session 1 | 9 - 10:30 AM | International Theory in the Global Knowledge Economy

Speakers: Connell, Layug, Hobson

Coffee/Tea break

Session 2 | 11 AM - 12:30 PM | Recasting the International: Globalising Perspectives

Speakers: Lightfoot, Çapan, Shahi

Lunch break

Session 3 | 2 - 3:30 PM | Recasting International Relations: Cross-disciplinary Perspectives on the Global

Speakers: Ascione, Arian, Bayly

Coffee/Tea break

Session 4 | 4 - 6 PM | The Future of Global International Theory - Roundtable

Speakers: Schulz, Tickner, Blaney, Hamati-Ataya, with closing notes from Layug & Hobson

Globalizing International Theory: The Problem with Western IR Theory and How to Overcome It, edited by Allan Layug and John M. Hobson. Routledge. 2022.

Publisher's description:

Globalizing International Theory adds to the literature on non-Western international relations (IR) theory by probing the question of what it means to globalize international theory.

The book starts with the premise that international theory is unfinished, incomplete, and homogenous because it provides a limited conception of the international which, in turn, derives from its partiality that reflects its narrow Western-centric bias. The contributors argue that the IR vision of the world is projected through a polarizing Western-filtered lens. Rather than utilizing an objective set of explanatory tools for explaining world politics, the reality is that orthodox IR theory only tells us why ‘the West is best’ and why ‘the Rest should become like the West’. This means that international theory is not truly international. In provincializing Western international theory, this volume navigates beyond the Eurocentric and imperial frontier of the prevailing limited conception of the international to explore the hidden contributions to international theory which can be found in the non-Western world. Bringing in excluded, non-Western conceptions of international theory highlights a broader conception of the international. The book provides a framework for theorizing globally, exploring the fundamental problems with Western IR theory, and how to overcome them.

This book will be used by advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students, scholars, researchers, and IR theorists worldwide who are interested in non-Western IR theory. It will help navigate the problem of internationalness in the face of the grand theoretical problem of our time: the use and misuse of international theory in making sense of, and responding to, the complex global realities of the twenty-first century.



Table of Contents:

Preface: Thickening International Theory or Shrinking the Shagreen Skin? Acknowledgments 1. On the Road Toward a Globalized International Theory Part 1. Racist/Eurocentric Foundations of IR, c.1850–2020: Why IR’s Conception of the International is Provincial and Thin 2. Beyond a ‘More International’ International Relations 3. Un-veiling the Racist Foundations of Modern Realist and Liberal IR Theory Part 2. Problematizing International Theory: How and Why ‘Bringing the Non-Western World In’ Overcomes the Thin Eurocentric Conception of the International 4. Challenging the Illusion of Theoretical ‘Internationalness’ 5. Being International and/or Global? 6. On the Logic of Non-Western Theoretical Argument 7. Identity, Knowledge, Dialogue and the International Part 3. Globalizing International Theory: Constructing a Non-Eurocentric Thick Conception of the International 8. Ethno-Culturalism in World History: Race, Identity and 'the Global' 9. Pluriversality in Islamic Political Thought 10. International or Not, Being Human is Being ‘Global’! 11. Indigenous Disruptions: How Indigenous Self-Determination Practices Can Deepen and Expand International Theory 12. International Theory and Critique in Unusual Places: From Lusotropicalism to Anticolonial Poetics Part 4. Conclusion: Reflections on Globalizing International Theory 13. Thick/Thin as Multifaceted Metaphor.

Editors' Biographies:

A. Layug is a PhD Candidate in the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland, Australia; research associate at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University, USA; and an associate at the Center for Global Knowledge Studies at the University of Cambridge, UK. His research interests include international theory, international security, global strategic thought/culture, global political theory, global intellectual history, theories of world order, international relations of the Global South, US and China’s Grand Strategies, Islam, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and Philippine politics and foreign/security relations.

John M. Hobson is Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Sheffield, UK, and is a Fellow of the British Academy. His research interests comprise the critique of Eurocentrism in international relations/international political economy with an emphasis on connected global historical sociologies.