The 19th Century Transformation of Great Powers and Strategic Relations: The Mode of Power in International Security

The Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC) presents the public lecture: The 19th Century Transformation of Great Powers and Strategic Relations: The Mode of Power in International Security by Barry Buzan.

Speaker:
Barry Buzan is Emeritus Professor in the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and a Fellow of the British Academy. Until 2012, he was the Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at the LSE. He also holds honorary professorships at the University of Copenhagen and Jilin University. He has written, co-authored or edited over twenty-five books, written or co-authored more than one hundred and thirty articles and chapters. His key books include: People, States and Fear (1983); Security: A New Framework for Analysis (1998) (with Ole Wæver and Jaap de Wilde); Regions and Powers (2003) (with Ole Wæver); From International to World Society? (2004); The Evolution of International Security Studies (2009) (with Lene Hansen); An Introduction to the English School of International Relations (2014); and Contesting International Society in East Asia (forthcoming) (edited with Yongjin Zhang).

Abstract:
This is taken from the forthcoming (2015) book by Barry Buzan and George Lawson on The Global Transformation. It argues that realism and strategic studies pay too much attention to the distribution of power and not enough to the mode of power. A transformation in the mode of power during the 19th century changed the foundation of great power status, and underpinned the emergence of a core-periphery global system, providing a common foundation for two stories usually told separately in IR. In addition, it set in train a relentless process of technological innovation that both destabilized great power relations in a new way and, more slowly, redefined the utility of war. These foundational patterns are still operating strongly in the present day, and make great power dynamics from the 19th century onwards sharply different from what they were before the revolutions of modernity defined a new mode of power.

Please join us for drinks and nibbles after the lecture.