Between Anarchy and Hierarchy: Theory of International Politics and Foreign Policy

Between Anarchy and Hierarchy offers a stimulating new perspective on conflict and collaboration in international politics. Robert Lieshout's new book shows how decision-making within individual states influences foreign policy and, in turn, international politics. Using a sliding scale between anarchy and hierarchy, he shows how each political system can be defined, including the distinctly anarchic international system itself. By showing the impact which internal decision-making processes have on the structure of the international system, Professor Lieshout integrates a theory of foreign policy making into a theory of international politics. After developing the epistemological foundations of this theory, Professor Lieshout applies his principles to results drawn from the use of game theory in international relations, examines the role of force in both hierarchical and anarchic systems, and shows how the adaptability of collective decision-making processes in states influences their behaviour in the international system. Between Anarchy and Hierarchy is remarkable both for the use of a general empirical behavioural theory to explain international politics, and for integrating theories of bureaucratic decision making into 'realist' theories of international relations. It will be of particular interest to international relations specialists as well as economists, political scientists and sociologists within the rational choice tradition.