Policy Press

Publishing with a purpose

The Civil Condition in World Politics

Beyond Tragedy and Utopianism

Edited by Vassilios Paipais

Published

Apr 11, 2022

Page count

240 pages

Series

Bristol Studies in International Theory

ISBN

978-1529224177

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Apr 11, 2022

Page count

240 pages

Series

Bristol Studies in International Theory

ISBN

978-1529224191

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press
The Civil Condition in World Politics

Bringing together an international team of contributors, this volume draws on international political theory and intellectual history to rethink the problem of a pluralistic world order.

Inspired by the work of international political theorist Nicholas Rengger, the book focuses on three main areas of Rengger’s contribution to the political theory of international relations: his Augustine-inspired idea of an ‘Anti-Pelagian Imagination’; his Oakeshottian argument for a pluralist ‘conversation of mankind’; and his ruminations on war as the uncivil condition in world politics. Through a critical engagement with his work, the book illuminates the promises and limitations of civility as a sceptical, non-utopian, anti-perfectionist approach to theorising world order that transcends both realist pessimism and liberal utopianism.

“In this stimulating collection of essays, an all-star team of scholars interrogates the work of the late Nick Rengger, one of Britain’s leading IR scholars. They engage with the ideas that figured so prominently in his work, as well as the writers who meant so much to him from St Augustine to Michael Oakeshott. This is an unusually rewarding read.” Christopher Coker, LSE IDEAS

“Nick Rengger was like a Renaissance intellectual – a sceptical scholar who embodied the ethos of civility. This collection of essays is a tremendous tribute to his lasting contribution to the ‘conversation of mankind’.” Adrian Pabst, University of Kent

Vassilios Paipais is Lecturer in International Relations at the University of St Andrews, Scotland.

1. Rengger’s anti-Pelagianism: international political theory as civil conversation – Vassilios Paipais

Part 1: Scepticism and the Civil Condition in World Politics

2. Revisiting Rengger’s Anti-Pelagianism – Noel O’Sullivan and Sophia Dingli

3. Poetics and Politics: Rengger, Weber, and the Virtuosi of Religion – John-Harmen Valk

4. ‘Keep your mind in hell, and despair not’: Gillian Rose’s anti-Pelagianism – Kate Schick

Part 2: Challenging the Anti-Pelagian Imagination

5. ‘A Dangerous Place to Be’? Nicholas J. Rengger, the English School, and International Disorder – Ian Hall

6. Rengger’s War on Teleocracy – Chris Brown

7. Conservatism, Civility, and the Challenges of International Political Theory – Michael Williams

Part 3: The Uncivil Condition in Word Politics

8. Rengger the Reluctant Rule Follower – Anthony Lang Jr.

9. Rengger and the ‘Business of War’ – Caroline Kennedy-Pipe

10. Just War as Tradition in a Civil International Order – Valerie Morkevičius

Afterword

11. Rengger, History, and the Future of International Relations – Richard Whatmore