International Politics in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Central Asia: Beyond Anarchy in International-Relations Theory

Central Asian Survey

Author/s (editor/s):

Joseph MacKay

Publication year:

2013

Publication type:

Journal article

Find this publication at:
Taylor & Francis

Joseph MacKay, ‘International Politics in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Central Asia: Beyond Anarchy in International-Relations Theory’, Central Asian Survey, 32(2) 2013: 210‒24.

Using historical analysis of relations between city-states and other international actors in Central Asia during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, this article evaluates new structural theories of international politics, chiefly those of David Lake and Jack Donnelly. Pre-colonial Central Asia offers a usefully tough case for structural theories, since it so little resembles the modern international order that these theories were developed to describe. Empirically, the article proceeds by evaluating the region’s city-states’ relations with three groups of actors: one another; neighbouring empires; and the many non-state actors present at the time. It concludes with an assessment of the merits of the new structuralisms, and a discussion of their value for constructivist international-relations theories of international change.

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