Keynote Address - Regimes of Difference: Culture and Order in World Politics

715 Muirhead Tower
Tuesday 28 May 2019 (16:15-18:00)

Tuesday 28 May 2019

Room 715, 7th Floor, Muirhead Tower

16:15 – 18:00

The rise of non-Western great powers, the spread of transnational religiously justified insurgencies, and the resurgence of ethno-nationalism raise fundamental questions about the relationship between cultural diversity and international order. Yet debate within international relations has been hamstrung by outdated understandings of culture and flawed historical assumptions. This keynote address presents a new way of thinking about cultural diversity and international order, introducing ideas developed in Reus-Smit's On Cultural Diversity (CUP 2018) and Phillips and Reus-Smit’s edited volume Culture and Order in World Politics (CUP In Press). In the first of these books Reus-Smit argues international orders always evolve in heterogenous cultural contexts, that the governance of diversity is a key imperative of order-building, and that all international orders develop ‘diversity regimes’ to organise cultural difference. Culture and Order in World Politics takes these ideas further, detailing the productive power of ‘diversity regimes’, how crises of legitimacy relate to the organisation of diversity, the effects of political centralisation and decentralisation on the character of diversity governance, the multi-scalar nature of diversity regimes. With contributions from leading sociologists, historians, lawyers, and international relations scholars, Culture and Order provides demonstrates these claims with a wide range of cases, from the governance of diversity in the Chinese, Ottoman, and modern ‘liberal’ orders, to key sites of constitution and contestation: gender, law, religion, and world cultural heritage.

Professor Christian Reus-Smit holds the Chair in International Relations at the University of Queensland, Australia. He is the author of On Cultural Diversity (Cambridge 2018); Individual Rights and the Making of the International System (Cambridge 2013), American Power and World Order (Polity 2004) and The Moral Purpose of the State (Princeton 1999); co-author of Special Responsibilities in World Politics (Cambridge 2012); editor of The Politics of International Law (Cambridge 2004); and co-editor of Culture and Order in World Politics (Cambridge: 2019 In Press), The Globalization of International Society (Oxford 2017), The Oxford Handbook of International Relations (Oxford 2008), Resolving International Crises of Legitimacy (Special issue of International Politics 2007), and Between Sovereignty and Global Governance (Macmillan 1998). His work has been awarded the Northedge Prize (1992), the BISA Prize (2002), the Susan Strange Prize (2014), and, with Tim Dunne, the ISA Theory Section Best Edited Book Award (2018). Professor Reus-Smit edits (with Evelyn Goh and Nicholas Wheeler) the Cambridge Studies in International Relations books series, is General Editor (with Duncan Snidal) of a new twelve volume series of Oxford Handbooks of International Relations, and was, from 2012 to 2019, editor of the leading journal International Theory (with Duncan Snidal and Alexander Wendt). Prior to joining the University of Queensland, Professor Reus-Smit held Chairs at the European University Institute and the Australian National University (where he was Head of the Department of International Relations from 2001 to 2010). Professor Reus-Smit was elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Science in Australia in 2008, and was Vice-President of the International Studies Association for 2013-2014. Professor Reus-Smit is a Professorial Research Associate in the Department of Politics and International Studies at School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

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