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Book Launch: The Concertation Impulse in World Politics

February 1 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

The Concertation Impulse in World Politics: Contestation over Fundamental Institutions and the Constrictions of Institutionalist International Relations unravels the centrality of contestation over international institutions under the shadow of crisis. Breaking with the widely accepted image in the mainstream, US-centric literature of an advance of global governance supported by pillars of institutionalized formality, Andrew F. Cooper points to the retention of a habitual impulse towards concertation related to informal institutionalism.

Rather than endorsing the view that world politics is moving inexorably towards a multilateral, rules-based order, he places the onus on the resilience of a hierarchical self-selected concert model that combines a stigmatized legacy with the ability to reproduce in an array of associational designs.

Relying for conceptual guidance on the recovery of a valuable component in the intellectual contribution of Hedley Bull, a compelling case is made that concertation represents a fundamental institution as a peer competitor to multilateralism. In effect, the debate over institutional design is recast away from an emphasis on utilitarian maximization towards a wider set of cardinal— and highly contested—questions: the nature of rules at the global level, the salience of institutional clubs, and the meaning and impact of (in)equality and cooperation/ coordination among states across the incumbent West/non-incumbent Global South divide.

About the author

Andrew F. Cooper is a Professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and University Research Chair, the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo where he teaches in the areas of International Organization, Global Governance, Comparative Foreign Policy and International Diplomacy. He holds a DPhil in International Relations from Oxford University. In 2009 he served as Visiting Fulbright Chair at the Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California, and he has also been a visiting professor at Australian National University, SAIS Johns Hopkins, Stellenbosch University, Shiv Nadar University and Harvard University. Currently he is an Associate Research Fellow-UNU CRIS. In 2019 he was the first recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Diplomacy Section of the International Studies Association.

Dr. Cooper is the author/co-author of 12 books ranging from the first stand-alone book on the G20, with a Foreword by the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin, to works on The BRICS, Celebrity Diplomacy, Diplomatic Afterlives, and Internet Gambling Offshore. He is also editor/co-editor of 21 collections including The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy. His articles have appeared in leading journals such as International Organization, International Affairs, World Development, International Studies Review, International Interactions, Political Science Quarterly, Global Policy Journal, Washington Quarterly, Journal of Democracy, Global Governance, Third World Quarterly, and New Political Economy. His work has been profiled via ABC Good Morning America, The Independent, CBC’s Q, Variety Magazine, Times of India, China Daily, and the Washington Diplomat.

Andy Cooper beside the book cover for "The concertation impulse in world politics"


February 1
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Category:


Hybrid – room 143 and Zoom
67 Erb Street West
Waterloo, ON N2L 6C2 Canada
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