Action and Reaction in the World System

Thierry de Montbrial

  • Published: 2013
  • Subject Listing: History
  • Bibliographic information: 352 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

In this book, de Montbrial lays the foundation for a praxeology, or a "science of action," to facilitate a better understanding of the dynamics of international problems and a more systematic approach to policy making. He develops a model to analyze different types of international problems that arise from interactions between different units; he then applies this model to a range of current and historical problems.
Thierry de Montbrial is the president and founderof the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) and of theWorld Policy Conference (WPC). This is the first English edition of hisaward-winning book, which has already been published in sevenlanguages.

"An outstanding and timeless book that will serve as an invaluable reference for scholars, a helpful companion for practitioners, and a precious education tool for students. Thierry de Montbrial's ability to merge disciplines, transcend time, and bridge space is impressive."
-Simon Serfaty, Zbignew Brzezinski Chair (Emeritus) in Global Security and Geostrategy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Professor of International Politics, Old Dominion University

"De Montbrial is not afraid to challenge his readers to think in an impressively holistic way, truly following in the footsteps of Raymond Aron. At the same time he convincingly connects theory to current events in the world."
-Gordon Smith, Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and former Canadian Deputy Foreign Minister

"Thierry de Montbrial has presented a great contribution in the universalist tradition of European thought, combining the methods and insights of various disciplines to provide a masterly analysis of our contemporary world and guidelines to deal with its problems."
-Karl Kaiser, Adjunct Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, Director of the Program on Transatlantic Relations, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs

"This is a serious and ambitious work. Thierry de Montbrial ranges over a host of scholarly disciplines to offer an intriguing synthesis about 'global governance.' De Montbrial explains the dynamic of sovereign states facing the new realities of globalization- through both theory and practice."
-Robert B. Zoellick, former President of the World Bank Group, US Trade Representative, and US Deputy Secretary of State

"Thierry de Montbrial, long recognized as a leading French thinker and practitioner in international and global relations, describes the dangers of structural instability and the efficiency-legitimacy dilemma in today's international system. He correctly warns that good global governance is a survival issue and achieving it is a race against time."
-Joseph S. Nye, University Distinguished Service Professor, Harvard Kennedy School

Preface to the English Edition


1 Active Units and Praxeological Problems: An Introduction

2 Potency

3 Conflicts and Their Resolution

4 The Concept of Strategy

5 The Stability of Systems of Active Units

6 International Relations Theory

7 The Object and Nature of Economics


8 Perspectives on the International System

9 Globalization, Market Economy, and Unemployment

10 Ideology, Culture, and Action

11 Ethics and Politics

12 State Sovereignty and the International Community

13 Th e Engineer and the Economist

14 Strategy, Forecasting, and Chance