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In Search of International Order: The English School Approach to the Analysis of International Politics


The English School of International Relations is one of the long-established theoretical approaches in IR that systematically explores the purpose and the character of international order at the macro-level of international politics. It does so by analysing deeply embedded (the so-called primary) institutions and other related institutional elements, norms and practices. This paper aims to introduce how the English School theoretically conceptualise and analyse international order. The paper synthetises the core argument of the English School, discusses how recent debates develop it and which key cleavages are present in the English School. I argue and demonstrate that the English School has been dynamically evolving in the last two decades and that it can contribute to our understanding of the changing world. The paper also encourages developments of the English School research in the Czech academic context.


English School, British institutionalism, institutions, international order, international society, norms, theories of International Relations

PDF Research Article (Czech)

Author Biography

Aleš Karmazin

Aleš Karmazin is assistant professor at the Metropolitan University Prague. He has received his Master's degrees in China studies from LSE and IR from Aberystwyth and PhD in IR from Charles University. He has been interested in analysing political order in its different variations from the level of international society (English School of IR, constructivism, sovereignty) to the domestic level (institutional and ideational mechanisms of governance). Also, he has been dealing with the role of technology in politics, which he approaches as yet another aspect related to political order. He analyses these questions with respect to China (domestic and foreign policy), India (foreign policy), East Asia and global order. His works have been published in Politics, Chinese Journal of Political Science, Europe Asia Studies and other journals.