Hedley Bull and the Accommodation of Power

by

Hedley Bull (1932-1985) was one of the most forceful thinkers of international politics in recent generations. His depictions of an international society where nation-states find order without a world government continue to resonate. But until now, the importance of Bull's earlier and broader thinking has often been neglected. Based on Bull's published and unpublished work throughout his career, and his experiences in Australia as well as in Oxford and London, this uniquely comprehensive account brings together these many components. What emerges is the story of a scholar and one-time official whose work on nuclear strategy shaped his international theory, and whose study of Asia's changing balance and the third world informed his argument that rising powers had to be accommodated. Bull often saw these changes as little more than accidents of history, but the established powers needed to come to terms with them if the world was to be an orderly place.


  • Palgrave Macmillan; September 2012
  • ISBN 9781137291509
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Hedley Bull and the Accommodation of Power
  • Author: Robert Ayson
  • Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan

About The Author

ROBERT AYSON is Professor and Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He completed his PhD at King's College London, UK as a Commonwealth Scholar. He has held previous appointments with the New Zealand government and with the University of Waikato, Massey University and the ANU. He is author of Thomas Schelling and the Nuclear Age (2004).