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History of International Relations: A Non-European Perspective
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The Author

Erik Ringmar is professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Ibn Haldun University, Istanbul, Turkey. He graduated from Yale University in 1993 with a PhD in political science and has subsequently worked at the London School of Economics and as professor of international politics at Shanghai Jiaotong Daxue in Shanghai, China.


I am grateful to the students who have taken my course on comparative international systems over the past years. They were the first ones to be exposed to the chapters that follow. It is more than anything their questions and objections that have forced me to think harder and explain better. Thanks also to Jorg Kustermans and Victor Friedman who tried out the material in their respective courses and provided feedback. Downloaders and commentators at Academia.edu helped improve the argument as did suggestions from Klara Andrée, Magnus Fiskesjö, Jonas Gjersø, Ville Harle, Markus Lyckman, John Pella, Frank Ejby Poulsen, Diane Pranzo, James C. Scott, Farhan Hanif Siddiqi and Max de Vietri. Thanks also to Alex Astrov, Gunther Hellmann and Iver B. Neumann. The indefatigable librarians at the Internet Archive and Library Genesis provided all the books I needed. Thanks to Julie Linden for proof-reading, to Luca Baffa and Anna Gatti for layout and design, and to Alessandra Tosi for believing in the project and for guiding the text into print. As always, I am indebted to Ko Jenq-Yuh and Hong Ruey-Long.

This book

Names of people and places are generally given in the original language but other versions are included for ease of identification. Hence “Kongzi,” but also “Confucius,” “Palashi,” but also “Plassey.” All years given refer to the Common Era, “CE” or Anno Domini, “AD,” except when indicated. All years associated with names of rulers refer to the length of their reign.

In addition to the main chapters there are a large number of boxes in which more specific topics are introduced. Many of these topics expand on the story told in the main chapters, but some introduce new themes. The purpose is to show the contemporary relevance of the historical material, but also to provide a sense of the culture and traditions of each respective part of the world.

The book is accompanied by a dedicated website: http://ringmar.net/irhistorynew/. Here you will find links to more material, primary sources and a complete bibliography, as well as podcasts to listen to and video clips to watch. Look out for the Read More call-outs, which link to specific resources in the irhistory website (direct links and QR codes for each webpage are provided for ease of access).