John Hobson, *The Eurocentric Conception of World Politics*

The book surveys the past two centuries of thinking about world politics from Victorian liberals and socialists to contemporary schools of academic thought and convicts all of them of Eurocentrism — whether overtly or, as in many cases, they are guilty of “subliminal Eurocentrism”.

I cannot recommend this book.

  • It is very repetitive. After only a few pages, the reader already knows what comes next: everyone discussed from John Stuart Mill onwards is … yes, Eurocentric.
  • It is also written in a prosecutorial mode in which the aim is to dig out evidence of thought-crimes, to expose crimethink.


An alternative approach to this anti-Eurocentrism would be civilizationism or culturism. Just like many other things in the modern world, systematic thinking about world politics certainly is Eurocentric. It was created by Europeans, developed by Europeans, based in institutions in Europe, and since in these ways it was literally centered in Europe, that’s how it is “Eurocentric”.

An interesting question (not addressed in this book) would be: how and why did Europeans pioneer this innovation? What distinctive features of the West led it to generate systematic theorization of world politics?


John Hobson, The Eurocentric Conception of World Politics: Western International Theory, 17602010. Cambridge University Press, 2012.


1 Comment

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One response to “John Hobson, *The Eurocentric Conception of World Politics*

  1. Magnificent web site. Lots of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you on your effort!

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