TISED Newsletter 


2024 Annual Lecture of the Yan P. Lin Centre - ‘Is the Disorder of Our Times Unprecedented?’ by Ayşe Zarakol

Published: 10 April 2024

The Lin Centre’s 2024 Annual Lecture, ‘Is the Disorder of Our Times Unprecedented?’ was delivered by Professor Ayşe Zarakol, Professor of International Relations at the University of Cambridge, on March 27th. Professor Zarakol’s lecture was exemplary of the kind of cross-disciplinary, cross-era, cross-regional research on social and political ideas, orders and transformation that the Lin Centre seeks to encourage and promote!

Drawing on her recent, award-winning book, Before the West: The Rise and Fall of Eastern World Orders (Cambridge University Press, 2022), Professor Zarakol advanced a new history of (Eur)asian international relations that focuses on world order developments from the 13th to the 16th centuries in Asia, expanding conceptions of world orders and sovereignty, and the processes of their decline and transformation.

Zarakol also shared her exciting new research, supported by the British Academy, on the decline of world orders. Whereas much of the study of International Relations focuses on transitions between great powers or the decline hegemonic states, Zarakol shows that there are different levels of decline, including deeper levels of the decline of world orders, as well as ecumenical decline. Investigating structural crises and ecumenical shifts that led to the decline and transformation of world orders in history, Zarakol shared with the audience a thought-provoking and timely research agenda for our times.

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