This chapter begins by reconsidering the publication of The Expansion and why it was more peripheral to the field of IR when it was published than it is now. Over the last decade, as global history has come to assume more importance in IR, The Expansion has become a site where large-scale theoretical and historical questions have been intensely debated. One of these issues is the problem of ethnocentrism, and the habit of ‘not noticing’ events, encounters, negotiations, agreements, and conflicts that lie beyond the frontiers of the expanding state system. The other challenge for global IR is to go beyond critique and consider how plural accounts of culture and history can be scaled up to an alternative account of the global order. Without this, the field risks framing the current global order shift using the same categories of thought and action that underpinned the original Bull and Watson project.
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