Response to Reviewers: The Steppe Tradition in International Relations

Cambridge Review of International Affairs, published online 25.11.2020. DOI: 10.1080/09557571.2020.1838823

This is the replying article to a symposium which was organized as part of our receiving the ISA Giuicciardini Prize for our book The Steppe Tradition in International Relations (Cambridge University Press, 2018), In reply to Michael Reynolds’s question of whether the ideal type that we draw up to capture Eurasian steppe politics vis-à-vis sedentaries along the steppe’s Southern and Western rim, we point to extant literature on China and its Northern neighbours, to works on the American plains from Frederick Jackson Turner’s essay ‘The Frontier in American History’ (1893) to Pekka Hämäläinen’s The Comanche Empire (2009), and to ongoing work on Colombian and Venezulan llaneros. We apologize to David Anthony, a key inspiration, for not having done enough on the Scythian contributions to the traditions, particularly regarding empires, and to Hendrik Spruyt for not having been more firm regarding steppe influences on the Carolingians. We end by thanking Jenny Wight for pointing out how her own work triangulates our findings regarding the importance of the Steppe Tradition for Turkish present-day politics, and defending our Durkheimian functionalist approach against’ Joseph MacKay thoughtful criticism.



  • Director
    +47 67111900

    Show Email