International Relations, Historical Sociology and the Eurocentrism Debate

Eren Duzgun


At the forefront of the bourgeoning field of International Historical Sociology has been the effort to overcome Eurocentric conceptions of world history. This review article reconsiders the issue of Eurocentrism by critically engaging with Alex Anievas and Kerem Nı̇şancioğlu’s How the West Came to Rule, which is the most recent and arguably one of the most sophisticated contributions to the anti-Eurocentric turn in International Relations. How the West Came to Rule provides a critique of Eurocentrism through a systematic inquiry into the question of the origin of capitalism. Despite its originality, I argue that the book remains hamstrung by a number of methodological issues, which ultimately undermine the authors’ effort to go beyond the existing literature on Eurocentrism and provide a truly non-hierarchical international historical sociology. A clear specification of these problems, which haunt most anti-Eurocentric approaches to IR, provides us with the preliminary outlines of an alternative non-Eurocentric approach to world history.

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