Robert O. Keohane

2016 Balzan Prize for International Relations: History and Theory

For his fundamental contributions to the institutional approach in the field of international relations; for his untiring commitment to research and for the decisive, persistent influence of his teachings.

Robert Owen Keohane is Professor Emeritus of International Affairs at Princeton University. He has also taught at the Universities of Stanford, Brandeis, Harvard and Duke. He has been – inter alia – President of the American Political Science Association and of the International Studies Association, and has received a great number of prizes and awards. Keohane has authored many books, including the classic monograph After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy (1984), where he defined the theory of international regimes that coincide with bodies of principles, norms, institutions and decision procedures. Focusing on the importance of the world political economy in the realm of international relations, he supports the rationale for the rise of cooperation among States in the international arena, and above all, in contrast to the neo-realist approach, for the possible persistence of regimes independently of their genesis ascribable to hegemonic stability. In this way Robert Keohane has formulated the neo-liberal institutionalist paradigm. The book has been classified by Princeton University Press as one of the hundred best books published in its first century of publishing activity (the same holds true of the volume Designing Social Inquiry, which Keohane published together with Gary King and Sydney Verba in 1994). In the new preface of 2005 to his After Hegemony, Robert Keohane recognizes the radical changes that have characterized the international system since the end of the Cold War, pointing out the need to focus on new themes for research in the field of international relations and encouraging the development of a pluralistic theoretical approach to the new challenges for a theory of a system of international politics. Thus, he has dedicated an important collection of essays to the processes of globalization, Power and Governance in a Partially Globalized World (2002). In 2011 he published “The Regime Complex for Climate Change” together with David Victor. His books and countless papers and articles have been translated into many languages. Keohane’s influence and teachings in the field of international relations have been exemplary, persistent, decisive and long-lasting.

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