Alumni Senior Fellow

Prof. Dr Eric Grynaviski

Alumni Fellows

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research
Schifferstraße 196
47059 Duisburg

Tel: +49 (0)203 29861-100
Fax: +49 (0)203 29861-199
E-mail: grynaviski@spam


Prof. Eric Grynaviski joined the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research as a Senior Fellow for 6 months. He will be conducting his research in Research Unit 2 “Global Cultural Conflicts and Transcultural Cooperation” between July and December 2017.

Research Project at the Centre

The Problem of Social Integration in International Politics

International relations scholars tend to agree that the international system encourages agents to misperceive others intentions and capabilities, and argue that this creates conflict. While misperceptions and incomplete information may contribute to conflict, they may also contribute to social order. If agents know the limits to their knowledge of others—they know they do not know the present or future intentions of others, and they know they have little basis for surmising the likely strategies others will pursue—the international system would become truly anarchic because the only way to anticipate what others will do is to use force to subdue them. Agents’ epistemic limits create the problem of social integration. Rather than focusing exclusively on threats to social stability caused by a lack of world government, we should broaden our attention to threats to stability caused by limitations of knowledge. The project suggests that IR theory should develop solutions to integration that make sense in the international context where interaction occurs between agents with different definitions of joint interactions. To explain integration, a theory of behavioral equilibrium will be developed that explains how actors develop accurate predictions of what others will do without common knowledge, norms, or intersubjectivity.

Research Interests

  • International Relations
  • International Cooperation
  • Political Culture
  • Cold War
  • Constructivism
  • Conflict

Current Projects

  • America's Middlemen: Power at the Edge of Empire
  • The Problem of Social Integration in International Relations
  • Amity Lines and Escalation Ladders: Schmitt and Schelling on Deliberation and the Expansion of War
  • Politics for the People: A Progressive-Era View of Policy Relevance
  • Reciprocity, hierarchy and obligation in world politics: From Kula to Potlatch
  • A Perfect Theory for Bananafish: Reevaluating the Role of Intersubjectivity in International Politics
  • The Informal Origins of American Empire


Since 2016 George Washington University, USA
Department of Political Science
Associate Professor
2010-2016 George Washington University
Department of Political Science
Assistant Professor

Selected Publications

Grynaviski, Eric (2016): Intending War Rightly: Right Intentions, Public Intentions, and Consent, Review of International Studies 42 (4): 634–53.

Grynaviski, Eric (2016): Uncommon Effects and Uncommon Causes, Review of Lebow’s Constructing Cause in International Relations, International Studies Review 18 (2): 409–11.

Grynaviski, Eric (2016): Thinking Holistically about Transparency, International History and Politics Newsletter 1 (2): 7–9.

Grynaviski, Eric (2015): Brokering Cooperation: Intermediaries to US Non-State Allies, 1776-1945, European Journal of International Relations 21 (3): 691–717.

Grynaviski, Eric (2015): Review of Brian C. Rathbun’s Diplomacy’s Value, Perspectives on Politics 13 (3): 920–2.

Grynaviski, Eric with Amy Hsieh (2015): Hierarchy and Judicial Institutions: Arbitration and Ideology in the Hellenistic World, International Organization 69 (3): 697–729.

Grynaviski, Eric (2014): Constructive Illusions: Misperceiving the Origins of International Cooperation, Cornell University Press.

Grynaviski, Eric (2013): Causes, Contrasts, and Counterfactuals, European Journal of International Relations 19 (4): 823–46.

Grynaviski, Eric (2013): The Bloodstained Spear: Public Reason and Declarations of War, International Theory 5 (2): 238–72.

Grynaviski, Eric (2010): Necessary Illusions: Misperception, Cooperation, and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, Security Studies 19 (3): 376–406.

Grynaviski, Eric (2010): Do Our Philosophical Commitments Matter?, Review of Patrick Thaddeus Jackson’s The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations, Qualitative & Multi-Method Research 8: 4–9.

Teaching Responsibilities

  • International Security Politics (Undergraduate)
  • Politics of Empire (Undergraduate)
  • Schmitt and International Politics (Undergraduate)
  • Field Seminar in International Relations (Graduate)
  • Fantasy and International Relations (Undergraduate)
  • Social Theories of International Politics (Graduate)

Expertise and Consulting Work

  • Consultant for the New York Times Company

Seminars and Conferences

  • 'Reciprocity, hierarchy and obligation in world politics: From Kula to Potlatch', with John Oates, Workshop on Marcel Mauss, University of Duisburg-Essen and at International Studies Association-Northeast, Baltimore, 2016
  • 'The Informal Origins of American Empire: Pigs and Papists in Samoa', Presented at William and Mary College, Government, the University of Ottawa (2016), and McGill University (2016), also presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco and Philadelphia, 2015
  • Chair and Organizer, Round Table on International Social Theory, Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, New Orleans, 2015
  • 'Amity Lines and Escalation Ladders', with Austin Carson, Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, New Orleans, 2015
  • 'Social Skill and International Cooperation', Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, New Orleans, 2015
  • Chair and Organizer, Round Table on Causal Explanation in International Politics, International Studies Association, Toronto, 2014
  • 'A Progressive Era Theory of Policy Relevance', International Studies Association ISSS-ISAC Joint Annual Conference, Washington, 2013
  • 'Arbitrating the Hellenistic World', with Amy Hsieh, Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, San Francisco, 2013
  • 'Right Intentions as Public Intentions', Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, San Diego, 2012


  • American Political Science Association
  • International Studies Association


  • 2015 Jervis-Schroeder Best Book Prize awarded by the American Political Science Association (APSA) International History and Politics Section

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