In July 2010 a conference was convened at the University of Bristol on the theme of 'Anarchism and World Politics'. This short article introduces and contextualises the five papers selected for publication from the 16 presented at that conference alongside the commissioned contribution from Professor Richard Falk. The aim here is to set out some of the broad concerns of anarchist scholarship and practice, to demonstrate the pertinence of anarchist thinking to International Relations (IR) and a not inconsiderable tradition of thinking about world politics from an anarchist perspective. © The Author(s) 2010
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