International Relations (IR) as a distinct discipline dates from the immediate aftermath of the First World War. Understandably its preoccupation was, and remains, the problem of war and the achievement of security in what is often described as an “anarchic” system of sovereign states (see Chapter 7). Environmental issues, whether seen as transboundary disputes or the international dimension of managing common resources, were a decidedly minority interest (Stevis 2006). The natural environment provided the context, rather than the subject, of international relations. This situation began to change from around the time of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, held at Stockholm in 1972. In this issue area, as in others, scholars tended to react to changes in the world of practical politics and policy-making. In developed world societies “green” politics had begun to emerge in response to various environmental disasters and public awareness of the scope of problems, such as air pollution, that were not soluble without international action (see Chapter 30). The probably inevitable response by students of IR was to attempt to frame such novel issues within existing theoretical traditions and to apply the same tools that had been used to analyse cooperation in managing the global economy or negotiating arms limitation in the Cold War (see Chapter 30). It is arguable that this was a mistake, and that something rather more radical would have been more appropriate – something that placed ecology or perhaps green political theory at the centre of theoretical endeavour. Questions might have been asked, for example, about the long-run co-evolution of physical and socio/international systems.