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Is war an institution of international society and how is it constituted across the evolution of international society? This book is an inquiry into the purpose of war as a social institution as originally put forward by Hedley Bull. It offers a comprehensive examination of what is entailed in thinking of war as a social institution and as a mechanism for order. It explores the core constitutive elements that establish the character of war as an institution across the development of modern international society and provides important insights into the purpose, if any, of war in contemporary international relations. The author develops a framework underpinned by judgments of legitimate and appropriate identities, obligations and entitlements in the form of rights claims, and elements of necessity, that establishes continuity as well as change in war as an institution. This ground-breaking book will be of strong interest to students and scholars of international relations, international relations theory, the English school, security studies and warfare.