Astrov draws upon the ideas of Oakeshott and Collingwood in order to theorize about the nature of world politics. For him, international society is understood as governing the relation of states in the absence of centralized global government and is thus understood as the complex of activities undertaken by individuals in association with others. The central themes of these activities are politics, poetry, civilization, and tradition, each of which is analyzed in a separate chapter before being synthesized into a neotraditionalist approach to international relations.