'Change and the Study of International Relations: the Evaded Dimension' is the result of two years of drafting, discussion and rewriting by members of the International Relations Theory Group. After some three years of meetings to discuss a variety of papers, it was felt that the group had established a level of common understanding sufficient to enable it to undertake the joint examination of a significant theme. Thus it was that I suggested the theme of 'change': a suggestion which met with the ready agreement of the group's members.
A protracted, sometimes tortuous, process of gestation underlies the relative coherence of the set of papers in this volume. As a whole, we now believe it to constitute rather more than a mere sum of its parts. Continuous discussion and constructive selfcriticism has, we hope, allowed us to avoid the fragmentary character of many volumes of invited contributions.
The series of meetings and redrafts depended, not only upon the enthusiasm of the group's members, but also upon the generous and continuing financial support of the Politics and International Relations Committee of the Social Science Research Council. For this, the editors and the group's members remain deeply grateful.
I was able to form the International Relations Theory Group initially, under the auspicies of the British International Studies Association. The Association has continued to provide many opportunities for contact and communication through its Annual Conferences and regular Newsletters. Again, I and the group remain considerably indebted.
The Richardson Institute hosted many of the initial meetings of the group. Since the Institute's move to Lancaster University, the group has held its sessions at the London School of Economics and the Department of Systems Science of the City University. All the facilities thus provided have been invaluable to the group during its development.
The International Relations Theory Group has also benefited from the continuing interest and support of representatives of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Mr P. de Courcy-Ireland, former head of the Training Department, remained a source of encouragement during the early years. More latterly, Mr Lawrence Middleton, head of the Research Department, has stimulated by his presence and assisted by arguing our case in more hallowed enclaves.
A final word of appreciation must be addressed to Professor Joseph Frankel, whose contribution has by no means been limited to the endpiece of this volume.
For the future, the group, itself, will seek to extend and deepen its examination of many of the issues raised in the papers in this volume. It also hopes that other scholars will be stimulated to give further attention to the theoretical problems raised by change and, thereby, contribute to our understanding of many central issues of the contemporary world.