Conformity is a common coping strategy for dealing with stresses in political situations, as well a strategy for dealing with the lack of agreed foundations. This work introduces the conceptual frameworks of coping and conformity to provide a new analysis of the ethical and political demands of international life. The volume argues that coping through conformity is the only means available for dealing with uncertainty and the absence of shared foundations, and while conformity may be a largely practical issue it also reflects a consensus on values. Dyer draws on recent critical theoretical perspectives as well as engaging with dominant 'liberal' assumptions in the global context providing a critical study of the impact of norms and values in world politics. The book also addresses wider issues of freedom and necessity, individualism and communitarianism and cosmopolitanism, agency and structure, and the legitimacy of governance and institutions. The theoretical arguments are illuminated within the ecological context and such recent concerns as climate and energy security are examined as forceful illustrations of current political challenges as well as a potential source of insights into the alternatives. Providing a fresh theoretical perspective on world politics, this work will be of great interest to all scholars of global politics, international relations and globalization studies.