In the last decade, friends in Brazil and Europe have increasingly come to populate my world and, in the process, smudge any boundary between my scholarly concerns and my everyday life. Stefano Guzzini and Anna Leander figure significantly in this development, since we worked together in Rio and get together – chiefly in Europe – whenever we can. The Nick they know is “personally and politically engaged.” Yet the Onuf they had read is austere, detached and dark (my words, not theirs). In the long term, they think Nick may be winning. “The pessimism of Onuf’s intellect time and again seemed tempered if not conquered by the optimism of his will.” I, Nick, would like to believe this myself. The Onuf in me is skeptical.