In plotting the evolution of IR as an emerging discipline, we are engaging in an endeavour which is not merely an intellectual history but also an analysis of sociological and political trends. Where we have come from explains more than a little of what we are. Moreover, memory is a guide for the future, since we can draw upon its lessons, not only from our past failures but also from our past successes. In plotting this evolution, a number of way stages can be identified. However, most great events, which may be signified by a particular act or period, are in fact part of a larger process. There is room for agency in bringing about particular acts, but there is also a need for a cognisant awareness of the structure of the greater process within which the agent acts. Our purpose is first to take some ‘snap-shots’ of the structure in evolution and then to look at agency in the form of institution building before drawing some lessons for IR as it goes global.