Metaphorical reasoning can offer new perspectives on familiar or unusual ideas and things. It can be especially useful in providing new insight and understanding into a field, such as international negotiation, that is undergoing an upsurge in activity and rapid change by freeing up old conceptions and enabling creative thought. By cutting across traditional fields of study, metaphors can help to refresh and reframe the study of international negotiation and provide a new point of departure for research and practice. The role of metaphors in the physical and social sciences and how they have been employed to explain international issues is discussed. The remaining articles in this issue are introduced in relation to their metaphorical orientations.