European Journal of International Relations

Published by SAGE Publications
Online ISSN: 1354-0661
Publications
Article
This article draws attention to a fundamental reconstitution of the global public domain: away from one that for more than three centuries equated the "public" in international politics with sovereign states and the interstate realm, to one in which the very system of states is becoming embedded in a broader and deepening transnational arena concerned with the production of global public goods. One concrete instance of this transformation is the growing significance of global corporate social responsibility initiatives triggered by the dynamic interplay between civil society actors and multinational corporations. The UN Global Compact and corporate involvement in HIV/AIDS treatment programs are discussed as examples. The analytical parameters of the emerging global public domain are defined, and some of its consequences illustrated by the chain of responses to the Bush administration’s rejection of the Kyoto Protocol by a variety of domestic and transnational social actors.
 
Article
This article attempts to explain the variation in post-Maastricht elite attitudes toward the single currency in Western Europe. It concentrates on the British reluctance to join the single currency in the first round as well as the French and German continuing support for it. We argue, first, that explanations based solely on material conceptions of actors' interests — whether economic or geopolitical — are insufficient in explaining the variation in attitudes. There are as many good economic or geopolitical reasons in favour of the Euro as there are against it. In particular, perceived instrumental interests of actors as such do not explain the considerable variation in attitudes. Rather, we claim that actors' perception of their material and instrumental interests with regard to the Euro are deeply influenced by their visions of European political order. Second, the visions about European order which give political meaning to EMU, need to be understood in the framework of identity politics. Differences in the construction of collective elite identities pertaining to the nation-state and to Europe explain the controversies among the political elites in the three countries as well as the variation in attitudes. While the French and German political elites — from the centre-right to the centre-left — have incorporated `Europe' into their nationally defined collective identities, British policy-makers including New Labour remain hesitant. Third, on a more conceptual level, this article does not try to push an `identity versus interest' argument. Rather, we claim that the causal arrows run both ways. Collective nation-state identities define the realm of instrumental or material interests considered legitimate and appropriate in a given political discourse. We claim this to be the case in Britain and Germany. The more identity constructions are contested or in flux in a political discourse, however, the more likely it is that those constructions carry the day which actors see as furthering their perceived instrumental, political or economic interests. We argue that this was the case in France.
 
Article
This paper uncovers some of the implicit assumptions of polity-formation underpinning the debate about the European Union's democratic legitimacy. It uses theories of nationalism to understand why a demos is unlikely to develop easily at the European level. Based on a two-by-two categorization of the logic and scope of identity-formation, I conclude that the most promising approach to European demos-formation conceives of identities as both constructed and "sticky". Labeling this theoretical position "bounded integration," I suggest that it provides a more realistic foundation for developing democracy-enhancing reform proposals than does post-nationalist theorizing, especially due to the former's explicit attention to identity-conferring mechanisms such as education, language, and media.
 
Article
This article argues that the German Confederation — deutscher Bund — (1815–66)was a form of rule built on early modern republican political theory. It was a ‘Compound Republic’ form of rule constructed to prevent the emergence of a system of sovereign German states as well as a single sovereign German state. Its purpose was maintaining peace and stability in Europe and safeguarding the autonomy of its member polities. Contemporary statesmen, intellectuals and scholars saw these purposes as complementary. A non-sovereign, polycentric and republican organization of the German lands was regarded as a natural and necessary component in a stable Europe free from war and revolutions. This article analyses the origins, institutions and policies of the German Confederation, with particular regard to how the means of organized violence were organized. It thereby demonstrates the implementation of republican ideas and purposes in the Bund. The article situates the Bund in 19th-century thinking about European stability and sovereignty, further demonstrating the prevalence of republican ideas on international order. Republican political theories and institutions differed sharply from modern theories and models of international relations. Consequently, the history of international politics, the European system of states and state-formation must be re-conceptualized more in line with historical realities.
 
Article
This article addresses the question whether membership in the ‘Anglosphere’ — a grouping of English-speaking states/nations — impacts the likelihood of participation in US-led coalitions of the willing. I translate the Anglosphere into International Relations (IR) theory using a tripartite division of realism, liberalism and constructivism. In a quantitative empirical analysis of a sample of US-led military coalitions between 1950 and 2001, I find robust evidence of what can be seen as the Anglosphere effect: all else constant, English-speaking states/nations tend to be more willing to join US-led military coalitions than states/nations selected at random. I conclude with a discussion of future research avenues in the Anglosphere agenda in IR.
 
Article
Genocide is widely seen as a phenomenon of domestic politics, which becomes of international significance because it offends against international law. Hence there are as yet inadequate International Relations analyses of the production of genocide. This article challenges the idea of the domestic genesis of genocide, and critiques the corresponding approach of ‘comparative genocide studies’ which is dominant in the field. It analyses the emergence of more fruitful ‘relational’ and ‘international’ approaches in critical genocide studies, while identifying the limitations of their accounts of the ‘international system’. As first steps towards an adequate international account, the article then explores questions of the international meaning and construction of genocidal relations, and of international relations as the context of genocide. It argues for a historical and sociological approach to the international relations of genocide, and examines 20th-century European genocide in this light. Arguing for a broader conception of this historical experience than is suggested by an exclusive focus on the Holocaust, the article offers an interpretation of genocide as increasingly endemic and systemic in international relations in the first half of the century. It concludes by arguing that this account offers a starting point, but not a model, for analyses of genocide in global international relations in the 21st century.
 
Article
While the WTO secretariat, key delegations, several NGOs, and industry publicly present the August 30th 2003 WTO decision as an attempt to reconcile intellectual property with access to medicines, our research shows otherwise. We draw on qualitative analyses of 54 interviews and a lexicometric analysis of press releases to show that their enthusiastic public statements contrast deeply with their internal, cynical beliefs. Most of these actors not only consider the WTO decision to be fundamentally flawed but claim to have known this prior to its adoption. We argue that a procedural norm of consensus-seeking impeded traditional bargaining over this sensitive issue and that distrust among participants hindered truth-seeking deliberation. Caught between strategic and communicative actions, state and non-state actors found themselves trapped in their own rhetoric of reconciling intellectual property with access to medicines. They realized that the appearance of a solution, rather than a functional solution, provided the only realistic solution to a fruitless and publicly damaging continuation of debate. From a theoretical perspective, this case study sheds a new light on the gray zone between rational choice and constructivism, where both discourse and strategies matter. From an empirical perspective, it illustrates the risk of seeking consensus within international regimes when the procedural norm of consensus coexists with a high level of distrust.
 
Article
Noting that UN summits are the most auspicious venue for non-state actors to popularize worldwide issues of concern, writings on international relations have emphasized the rise of a global civil society and its growing ability to use these events for influencing transnational politics. Based on findings of empirical research from six developing countries that hosted UN summits or important preparatory meetings (PrepComs), we suggest that national settings remain fundamental for civil society activism. We examine the outcome of UN summits on civil society in three dimensions: creation of political space, implementation of the summit’s agenda and alliance building. This study suggests that in each of these countries, the national processes of democratization and liberal economic reforms heavily influenced the outcome of these international conferences. In particular, the results reveal the paramount centrality of the state in the organization of the summit and in setting up parameters for civil society engagement during the follow-up process. While heterogeneity was an important trait of civil society, the UN bodies organizing the summits remained nearly absent in the post-summit period. A main conclusion emerging from the research is that, in addition to international connections, any major attempt on the part of civil society organizations (CSOs) to significantly participate in the political process, whether in the form of support or opposition, inescapably entails working with relation to the state in order to take advantage of the political opportunities available in the national context. Overall, the study results suggest that discussion on the rise of global civil society and international activism occurring in part thanks to UN summits needs to be supplemented by approaches that take into account national dynamics.
 
Article
A consistent theme of the existing literature is that fair trade consumption practices represent acts of justice. In this article I investigate such an equation from the perspective of the moral theory of Adam Smith. Smith explains the development of moral sensibilities via an imaginative act he calls `sympathy'. For Smith, justice prevails in interpersonal relationships in which the potential for one person to do harm to another is ruled out because their respective imaginations are in perfect accord, thus creating a situation of mutual sympathy. I advance two main conclusions. First, I argue that fair trade consumption is undoubtedly a moral act in the manner described by Smith, as it involves consumers responding to fair trade campaigns in order to trigger their moral sensibilities through exercising their imaginative faculties. Second, though, I argue that fair trade consumption is not specifically a moral act of justice in the manner described by Smith. The structure of fair trade invites the First World consumer to display sympathy for the Third World producer, but it provides no means for that sympathy to be reciprocated. As such, instances of genuine mutual sympathy do not arise. From a Smithian perspective, fair trade consumption practices are an act of beneficence rather than an act of justice. They thereby reside in the realm of private virtue rather than the realm of public duty, with significant implications for the way in which trade justice is conceptualized and studied in IPE.
 
Expected Influences of the Independent Variables on Conflict 
Article
A typical adage of the globalization literature is that foreign economic liberalization undermines the social fabric of developing countries. This article examines this claim for the sub-Saharan African countries and thus the continent that experienced both low economic growth and a high incidence of armed conflict during the 1990s. Our results yield support for the assertion that economic openness durably pacifies countries once the restructuring of the economy is over. We can, however, not reject the possibility that the distributional consequences of foreign economic liberalization increase the risk of civil war during the implementation of the reform measures. We contrast this ‘distributional’ model with alternative explanations such as the role of the International Monetary Fund and the level of democracy. A comparative case study on Guinea and Guinea-Bissau lends some illustrative evidence to the claim that compensating the losers of globalization can pacify intrastate relations.
 
Article
This article provides a theoretical and empirical account of the zone of negative peace thought to encompass the 16 states of West Africa from independence through the early 1990s. I draw on constructivist theory to argue that the zone of negative peace is a particular kind of interstate culture resulting from the formation of rival role relationships between states in the region. This theoretical approach combined with a compatible empirical measure of rivalry allows a quantitative test of a variety of well-known explanations for the zone of peace phenomenon. The simultaneous equations statistical analysis allows us to model the effect that rival role relationships have on the Lockean culture of anarchy, and vice versa (i.e. the mutual constitution of agents and structures). The results also indicate that a Lockean culture of anarchy, or zone of negative peace, is affected by factors emphasized by realists, liberals, and constructivists in the West African context.
 
Article
Having raised the question of whither the international at the end of International Relations a few years ago, this article treats the state of International Relations theory as a continuing endist issue for discussion. Of interest is the restructuring of the field in the post-Cold War years, partly as a result of debates about epistemologies and partly in light of the failure of realisms to lead International Relations to the door of the Soviet and Eastern Bloc collapse, which many thought it could. As the world globalized, so did International Relations, turning itself into a field of differences — theoretical, geographical, philosophical, methodological, and so on. Is this the end of International Relations or its new afterlife? I argue that there are signs that old topics of International Relations, like war, are being taken up in new ways and in new collaborations, such as those that feminist International Relations has forged. At the same time, many camps display the old International Relations tendency to elevate abstract thinking above quotidian international relations, even in the face of clear evidence that the agency of people played a major role in shifting Cold War and Middle East configurations of power. International Relations’ camps should strive less for their own distinctive analysis and more for communication with colleagues, ordinary people making today’s international relations and policy proponents.
 
Article
Theories of globalization have tended to privilege structural explanations of change, whereas agency-centred approaches have either over-emphasized the potential autonomy of ideas and rule-writing or focused on relatively incremental changes. This article attempts to develop a structurationist analysis — i.e. not only that structure and agency are mutually constituted, but also that different types of structures interact with different types of actors in analytically distinct, ideal-type modes as well as in real time. A two-dimensional typology of structuration processes is postulated, in which the coherence of structures is said to be either loose or tight and the orientations of actors either structure-bound or transformational. Such a heuristic model, however, must be expanded to cover real-time structuration processes, which are highly complex and unpredictable. This is especially true of globalization, given its scale and scope, its many levels of interaction and types of actors, and its complex iterated character: globalization generates multiple equilibria. Consequently, structural variables involved in the globalization process do not merely constrain actors but also create structurally significant opportunities for some actors to enlarge their action repertoires within an expanding and increasingly complex playing field (transnational opportunity structures). Thus different categories of actors may develop greater potential capacity to exercise disproportionate leverage in shaping the contours of longer-term change. Three stylized categories of actors are briefly examined — economic, political and social — and a first cut is made at generating hypotheses about the potential differential impact of each. Three globalization scenarios are posited, and hypotheses are generated concerning (1) the potential scope available to each category of actors for shaping wider globalization processes and (2) the possible alternative ways each category might effectively alter the balance of convergence and divergence in a globalizing world, leading to different systemic outcomes.
 
Article
Principal-Agent (P-A) theory sees the fact of delegation as defining a relationship be-tween states (collective Principals) and international organizations (Agents) with recon-tracting threats being the predominate way states influence IOs. Developing a category of Trustee-Agents, I argue that recontracting tools will be both harder to use and less effective at influencing the Trustee-Agents. Trustee-Agents are 1) selected because of their personal reputation or professional norms, 2) given independent authority to make decisions according to their best judgement or professional criteria, and 3) empowered to act on behalf of a beneficiary. Focusing on state-International Courts (IC) relations, the article develops an alternative explanation that highlights the need for international judges to balance legal fidelity with the significant international challenge of endeav-ouring compliance. The arguments are explored through three case studies of IC deci-sion-making that call into question the rational expectations claim that ICs are tailor-ing their decisions to reflect the wishes of powerful states and avoid adverse recontracting.
 
Article
What factors influence IO faithfulness to mandates assigned by member states? Although recent literature treats IOs agents as autonomous actors in global politics, most work continues to treat the bureaucracy of an international organization as a unitary actor. I argue that the unitary actor assumption limits our ability to assess how internal factors such as fragmentation influence agent faithfulness. When we conceive of IO bureaucracies as collective agents — those including more than one bureaucratic actor and subject to internal fragmentation — IO faithfulness can be more fully explained. Specifically, fragmentation limits faithfulness by inhibiting the effectiveness of principals’ control mechanisms (i.e. oversight and agent screening and sanctioning). These arguments are illustrated using a case study of the World Health Organization and its efforts to improve health systems between 1982 and 2008.
 
Article
Scholars have increasingly theorized, and debated, the decision by states to create and delegate authority to international courts, as well as the subsequent autonomy and behavior of those courts, with principal-agent and trusteeship models disagreeing on the nature and extent of states’ influence on international judges. This article formulates and tests a set of principal-agent hypotheses about the ways in which, and the conditions under which, member states are able use their powers of judicial nomination and appointment to influence the endogenous preferences of international judges. The empirical analysis surveys the record of all judicial appointments to the Appellate Body (AB) of the World Trade Organization over a 15-year period. We present a view of an AB appointment process that, far from representing a pure search for expertise, is deeply politicized and offers member-state principals opportunities to influence AB members ex ante and possibly ex post. We further demonstrate that the AB nomination process has become progressively more politicized over time as member states, responding to earlier and controversial AB decisions, became far more concerned about judicial activism and more interested in the substantive opinions of AB candidates, systematically championing candidates whose views on key issues most closely approached their own, and opposing candidates perceived to be activist or biased against their substantive preferences. Although specific to the WTO, our theory and findings have implications for the judicial politics of a large variety of global and regional international courts and tribunals.
 
Negative binomial model of non-compliance with GATT/WTO 
Article
A growing body of literature argues that democracies are more likely to comply with international agreements than authoritarian states. However, substantial variation exists in the compliance behaviour of democracies. How can this variation be explained? The same mechanism that links regime type to compliance, namely electoral competition, also explains variation in compliance among democracies. This is because the nature of electoral competition varies across democratic systems. An analysis of democratic GATT/WTO member countries from 1980 to 2003 reveals that governments elected via majoritarian electoral rules and/or single-member districts are more likely to violate GATT/WTO agreements than those elected via proportional electoral rules and/or multi-member districts.
 
Article
This article uses an analysis of the securitization of HIV/AIDS as a basis for proposing three contributions to securitization theory. Beginning with an examination of some of the key debates which have taken place between the Copenhagen School and its critics, the article goes on to argue that the process of securitizing HIV/AIDS was in fact significantly more complex than has been generally recognized and, crucially, that a more nuanced reading of this case highlights a number of issues that are not well captured by the existing securitization theory literature. The first is that securitization can be a multi-level process, with distinct securitizing actors and audiences at each level. The second is that securitization can best be understood as a continuum rather than a binary condition, and that different members of an audience may place an issue at varying points along this spectrum. The third contribution we seek to make is an intervention in the debate over the role of empirical evidence in securitization, suggesting that claims about ‘empirical reality’ form a crucial part of securitizing speech acts, but that where doubts subsequently arise over the evidence for this ‘reality’, securitization can be undermined, a dynamic that we show in practice in the HIV/AIDS case.
 
Article
In some countries during some periods America promotes liberal democracy; in others countries and periods, it tolerates or even supports authoritarianism. Why the variation? We focus on discrete decisions by a U.S. President to retain a dictator or instead impose democracy. Two conditions must be satisfied. First, an exogenous regime crisis must threaten the authoritarian client. Second, America’s capitalist-liberal-democratic regime must face no credible alternative in the region as a route to national development and security. Credible alternative models threaten U.S. hegemony by empowering rivals that exemplify those models and by making dissenting elites in a client state more hostile to U.S. hegemony; thus they make free elections riskier for Washington. When these two conditions coincide, a new bargain emerges: dissenting elites pledge to participate in the U.S.-sponsored regional order, and Washington forces free elections. We test our argument against two cases of fraudulent elections in a U.S. authoritarian client, namely the Philippines in 1978 and in 1986. In 1978 communism’s high credibility in Southeast Asia forced Jimmy Carter to continue supporting the Marcos dictatorship. In 1986 communism’s lack of credibility allowed Ronald Reagan to drop Marcos and sponsor democracy. We conclude that America’s ambivalence about democracy in the Muslim world today owes much to the lack of credibility of U.S.-style capitalist liberal democracy in Muslim societies.
 
Article
Why has Mexico shifted from a defecting free-rider on the international trading system to a conceding free-trader? An analytical model of bargaining between asymmetric players is developed to show how cooperation can be achieved through the strategic use of side payments. Mexico made concessions beyond the conventional agenda of trade negotiations (liberalizing investment rules, financial services, intellectual property rights, labor and environmental standards) in an effort to alter the payoff for the United States, and thereby create a game with a more optimal solution for both countries. Market liberalization between Mexico and the United States is analyzed over three periods (the 1980 GATT decision, GATT accession in 1986, and NAFTA and supplemental negotiations in 1991-3), and changes are identified leading to different types of games. The model achieves two results — (1) it helps explain the shift in Mexican policy from nationalism to liberalization, and (2) it shows how side payments can be used as part of a strategy of game change.
 
Regression results from World War I dataset
Regression results from World War II dataset
Support and opposition for military intervention in US, Britain, and France
Figure A1.   Power advantage resulting in favorable casualty ratio Note: Correlation co-efficient is 0.553 ( R 2 = 0.306), p = .062 ( < .1), N = 12. 
Article
By synthesizing material forces with ideational forces more organically via a social evolutionary approach, we advance a deeper understanding about post-World War II American military interventionism. We argue that post-World War II American military interventionism — that is, the American elites’ and public’s support for America’s military intervention abroad — cannot be understood with ideational or psychological forces alone. Rather, two crucial material variables, namely, geography and aggregate power amplified by superior technological prowess, are indispensable for understanding the propensity for the United States to intervene militarily abroad. These two factors have powerfully shielded the American elites and public from the horrendous devastation of war. As a result, compared to their counterparts in other major states, American citizens and elites have tended to be less repelled by the prospect of war. The outcome is that since World War II the United States has been far more active in military intervention overseas than other major states.
 
Article
Utilising critical realist philosophy of social science, this article contends that discourse may be studied as a causal mechanism in the generation of events — and one relationally connected to mechanisms of differing kinds. To do this, it is argued that we should adopt critical discourse analysis rather than the guidance of poststructuralist discourse theory. After establishing the key assumptions of poststructuralist discourse theory, some of the substantive analytical tendencies that secrete are discussed and illustrated through a look at the treatment of humanitarian discourse in the International Relations literature on the nature of Western warfare. The article then places discourse within a critical realist view of the social world. I argue that unlike in poststructuralist discourse theory, with critical realism, discourse can be differentiated from the realm of extra-discursive practice, placed in dialectical relation to this wider realm of social relations, and analysed as a possible causal mechanism in the generation of social phenomena, alongside these other mechanisms, as a way to better determine discourse’s actual effect on events. critical discourse analysis is introduced as offering an amenable methodological tool-kit for studying discourse as conceptualised in this way.
 
Article
How can the understandings of world historians about the critical changes in the international system be brought into harmony with the way IR theorists think about system change? One of the main obstacles to this task is Waltz's conception of structure, particularly his much criticized elimination of functional differentiation of units in anarchy. Until this flaw is corrected, the theory remains fundamentally incoherent, having misguidedly sacrificed rigour for parsimony. Waltz cannot defend both his exclusive anarchy-hierarchy dyad as the first tier of structure, and the closure of the second tier, against attacks by Ruggie, Watson and Deudney. While the anarchy-hierarchy formulation of deep structure is defensible, the closure of the second tier is not. Both on theoretical and historical grounds, anarchy is compatible with differentiation of units — there is more than one type of anarchic international system. Neorealism therefore gives a partial and Eurocentric view of international systems, and cannot sustain its transhistorical claim. With carefully specified definitions for functional and structural differentiation of units, it is possible to retain a coherent, and still quite parsimonious, theory that is capable of encompassing all of the known manifestations of international systems. Only with such modifications is it possible to address the significant systemic transformations both ancient and modern that now pass unnoticed through the broad mesh of the neorealist net.
 
Article
This article attempts to situate the approach to World War I within the context of the uneven and combined development of 19th-century European capitalism. Through a comparative analysis of German and British development within the context of the epochal transition from feudalism to capitalism, the article proposes that existing historical materialist and Realist understandings of the roots of World War 1 are inadequate. Realist analyses, stressing the primacy of ‘geopolitics’, fail to provide a convincing explanation of the precise origins of German bellicosity. Instead they assume that expansionist German behaviour was an inevitable consequence of systemic anarchy. Historical materialist accounts, preferring a sociological explanation, overstate the importance of systemic capitalist crisis and the European-wide escalation of class struggle for understanding the genesis of the war. Utilizing Trotsky’s concept of uneven and combined development, I contend, enables a more comprehensive understanding of the origins of the conflict.
 
Article
Notions of 'sovereignty as responsibility' and 'the responsibility to protect' are often fra-med as radical departures from the 'traditional' conception of sovereignty. Many assume that sovereignty has, until recently, entailed only rights and not responsibilities. In con-trast, this article argues that sovereign authority has been understood to involve varied and evolving responsibilities since it was first articulated in the 16th and 17th centuries. It then traces the historical emergence of the tension between the right of sovereign states to be self-governing and free from outside interference and their responsibility to secure the safety of their populations. It cautions against a simplified story of 'traditional' sovereignty which reifies supposedly concrete and ahistorical rights of sovereigns while casting sovereign responsibilities as a morally abstract and late-arriving challenge. Yes Yes
 
Article
Advocates of moral hazard theory argue that the ‘responsibility to protect’ causes genocidal violence that would not otherwise occur. After summarizing the main elements of the moral hazard approach, this article demonstrates that there is no empirical evidence to support the general claim that the ‘responsibility to protect’ is a remote cause of genocide. This is followed by an analysis of the conflicts in Bosnia, Kosovo and Darfur which demonstrates that moral hazard does not provide a plausible account of the proximate causes of genocidal violence in these cases. We suggest that a major part of the explanation for why moral hazard theory performs so badly is its reductionist account of the dynamics of armed conflict and its simplistic understanding of the dynamics of provocation.
 
Article
Arms transfers are both an economic necessity for the European arms industry and a potential obstacle for the EU’s emerging normative power role. Nevertheless, research on how well EU members’ arms trade mirrors EU normative power rhetoric is scarce. To help fill this void, I use regression analysis to examine the relationship between EU arms exports and human rights, conflict, and democracy in recipient states from 1990 to 2004. A case study of the China embargo debate provides a more in-depth assessment of the politics behind EU arms transfers. Both analyses reveal a questionable relationship between EU norms and arms transfer practices. The findings suggest, first, that domestic-level material and normative concerns remain important to the formation and execution of EU foreign policy and, second, that low levels of EU socialization may hinder the creation of a single European external identity.
 
Article
The International Whaling Commission's moratorium on commercial whaling took effect in 1986, seemingly marking the adoption of a new norm, that commercial whaling was no longer acceptable. But this norm has failed to become institutionalized. This article uses the norm life-cycle approach as developed by Finnemore and Sikkink (1998) to account for this failure. The effort ran aground because the norm proved unexpectedly ambiguous, a supporting epistemic community failed to emerge, the norm conflicted with other powerful norms, the prestige of the key anti-whaling states declined relative that of whaling states, and NGO tactics failed to win over the publics in key whaling states and instead created a counter-boomerang effect. The attempt may have resulted in the emergence of an alternative norm, but actors must act now to institutionalize it.
 
Article
International Relations theory about East Asia has increasingly argued that East Asia before Western penetration enjoyed a protracted peace. As explanations, a Chinese military hegemony would fit realist theory fairly well, while a cultural peace based on shared Confucian norms would be a significant anomaly. A Confucian Long Peace challenges widely held, albeit Eurocentric, realist presumptions including the perils of anarchy, the arms-racing and misperception of the security dilemma, and the regularity of power balancing. This article therefore investigates, first, whether such a peace did in fact exist, and, second, whether this might be attributed to Confucianism. A cultural peace theory requires a strong anti-war cultural norm and a shared sense of community. Skepticism is established by examining three comparative cultural spaces that nonetheless did not enjoy a culturally informed peace: the classical Greek citystate system, early modern Christendom, and the contemporary Arab state system. All were deeply riven and competitive. Nevertheless, empirical investigation of the last Chinese (Qing) dynasty before the Western arrival (1644-1839) demonstrates that it was remarkably peaceful toward its Confucian neighbors, while more ‘normally’ exploiting its power asymmetry against non-Confucian ones. Processtracing specialized Chinese practices toward fellow Confucians suggests that the low Confucian war finding emanates from cultural restraint.
 
Article
Theory creating and hypothesis testing are both critical components of social science, but the former is ultimately more important. Yet, in recent years, International Relations scholars have devoted less effort to creating and refining theories or using theory to guide empirical research. Instead, they increasingly focus on ‘simplistic hypothesis testing,’ which emphasizes discovering well-verified empirical regularities. Privileging simplistic hypothesis testing is a mistake, however, because insufficient attention to theory leads to misspecified empirical models or misleading measures of key concepts. In addition, the poor quality of much of the data in International Relations makes it less likely that these efforts will produce cumulative knowledge. This shift away from theory and toward simplistic hypothesis testing reflects a long-standing desire to professionalize and expand the International Relations field as well as the short-term career incentives of individual scholars. This tendency is also widening the gap between the ivory tower and the real world, making International Relations scholarship less useful to policymakers and concerned citizens. Unfortunately, this trend is likely to continue unless there is a collective decision to alter prevailing academic incentives.
 
Article
The question of endings is simultaneously a question of beginnings: wondering if International Relations is at an end inevitably raises the puzzle of when and how ‘it’ began. This article argues that International Relations’ origins bear striking resemblance to a wider movement in post-war American political studies that Ira Katznelson calls the ‘political studies enlightenment.’ This story of the field’s beginnings and ends has become so misunderstood as to have almost disappeared from histories of the field and accounts of its theoretical orientations and alternatives. This historical forgetting represents one of the most debilitating errors of International Relations theory today, and overcoming it has significant implications for how we think about the past and future development of the field. In particular, it throws open not only our understanding of the place of realism in International Relations, but also our vision of liberalism. For the realism of the International Relations enlightenment did not seek to destroy liberalism as an intellectual and political project, but to save it. The core issue in the ‘invention of International Relations theory’ — its historical origins as well as its end or goal in a substantive or normative sense — was not the assertion of realism in opposition to liberalism: it was, in fact, the defence of a particular kind of liberalism.
 
Article
When do major states conform to or diverge from global behavioural norms? We argue that existing theories find it difficult to explain important aspects of this variation in behaviour and we offer instead a framework consisting of three explanatory variables: degree of ‘fit’ between global norms and dominant domestic-level norms; actor perceptions of procedural and substantive legitimacy; and actor perceptions of consequences for the global power hierarchy. We argue that the relative importance of these variables is contingent on the level of domestic salience of the issue area. When salience is high, the degree of normative fit is the primary driver of behavioural consistency; when salience is low, degree of fit becomes less important and the other two variables play a more powerful role in driving behavioural outcomes. We demonstrate how this framework helps to account for the behaviour of the two most important states in the global system, China and the United States, in five areas of central importance to the contemporary global order: the limited use of force, macroeconomic policy surveillance, the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, climate protection and financial regulation. Our argument also explains why globalization may reduce rather than increase levels of behavioural consistency with global norms.
 
Article
As presently constituted, the analysis of `ideas' is deficient in two key respects. First, despite presenting itself as an alternative to the dominant rationalist perspective on international relations and foreign policy, the turn to `ideas' represents only a minor modification of that tradition, rather than a serious challenge to it. Second, the retention of the rationalist framework has had problematical implications for how `ideas' are conceptualized. Although explicitly defined as shared beliefs, we argue that the metaphors structuring rationalist analyses lead them to conceptualize `ideas' as objects. As an alternative, we offer a constructivist account of ideas as `symbolic technologies' that enable the production of representations. This different metaphor enables us to address directly the difficulties for analysis stemming from a conception of ideas as objects. It also opens up for examination a range of empirical phenomena overlooked by rationalist analysts.
 
A summary of proposed IR benchmarks.
Article
International Relations has an ‘orthodox set’ of benchmark dates by which much of its research and teaching is organized: 1500, 1648, 1919, 1945 and 1989. This article argues that International Relations scholars need to question the ways in which these orthodox dates serve as internal and external points of reference, think more critically about how benchmark dates are established, and generate a revised set of benchmark dates that better reflects macro-historical international dynamics. The first part of the article questions the appropriateness of the orthodox set of benchmark dates as ways of framing the discipline’s self-understanding. The second and third sections look at what counts as a benchmark date, and why. We systematize benchmark dates drawn from mainstream International Relations theories (realism, liberalism, constructivism/English School and sociological approaches) and then aggregate their criteria. The fourth section of the article uses this exercise to construct a revised set of benchmark dates which can widen the discipline’s theoretical and historical scope. We outline a way of ranking benchmark dates and suggest a means of assessing recent candidates for benchmark status. Overall, the article delivers two main benefits: first, an improved heuristic by which to think critically about foundational dates in the discipline; and, second, a revised set of benchmark dates which can help shift International Relations’ centre of gravity away from dynamics of war and peace, and towards a broader range of macro-historical dynamics.
 
Article
International institutions not only increase system effectiveness or output legitimacy, but are also a normatively plausible response to the problems for democracy that are caused by globalization. In this way, international institutions also increase input legitimacy. It is therefore a false approach to pin down the problem of democracy beyond the nation-state as a choice between `effective problem-solving through international institutions' and `democratic political processes'. At the same time, it is indisputable that the actual functioning of these international institutions does not meet democratic standards. By correctly pointing to the deficits of current international institutions, sceptics too quickly conclude that most deficits in the working of international institutions cannot be remedied. The sceptical argument is founded on two more or less explicit background hypotheses that can be empirically challenged. The first background hypothesis states that a demos cannot exist at the transnational level. I will modify this statement in theoretical terms and offer some conceptual distinctions that may prepare the ground for further empirical investigation. The second background hypothesis of the sceptics postulates a zero-sum relationship between national sovereignty and supranationality. I will put forward some concrete institutional proposals that undermine the zero-sum logic of the sceptics, concluding that in a denationalized society, democratic legitimacy can only be achieved by a mixed constitution comprising majority procedures and negotiation mechanisms.
 
Article
This article challenges the assumption that the boundaries of state versus non-state and public versus private can readily be drawn. It argues that the roles of actors — as state or non-state — and the forms of authority — public or private — are not pre-given but are forged through the process of governing. Drawing on neo-Gramscian and governmentality perspectives, it suggests that a more dynamic account of the state can offer a more nuanced means of analysing the process of governing global environmental affairs. In order to understand this process and the outcomes of governing climate change, we argue that analysis should focus on the hegemonic projects and programmes through which the objects and subjects of governing are constituted and contested, and through which the form and nature of the state and authority are accomplished. We suggest that this is a process achieved and held in place through ‘forging alignment’ between diverse social and material entities in order to achieve the ‘right disposition of things’ through which the will to govern climate change can be realized (Murray Li, 2007a). We illustrate this argument by examining the governing of climate change in two global cities, London and Los Angeles.
 
Article
This article situates ‘population-centric’ counterinsurgency in the context of the modern rise of the social realm as a distinct form of space and mode of governance. The first part establishes the historical novelty of the concept of the social in the history of political thought and describes the ontology of the modern social realm. The second section discusses one powerful response to the ‘Social Question’ within international theory: the convergence between realpolitik and socialpolitik identified by two founders of modern realism. Max Weber developed his understanding of the requirements of political order in the context of the emerging German administrative/welfare state, or Sozialstaat, which Otto von Bismarck had founded. We focus on this case not to endorse realist political strategy but to illuminate the continuing relevance of this paradigm of social regulation, which is at work in recent US-led counterinsurgency theory and practice.
 
Article
In this article, I investigate the potential for reform within the European Union (EU). Spatial models are employed to explore the extent to which domestic considerations prevent the organization from intensifying cooperation among member states. I show that intergovernmentalism will ultimately remain the predominant decision-making mode despite the recent introduction of the codecision procedure which yields unconditional blocking power to the European Parliament. The capacity for institutional innovation is limited because of the coexistence of intergovernmentalist and supranationalist agenda-setting procedures. This dualism offers opportunities to overturn legislative decisions. After experiencing a defeat in the domain of 'low politics' governments may create 'negative spillovers' by asking for compensation in the unanimity-ruled area of 'high politics'.
 
Article
This article provides a framework for the study of visual securitization, that is, when images constitute something or someone as threatened and in need of immediate defense or when securitizing actors argue that images ‘speak security’. To study security politics is to focus on the public constitution of threats and dangers; to study visual securitization, therefore, requires an analysis not just of the image as a free-standing entity, but of the ways it is constituted through spoken and written discourse. To analyze the process of visual securitization, this article advances an inter-visual/intertextual model consisting of four components: the visual itself, its immediate intertextual context, the wider policy discourse, and the constitutions of the image. Three additional sets of theoretical arguments deepen this model by pointing to the specificity of the image as comprised through immediacy, circulability, and ambiguity, the strategies of depiction that images employ, and the genres through which images are brought to the audience. The applicability of the theoretical framework is illustrated through a case study of one of the most conspicuous cases of visual securitization: the Muhammad Cartoon Crisis.
 
A taxonomy of theories on social mechanisms. 
Article
Theorizing under the rubric of paradigmatic ‘isms’ has made important conceptual contributions to International Relations, but the organization of the subfield around these isms is based on flawed readings of the philosophy of science and has run its course. A promising alternative is to build on the philosophical foundation of scientific realism and orient International Relations theorizing around the idea of explanation via reference to hypothesized causal mechanisms. Yet in order to transform the practice of International Relations theorizing and research, calls for ‘analytic eclecticism’ must not only demonstrate that scientific realism is a defensible epistemology amenable to diverse methods; they must provide a structured and memorable framework for diverse and cumulative theorizing and research, field-wide discourse, and compelling pedagogy. I Introduce a ‘taxonomy of theories about causal mechanisms’ as a structured pluralist framework for encompassing the theories about mechanisms of power, institutions, and legitimacy that have been providing the explanatory content of the isms all along. This framework encourages middle-range or typological theorizing about combinations of causal mechanisms and their operation in recurrent contexts, and it offers a means of reinvigorating the dialogue between International Relations, the other subfields of political science, and the rest of the social sciences.
 
Article
"This article develops a conceptual framework for the systematic analysis of the interaction between institutions as a first step towards building a theory of international interaction. It examines how international institutions may exert causal influence on each other's development and effectiveness and suggests that four general causal mechanisms can elucidate the distinct routes through which influence travels from one institution to another. Institutional interaction can thus rely on transfer on knowledge, commitments established under an institution, behavioural effects of an institution, and functional linkage of the ultimate governance targets of the institutions involved. The article also puts forward hypotheses about the likely effects of specific types of institutional interaction for governance within the international system. The causal mechanisms and types of interaction are mutually exclusive models that help analyse real-world interaction suitations. They also serve as a basis for the systematic analysis of more complex interaction situations." (author's abstract)
 
Article
World government has, very recently, resumed its place as the subject of serious investigation by leading scholars in International Relations, economics and political theory. Prompted variously by global economic integration, the persistence of the nuclear weapons threat and a US hegemony that ostensibly functions as a form of world state, some empirically oriented scholars have found themselves pursuing discrete lines of inquiry to the common possibility of global political integration. The main empirical currents, especially those focused on security, have important precedents in the world state ‘heyday’ of 1944—50, and some are open to the kinds of critiques previously levied at such arguments. Normative arguments advocating gradual expansions of core rights through political integration may offer the most plausible and defensible route to deep global integration, but not necessarily one that will end at some comprehensive world state modelled on the nation-state.
 
Article
The article contributes to the debate about the emergence of a European strategic culture to underpin a European Security and Defence Policy. Noting both conceptual and empirical weaknesses in the literature, the article disaggregates the concept of strategic culture and focuses on four types of norms concerning the means and ends for the use of force. The study argues that national strategic cultures are less resistant to change than commonly thought and that they have been subject to three types of learning pressures since 1989: changing threat perceptions, institutional socialization, and mediatized crisis learning. The combined effect of these mechanisms would be a process of convergence with regard to strategic norms prevalent in current EU countries. If the outlined hypotheses can be substantiated by further research the implications for ESDP are positive, especially if the EU acts cautiously in those cases which involve norms that are not yet sufficiently shared across countries.
 
Article
As a decentralized legal order, the international system arguably has no single constitution, but the closest candidate to a constitution that it does have is the UN Charter. Thus it is worth exploring how constitutional the Charter is in theory and practice. Sixty-plus years into its evolution we can see two dominant features. First, its key constitutional elements are: supranationality in its various forms; inequality; and, like all constitutions, an ‘invitation to struggle’ that leads to inevitable pushback from states when UN authority expands. Second, unlike in many domestic constitutions, the pushback more than holds its own. The UN has neither integrated its parts nor centralized authority. To illustrate those points, I start with a comparison of the UN Charter to both capital ‘C’ domestic constitutions and to ordinary treaties. I then address with a broad brush the main features of the UN’s supranationality and inequality. The Secretariat and its neutrality and independence are the next topics. I then consider two examples of tension between UN supranationality and sovereignty. I explore the trend toward ‘global legislation’ associated with the Security Council’s counter-terrorist resolutions, 1373 and 1540. I then focus on the example of the Millennium Development Goals, the UN’s recent attempt to remake itself as a development body. I conclude with a discussion of the wider constitutional significance and prospects of the UN in the light of the contrasting success of the history of US federalism and European integration.
 
Article
What is the realist position on how to deal with the rise of China? One prominent realist approach, associated with John Mearsheimer, calls for the US to do whatever it can to slow China’s rise. However, while this is a realist perspective, it is not the realist perspective. In particular, realist approaches that derive from a classical foundation suggest policies fundamentally different from those favored by Mearsheimer. This article argues that realism should return to some of its classical traditions. It reviews why, from a classical realist perspective, the rise of China must be viewed with alarm, but argues that Mearsheimer’s approach — offensive realism — is wrong, and dangerous. Many of these errors are rooted in structuralism; a classical realist approach, which allows for the influence of history and politics, provides greater analytical purchase and wiser policy prescriptions than offensive realism.
 
Article
Why does a re-emerging China pursue institutional strategies to expand its multilateral ties all over the world? This study explains the genesis of China’s new multilateral diplomacy toward Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. The central argument of the study is that many strands of structural arguments drawn from realist, liberal, and constructivist insights cannot provide complete explanations about China’s multilateral activism without recourse to cognitive feedback dynamics. China fed its regional experiences of multilateralism back into its global policy formation. This experiment-based approach has been a pervasive feature in Chinese multilateral diplomacy as well as Chinese domestic reforms during the post-Mao period. The cognitive feedback model developed in this study intends to complement the prominent structural explanations by identifying micro-level dynamics and seeks to contribute to today’s debate over power transition and international order.
 
Article
Although exceptionalism is an important dimension of China’s foreign policy, it has not been a subject of serious scholarly research. This article attempts to identify manifestations of exceptionalism in China’s long history and explain why and how different types of exceptionalism have arisen in different historical periods. The analytical approach is both historical and theoretical. It explores how international structure has interacted with perceptions of history and culture to produce three distinctive yet related types of exceptionalism in imperial, Maoist, and contemporary China. While resting on an important factual basis, China’s exceptionalism is constructed by mixing facts with myths through selective use of the country’s vast historical and cultural experiences. The implications of contemporary China’s exceptionalism — as characterized by the claims of great power reformism, benevolent pacifism, and harmonious inclusions — are drawn out by a comparison with American exceptionalism. While American exceptionalism has both offensive and defensive faces, Chinese exceptionalism is in general more defensive and even vague. While not determinative, exceptionalism can suggest policy dispositions, and by being an essential part of China’s worldview, it can become an important source for policy ideas, offer the ingredients for the supposed construction of Chinese theories of international relations, and provide a lens through which to view emerging Chinese visions of international relations.
 
Article
Politics is a public effort directed at the allocation of resources, both material and symbolic. Quite often it involves conflict in the form of a public struggle over the allocation of resources. Informed by Antonio Gramsci’s theory of hegemony, this article offers a political reading of constructivism (a theoretical perspective here called Political Constructivism). It maintains that politics is guided by a conscious effort by political agents to control the commonsensical understanding of social reality using the media of political concepts, metaphors, symbols, and — the focus of this article — names and definitions. Political agents regard controlling the commonsense as one of the most effective political tools. They understand that it can be controlled by attaching meanings to political concepts, by linking metaphors and symbols to ideas, and by linking events to classes of events through naming and defining. This article examines the civic warring in Israel over the defining and naming of the Second Lebanon War as a case in point. Defining and naming the event involved a political struggle to frame the commonsense, gain the upper hand in the political process of constructing socio-political reality, and reap the political gains. The article argues that the political struggle was resolved by what I call a weak Kripkean-like defining, in other words, defining by naming.
 
Article
With growing attention to peace-building in civil wars, scholars have increasingly focused on the role that international and regional organizations play in conflict resolution. Less attention has been paid to unilateral interventions undertaken by third-party states without the explicit consent of organizations and to the impact of unilateralism on how long civil wars last. In this article, we claim that unilateral interventions exert a cumulative impact on civil wars depending on interveners’ interrelations. States with a cooperative rapport have an easier time in bringing civil wars to an end though they act unilaterally and follow their interests in the civil war environment, whereas states that compete for influence over war combatants prolong the fighting. Analysis results from post-1945 civil wars support our expectations and show that interveners supporting opposing sides of the war increase war duration. On the other hand, third-party states bandwagoning on the same side of a civil war are effective in stopping the fighting only when the intervening parties share similar preferences.
 
Article
IR's turn towards historical sociology is yet to overcome its ahistoricism. This lack of world-historical perspective, particularly conspicuous in relation to the non-European world, and arguably IR's emergence as a discipline, can be traced back to the theoretically fateful negligence of `the international' by the classical (historical) sociology on which the contemporary critiques of the mainstream IR theory tend to draw. This article develops this argument within the context of a theoretical reappraisal of the traditional approaches to the problematique of the premodern state in Iran and proposes an alternative theoretical framework that is critically drawn on Trotsky's theory of uneven and combined development as an internationally augmented historical materialism. Thus it argues that central to the premodern state-formation in Iran were the nomadic geopolitical pressure upon, and rule over, the agrarian Iranian society which gave rise to a synergetic nomadic-sedentary relationship mediated by, and crystallized in, the military-administrative institution of uymaq. This underlay the continuous formation, disintegration and re-production of successive states characterized by centralized patrimonial arbitrary rule.
 
Top-cited authors
Emanuel Adler
  • University of Toronto
Jennifer Mitzen
  • The Ohio State University
Michael Zürn
  • WZB Berlin Social Science Center
Matt McDonald
  • The University of Queensland
Jef Huysmans
  • Queen Mary, University of London