OBSERVING WORLD POLITICS: LUHMANN'S SYSTEMS THEORY OF SOCIETY AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Mathias Albert
The 'classical' model of an integrated, territorially bounded society still features prominently in theories of International Relations (IR). It takes up the fundamental critique of this model as developed by Luhmann's modern systems theory. The main concepts of this theory are introduced, putting particular emphasis on the notion of world society and on the characteristics of social systems in general. The essay argues that IR theory has much to benefit from the fully developed theory of society which is offered by modern systems theory. However, IR theorising itself has to offer correctives to some of the less convincing conclusions emerging from modern systems theory.
THE IMAGINED ECONOMY: MAPPING TRANSFORMATIONS IN THE CONTEMPORARY STATE Angus Cameron and Ronen Palan
This essay explores the hermeneutics of contemporary discourses of 'state', 'economy', and 'global'. First, we trace the ways in which the content of and relationships between these concepts have evolved discursively. Second, we propose an hermeneutic 'map' of the state under globalisation that elucidates the concrete spatial and institutional consequences of these discursive processes. This comprises three interrelated spatio-temporal elements the offshore, private and anti- economies producing a dynamic structure that is simultaneously produced by, and reproductive of, discourses of globalisation.
STANDING NOWHERE(?): NAVIGATING THE THIRD ROUTE ON THE QUESTION OF FOUNDATION IN INTERNATIONAL THEORY Marc G. Doucet
This paper argues that the 'foundationalist/anti-foundationalist' debate in international theory (IT) as it is currently characterised leads to an impasse, i.e., an intransigent 'either/or', in our understanding of the question of foundation. It does so by means of a discursive manoeuvre which has the effect of occulting a possible third way of viewing the question of foundation and its relation to the political. In a effort to find a route out of this impasse, the paper examines the place of foundation within what French political philosopher Claude Lefort calls the 'democratic adventure'. Viewing foundation from the standpoint of its im-possibility through Lefort's particular reading of democracy permits us to approach the question of foundation from an angle which enables a reworking of the notion of the political by establishing a distinction between 'la politique' (politics) and 'le politique' (the political). By making this distinction, we are able to view the political in terms that do not reproduce the impasse of the current characterisation of the debate on foundation.
TOWARDS AN ETHNOLOGICAL IPE: KARL POLANYI'S DOUBLE CRITIQUE OF CAPITALISM Naeem Inayatullah and David L. Blaney
Both IPE theory and Development theory increasingly rely on Karl Polanyi's work, albeit with different emphases. IPE theorists draws a parallel between Polanyi's interpretation of the nineteenth century 'great transformation' with the late twentieth century neoliberal globalisation project. Critical Development Studies draws on Polanyi to defend cultural differences against the homogenising project of modern development. In contrast, this article draws on the dialogical theories of Tzvetan Todorov and Ashis Nandy to suggest that the intertwining overlap between these readings is the key to understanding Polanyi's double critique of capitalism. This legacy - an ethnological IPE - can be retrieved in order to redirect contemporary energy towards an ethical, political, and dialogical engagement with others. Such an engagement, by rejecting the pole of an assimilative neoliberal globalisation as well as the pole of a romantic defense of non modern societies, may enrich our understanding of the various ways to use and to defend against market forces.
THE FALSE PROMISE OF 'CIVIC NATIONALISM' Chimène I. Keitner
This essay takes issue with two attempts to circumvent the secessionist potential of national self-determination. Because these approaches tend to conflate 'nation' and 'state', they fail to address core questions about how nations and states may compete with each other in the configuration of international political life. Clarifying these tensions is a prerequisite for developing more satisfying models.
RIDING THE AM-TRACK THROUGH EUROPE; OR, THE PITFALLS OF A RATIONALIST JOURNEY THROUGH EUROPEAN INTEGRATION Thomas Diez
Andrew Moravcsik's liberal intergovernmentalism has gained a status within European Studies akin to that of Waltzian neorealism in International Studies. In his latest book, Moravcsik explains the integration process as the outcome of rational bargains between governments based on domestic economic interests and resulting in supranational institutions to ensure credibility. He concludes that alternative hypotheses building on institutional and ideational effects as well as the influence of supranational actors either are to be dismissed or account for little explanation. This has potential effects for IR Theory and the debate about constructivism at large. This essay argues that Moravcsik's theoretical conclusions are not merely based on empirical findings, but largely depend on the framing of the hypotheses tested.
THE FUTURE OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION STUDIES: SOCIAL SCIENCE OR SOCIAL THEORY Andrew Moravcsik
The author replies to Thomas Diez's three major criticisms of The Choice for Europe. Does the book exclude ideas and identity from its account of European integration and, to the extent it does, do so unjustly? Would greater attention to feedback over time undermine its core argument? Is the analysis 'politically problematic' because it implies the existence of structural limits on future EU reforms? Each of these criticisms misstates the concrete empirical content, broader theoretical argument, and critical implications of the book. The reply concludes by noting that the major purpose of the book is to provide a historically accurate account of major EU decisions, while Diez's critique steers scholarly debate away from confrontation with the observable world toward more abstract concerns.