Discussion Two: Theories of International Order

4 Dec

In this roundtable, we develop our own theories of international order.  With these theories, we attempt to answer the questions we began exploring in our first discussion: what is international order and how does it arise?  These theories will, in part, be used to frame our later discussions of the Cold War and post-Cold War orders.

Click here to listen to our second roundtable discussion.

To access the readings discussed in this podcast, click here.

Some of the salient points to emerge from this discussion of our theories are the differences between what we consider to be the primary unit of analysis and the applicability of various theories of international politics across the security and trade spheres.

  • Primary unit of analysis: Will and Vince see the sovereign state as the primary actor in the international system, whereas Erin and Christian allow for a more robust consideration of non-state actors.
  • Logics determining state behavior: theories of international politics that appear to apply well to the security sphere do not appear to apply as well to the trade and monetary sphere.  Erin argues that a segmentation of theory by issue area is necessary to gain a more complete understanding of international order.
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