18th Annual International Conference on Politics, 15-18 June 2020, Athens, Greece
|1||Heterarchism: Toward Paradigm Shift in World Politics|
Academic Responsible: Dr. Philip G. Cerny, Professor Emeritus , University of Manchester, UK and Rutgers University, USA.
“International Relations” theory has been dominated since the study of IR formally began at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, in 1919 by methodological state-centrism. There have been three mainstream “competing paradigms”—realism, liberalism and constructivism—all of which assume that the dominant independent variables are states and the inter-state system. We argue that this way of conceiving world politics was (a) always problematic and challengeable, and (b) time-bound and increasingly anachronistic. Since the mid-20th century, a dialectic of globalization and fragmentation—political, economic and social processes above, below and cutting across states–has caught states and the interstate system in a complex process of restructuring toward what has been called “heterarchy”. The core of this process is the triangulation of (a) the “dis-aggregated state” (Slaughter 2004), (b) fragmented global governance and “regime complexes” (Alter and Raustiala 2018), and (c) “sectoral differentiation” in the international political economy, leading to a spectrum of market/hierarchy or public/private de facto policymaking processes and diverse types of “mutual capture” between a range of private actors and meso- and micro-state hierarchies. The result is the decreasing capacity of macro-states to control both domestic and transnational political/economic processes. In this context, the nation-state is increasingly becoming what we call a “reactive state” in a world of multilevel and multi-nodal policymaking and implementation processes. This requires a new and robust paradigm that we call “heterarchism”.
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