1st Edition

Heterarchy in World Politics

Edited By Philip G. Cerny Copyright 2023
    232 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    232 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Heterarchy in World Politics challenges the fundamental framing of international relations and world politics. IR theory has always been dominated by the presumption that world politics is, at its core, a system of states. However, this has always been problematic, challengeable, time-bound, and increasingly anachronistic.

    In the 21st century, world politics is becoming increasingly multi-nodal and characterized by "heterarchy" – the coexistence and conflict between differently structured micro- and meso quasi-hierarchies that compete and overlap not only across borders but also across economic-financial sectors and social groupings. Thinking about international order in terms of heterarchy is a paradigm shift away from the mainstream "competing paradigms" of realism, liberalism, and constructivism. This book explores how, since the mid-20th century, the dialectic of globalization and fragmentation has caught states and the interstate system in the complex evolutionary process toward heterarchy. These heterarchical institutions and processes are characterized by increasing autonomy and special interest capture. The process of heterarchy empowers strategically situated agents — especially agents with substantial autonomous resources, and in particular economic resources — in multi-nodal competing institutions with overlapping jurisdictions. The result is the decreasing capacity of macro-states to control both domestic and transnational political/economic processes. In this book, the authors demonstrate that this is not a simple breakdown of states and the states system; it is in fact the early stages of a structural evolution of world politics.

    This book will interest students, scholars and researchers of international relations theory. It will also have significant appeal in the fields of world politics, security studies, war studies, peace studies, global governance studies, political science, political economy, political power studies, and the social sciences more generally.

    Section I: Theory and History

    1. Heterarchy: Toward Paradigm Shift in World Politics

    Philip G. Cerny

    2. From Postinternationalism to Heterarchy: Turbulence and Distance Proximities in a World of Globalization and Fragmentation

    Dana-Marie Ramjit

    3. Heterarchy and Social Theory

    Carole L. Crumley

    4. New Medievalism (Re)Appraised: Framing Heterarchy in World Politics

    Aleksandra Spalińska

    5. From Empire to Heterarchy

    Gita Subrahmanyam

    6. Heterarchy and State Transformation

    Lee Jones and Shahar Hameiri

    7. Political Power in a Heterarchical World: A Categorization of Extra-state Authorities

    Rosalba Belmonte

    8. Globalization, Heterarchy, and the Persistence of Anomie

    Alexandre Bohas and Michael J. Morley

    Section II: Issue Areas and Case Studies

    9. Nationalism, Capitalism and Heterarchy: Continuity and Change in the 21st Century World Order

    Peter Rutland

    10. Heterarchy and the Limits of Global Governance

    Philip G. Cerny

    11. Metropolitan Diplomacy: Global Metropolitan Law and Global Cities Seen from the Heterarchy Perspective

    Mădălina Virginia Antonescu

    12. Heterarchy in an Age of Intangibles and Financialization

    Philip G. Cerny

    13. WTO Dispute Settlement and the Appellate Body Crisis as a Case Study of Heterarchy

    Judit Fabian

    14. Heterarchy and Global Environmental Change

    Gabriela Kütting

    15. Heterarchy and Global Internet Governance: The Case of ICANN

    Hortense Jongen

    16. Heterarchy in the Mexican Competition Network: The Case of COFECE and IFC

    Alejandra Salas Porras

    17. Heterarchy in Russia: Paradoxes of Power

    Richard Sakwa


    Philip G. Cerny is Professor Emeritus of Politics and Global Affairs at the University of Manchester, UK, and Rutgers University-Newark, USA. His research interests are the theory of world politics and political economy.