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4 - Anarchy, Authority, Rule: Reconsidered

from Part I - Theorizing Rule

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 June 2023

Christopher Daase
Peace Research Institute Frankfurt and Goethe University Frankfurt
Nicole Deitelhoff
Peace Research Institute Frankfurt and Goethe University Frankfurt
Antonia Witt
Peace Research Institute Frankfurt
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Over thirty years ago, Frank Klink and I wrote a paper on anarchy, authority, and rule—the first of its kind and a touchstone for subsequent theorizing about states and their relations. We sought to rebut prevailing claims about anarchy as the absence of authority and replace these concepts with a scheme centered on conditions of rule in every society. We identified three forms of rule: hegemony (inspired by Gramsci), hierarchy (drawing on Weber), and heteronomy (inspired by Kant, drawing on liberal theory). We argued that the relations of states exhibit elements of all three forms of rule to the abiding advantage of some few states. There is today a great deal of interest in rule in international relations but less interest in our three-part conceptual scheme. Looking back, I believe it holds up in its own terms but works even better when situated in an overarching framework linking three types of speech acts, derivative types of rules, and correlative forms of rule. I erected this framework in World of Our Making (1989) and reprise it here. I conclude by showing how modernity has reinvigorated status to support sovereign equality, thereby conjoining hegemony and hierarchy in a durably heteronomous world.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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