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Mainstream international relations continues to assume that the world is governed by calculable risk based on estimates of power, despite repeatedly being surprised by unexpected change. This ground breaking work departs from existing definitions of power that focus on the actors' evolving ability to exercise control in situations of calculable risk. It introduces the concept of 'protean power', which focuses on the actors' agility as they adapt to situations of uncertainty. Protean Power uses twelve real world case studies to examine how the dynamics of protean and control power can be tracked in the relations among different state and non-state actors, operating in diverse sites, stretching from local to global, in both times of relative normalcy and moments of crisis. Katzenstein and Seybert argue for a new approach to international relations, where the inclusion of protean power in our analytical models helps in accounting for unforeseen changes in world politics.
Russia’s Eurasian view of the world brings together anti-Western and state-centric elements. Placed at the center of its own geo-political sphere of influence and civilizational milieu, Russia’s worldview is self-contained and insular. What Russian policy slights is the global context in which its primacy over a heterogeneous Eurasia is embedded and which, when disregarded, can impose serious costs. This paper traces the broad contours of Russia’s geopolitical and civilizational Eurasianism, linking it to earlier scholarship on regions and civilization. We also explore selected aspects of Russia’s foreign security (Crimea and Ukraine) and economic (energy) policies as well as the constraints they encounter in an increasingly global world that envelops Russia and Eurasia in a larger context.
The distinction between uncertainty and risk, originally drawn by Frank Knight and John Maynard Keynes in the 1920s, remains fundamentally important today. In the presence of uncertainty, market actors and economic policy-makers substitute other methods of decision making for rational calculation—specifically, actors' decisions are rooted in social conventions. Drawing from innovations in financial markets and deliberations among top American monetary authorities in the years before the 2008 crisis, we show how economic actors and policy-makers live in worlds of risk and uncertainty. In that world social conventions deserve much greater attention than conventional IPE analyses accords them. Such conventions must be part of our toolkit as we seek to understand the preferences and strategies of economic and political actors.