Monday, June 16, 2008

Complexity in International Relations Theory

Nick, at Accursed Share, has posted an interesting and relevant post about issues relating to the structure/agency problem in International Relations Theory.

I am in agreement about the need to consider multiple interacting systems in International Relations theory. There still seems to be a desire to simplify actual events, and the complexity of them, into all-encompassing theories that accounts for the change before it happens (e.g. the eternal wisdom of neo-realism). A lot of the approaches still fail to cope with the issue of emergence and lack the capacity to identify system-generating processes. They seem to always assume that the system is already there (Waltz and Wendt) ! However, historical approaches like world systems theory do acknowledge the importance of historical analysis, but lack, i feel, a non-linear understanding of History (althought this is emerging in world systems theory).

There is also the problem of organismic approaches to the state, which is most prominent in Alexander Wendt's recent work, which tries to propose a quantum hypothesis of consciousness. While it is all very interesting Wendt seems to be appealing to an essential and totalising (human) condition to propose his theory of the state as a person. His example of how a state functions is connected to the idea of a beehive composed of homogeneous units (i.e. individuals). The problem I feel with Wendt’s approach is his model of the stats is based on what DeLanda refers to as a ‘relations of Interiority’, which is a result of arguing the state is a superorganism (like a beehive). I tend to think Wendt needs to consider the state more from a ‘relations of exteriority’ approach, which could account for heterogeneous components (i.e. assemblages) interacting with one another. For example, lobbying power in some states is a crucial factor for understanding the actualisations that occur in Global politics. One only needs to consider the lobbying power in encouraging the U.S. to not sign the Koyota protocol. However, this is not to claim that the U.S. (as a state) is a homogeneous person in favour of rejecting the protocol. There are plenty of assemblages that are present (and also emergent) in the U.S that lobby and protest in favour of environmental policies. This means the state is more like Deleuze's idea of the wasp and orchid interacting (heterogeneous components) than a beehive (homogeneous organic beings).

I would also propose that anthropocentricism is a problem in the discipline of International Relations. This seems to be a difficult topic because it would appear that humanity is the cause of International Relations (IR). However, could IR, in an attempt to learn from the natural sciences (particularly complexity theory) think, for example, about the significance of such things as weather systems producing events in international politics? The example of the recent cyclone in Burma would illustrate that humanity is not the ‘centre’ of global politics.


Anonymous said...

Well, one could say that it is humanity's reaction to the weather system fluctuations that influences global politics due to national imperatives.
We must understand the affect that the individual level has upon the national level.

eda said...




Anonymous said...

vcwqaslmpidjbonrsfjg, Yahoo Scanner, WIiUmfz.

exposicion muebles madrid said...

Wow, there's really much effective information above!

jim corna said...

I would be flattened if all websites gave articles like that.
what's new

Anonymous said...

You can definitely see your expertise in the article you write.
The sector hopes for even more passionate writers
such as you who aren't afraid to mention how they believe. Always follow your heart.

Here is my website - Sidney Crosby Jersey

Anonymous said...

I blog often and I truly appreciate your content. This great article
has truly peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark your website and keep checking for new information about once
a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed too.

Feel free to visit my webpage:

Anonymous said...

Hello, i feel that i noticed you visited my site thus i got here to return the
want?.I'm attempting to to find issues to improve my site!I suppose its adequate to use a few of your ideas!!

Feel free to surf to my blog post Cheap Jerseys3

Anonymous said...

I'm truly enjoying the design and layout of your site. It's a very easy
on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for
me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out
a developer to create your theme? Fantastic work!

Feel free to visit my web site :: Oakley Holbrook

Anonymous said...

Usually I do not read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced
me to try and do so! Your writing taste has been surprised me.
Thank you, very nice post.

Also visit my website ...

Anonymous said...

I like the helpful information you supply to your articles.
I'll bookmark your blog and test again right here frequently. I am fairly sure I'll be informed many new
stuff proper here! Best of luck for the following!

Here is my web-site :: Evgeni Malkin Authentic Jersey

Anonymous said...

Spot on with this write-up, I really believe that this web site needs much more attention.
I'll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the information!

My web blog: Cheap Louis Vuitton Bags

Anonymous said...

Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice whilst you amend your site,
how could i subscribe for a weblog web site?
The account helped me a applicable deal. I had been a little bit
familiar of this your broadcast provided vivid clear idea

Also visit my weblog ... Louis Vuitton Bags

Anonymous said...

I savour, lead to I found exactly what I used to be taking a look for.
You've ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

my website louis vuitton purses

Anonymous said...

Keep on working, great job!

Here is my web-site; Sac a Main louis vuitton

Anonymous said...

For latest information you have to go to see web and
on web I found this site as a most excellent site for hottest

my site ... Cheap Louis Vuitton Handbags

Anonymous said...

Hello, i think that i noticed you visited my blog thus i came to return the choose?
.I'm attempting to find issues to improve my site!I assume its good enough to make use of some of your concepts!!

Here is my website: chaussure de foot pas cher

Anonymous said...

I truly love your site.. Very nice colors & theme.
Did you create this site yourself? Please reply back as
I'm looking to create my own personal blog and want to find out where you got this from or what the theme is called. Appreciate it!

my website; Read More

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the page layout of your
website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people
could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text
for only having one or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

my page :: Abercrombie France

Anonymous said...

Having read this I thought it was extremely informative.
I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this information together.
I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments.
But so what, it was still worthwhile!

Here is my webpage: Louis Vuitton Purses Outlet

Anonymous said...

I know this if off topic but I'm looking into starting my own weblog and was curious what all is needed to get setup? I'm assuming having a blog like yours would cost a
pretty penny? I'm not very web smart so I'm not 100% sure.
Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

my web blog Nike Free 5.0

Anonymous said...

It's not my first time to pay a quick visit this site, i am browsing this web page dailly and get fastidious data from here all the time.

Visit my web page :: Sac Louis Vuitton

Anonymous said...

I think the admin of this website is actually working hard for his
website, as here every data is quality based stuff.

Here is my homepage - Christian Louboutin Heels