Roberto Domínguez and Rafael Velázquez Flores
The goal of this article is to provide an overview of the literature on global governance, key elements for understanding its conceptualization, and a gateway to capture its multidimensionality. From this perspective, global governance is conceived as a framework of analysis or intellectual device to study the complexity of global processes involving multiple actors that interact at different levels of interest aggregation. The article is divided into four parts. The first section describes the origins, definitions, and characteristics of global governance. The second categorizes global governance based on different thematic areas where there is a confluence of governance practices, on the one hand, and the inclusion of a global level of interaction, on the other. The third discusses the different conceptual inquiries and innovations that have been developed around the term. Finally, the last part maps the different academic institutions that have focused their research on global governance and offer programs on this subject.
Sovereignty has been variously understood as the given principle of international relations, an institution, a social construct, a performative discourse subject to historical transformation, or a particular practice of power. The “articulations” of sovereignty refer to sovereignty as a practice that is worked on and in turn works with and against other practices. Alongside territory and supreme authority, sovereignty is characterized by the capacity to make and enforce laws. Sovereignty has also been defined in opposition to rights, as the spatiotemporal limits it instantiates are also the limits of rights. Another conceptualization of sovereignty has been revived in international relations, partly in response to the question of exclusions and limits that sovereign practices enacted. In addition, sovereignty is not inextricably tied up with the state but is articulated with heterogeneous and contradictory discourses and practices that create meaning about the international, and has consequences for the kind of community, politics, and agency that are possible. There are three effects of the logic of sovereignty in the international system: the ordering of the domestic and the international, the spatio-temporal limits to politics, and the exclusions from agency. In addition, there are three renditions of the international as a “thick” social space: those of globalization theories, of biopolitics, and of empire.
Behavioralism is an approach in political science that became predominant in American social sciences from the 1950s until well into the 1970s. The Behavioral Revolution in American political science began as a “protest” against “traditional” political science, which it views as being both too descriptive and too speculative, lacking rigor and ambition, and incapable of analytical theorization and therefore of cognitive growth. Behavioralism opened up the discipline to various theories and methods imported from the social and pure sciences. Behavioralists replaced political philosophy with the philosophy of science, thereby setting new standards for the formulation of concepts, hypotheses, theories, and protocols for empirical testing. Behavioralism thus represents a sharp break from the previous discipline. Two “great” debates mark behavioralism as a paradigm: the first was between “realism” and “idealism” over the what-question concerning the discipline’s subject matter, while the second was about “methodology” and the how-question. Recently, some scholars have called for a revival of behavioral international relations (IR) as a subfield concerned with the explanation of the behavior of leaders, rather than states —an approach that refocuses behavioralism on the individual as a unit of analysis and on the underlying processes that account for political judgment and decisions. Whether such a research program can reclaim behavioralism’s place among the leading paradigms of IR, or whether the discipline is ready to welcome such a revival, is unclear.
Methodology is not often discussed in the English School. In fact, its proponents disdain methodology altogether, though that is not to say that the scholars of the English School are without method. There exists within the English School a plurality of methods. However, a plurality of methods does not imply a plurality of ontologies, much less epistemologies. Central to the English School is the concept of international society. Of the specific methods provided by a number of the English School’s most prominent intellectuals, the first to note is the importance of empirical research as opposed to grand theorizing. If English School theorists wear their grand theory lightly, it is not least because they come from an empirical tradition and they spend time in archives getting their hands dirty. They become immersed in diplomatic records, memoirs, and newspapers. They spend time in international institutions, listening to what international civil servants say and to what they think they are doing. They reflect on the meaning of diplomatic action and on the precepts behind that action. Hence, their notion of a “practice” serves, among other things, to point the researcher in the direction of the practitioner. The sources for such an approach would include foreign office documentation, memoirs of the major political actors of the time, interviews, newsprint, and historical archives. What they are looking for in this material is the self-conceptions of the actors who are participating in the processes that constitute international life.
Entertainment technologies are not new, and neither is their relevance for international studies. As studies evidence, the impact of entertainment technologies is often visible at the intersection of “traditional” international relations concerns, such as national security, political economy, and the relation of citizens to the nation-state, and new modes of transnational identity and social action. Thus the study of entertainment technologies in the context of international studies is often interdisciplinary—both in method and in theoretical framework. Moreover, the production, regulation, and dissemination of these technologies have been at the center of controversies over the flow of news and cultural products since the dawn of popular communication in the nineteenth century. These entertainment technologies include video games, virtual worlds and online role-playing games, recreational social networking technologies, and, to a lesser degree, traditional mass communication outlets. In addition, there are two primary emphases in the scholarly treatment of entertainment technologies. At the level of audience consumption and participation, media outlets considered as entertainment technologies can be discussed as means for acquiring information and cultivating attitudes, and as a “space” for interaction. At the more “macro” level of social relations and production, representation can work to reinforce modes of belonging, identity, and attitudes.
Joachim K. Rennstich
Modern evolutionary theory is a powerful tool that helps explain the dynamics of change in living things and why and how this change occurs. It also serves as the intellectual foundation of evolutionary systems theory in international relations. Evolutionary systems theory, as it pertains to international relations, can broadly be placed into two categories: the biobehavioral and the social evolutionary approach. The biobehaviorists believe that the foundations of human behavior allow us to employ evolutionary theory to study social systems. The latter favors the use of evolutionary theory based on the analogous developmental pattern of social systems to those found in the natural world. One of the major advantages of using an evolutionary systems framework as part of a systemic approach to the study of “international relations” is the ability to fuse multiple approaches into a common model. These approaches might have different foci or be rooted in different scientific traditions. They may aim to combine the insights garnered from evolutionary economics with findings from evolutionary psychologists and the epistemological insights into scientific progress as steered by repeated trial and error elimination procedures. The unifying key is the focus on the behavior of agents as it relates to the environment in which these agents act, and the feedback between behavior and environment.
Robert A. Denemark
Fundamentalism typically has a religious connotation that indicates unwavering attachment to a set of irreducible beliefs. However, fundamentalism was eventually applied to certain groups—mainly, though not exclusively, in religion—that are characterized by a markedly strict literalism as it is applied to certain scriptures, dogmas, or ideologies, and a strong sense of the importance of maintaining ingroup and outgroup distinctions. This leads to an emphasis on purity and the desire to return to a previous ideal from which advocates believe members have strayed. This tendency results in the rejection of diversity of opinion as applied to these established “fundamentals” and their accepted interpretation within the group. Fundamentalism has developed all over the world along with the extension of globalization. Globalization is an extension of modernization and post-modernization, and both these movements oppose religious conservatism. The globalization of culture involves the creation of a hyper-differentiated field of value, taste, and style opportunities, accessible by each individual without constraint for purposes either of self-expression or consumption. One could see that the antagonism to modernity finds expression in fundamentalism. This is perhaps the indirect contribution of globalization to religion and religious ideology. The fear of modernity motivates religious leaders to revitalize their religion, so that it can effectively combat modernity and post-modernity.
Frank C. Zagare and Branislav L. Slantchev
Game theory is the science of interactive decision making. It has been used in the field of international relations (IR) for over 50 years. Almost all of the early applications of game theory in international relations drew upon the theory of zero-sum games, but the first generation of applications was also developed during the most intense period of the Cold War. The theoretical foundations for the second wave of the game theory literature in international relations were laid by a mathematician, John Nash, a co-recipient of the 1994 Nobel Prize in economics. His major achievement was to generalize the minimax solution which emerged from the first wave. The result is the now famous Nash equilibrium—the accepted measure of rational behavior in strategic form games. During the third wave, from roughly the early to mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, there was a distinct move away from static strategic form games toward dynamic games depicted in extensive form. The assumption of complete information also fell by the wayside; games of incomplete information became the norm. Technical refinements of Nash’s equilibrium concept both encouraged and facilitated these important developments. In the fourth and final wave, which can be dated, roughly, from around the middle of the 1990s, extensive form games of incomplete information appeared regularly in the strategic literature. The fourth wave is a period in which game theory was no longer considered a niche methodology, having finally emerged as a mainstream theoretical tool.
Barry Buzan and Richard Little
For most English School writers, the international society is an element that is always present in international relations, but whose depth, character, and influence all fluctuate with historical contingency. The historical wing of the English School focuses on how the contemporary global international society came about as a result of the expansion to planetary scale of what was originally a novel type of international society that emerged in early modern Europe. This is partly a story of power and imposition, and partly one of the successful spread and internalization beyond the West of Western ideas such as sovereignty and nationalism. It is also a story about what happens when international society expands beyond the cultural heartland which gave birth to it. The classical story has been critiqued for being too Eurocentric and underplaying the fact that European international society did not emerge fully formed in Europe and then spread from there to the rest of the world. Rather, it developed as it did substantially because it was already spreading as it emerged, and was thus in its own way as much shaped by the encounter as was the non-European world. A related line of critique points out the conspicuous and Eurocentric failure of the classical story to feature the fact that colonialism was a core institution of European international society.
James D. Morrow
Theory shapes how data is collected and analyzed in at least three ways. Theoretical concepts inform how we collect data because data attempt to capture and reflect those concepts. Theory provides testable hypotheses that direct our research. Theory also helps us draw conclusions from the results of empirical research. Meanwhile, research using quantitative methods seeks to be rigorous and reproducible. Mathematical models develop the logic of a theory carefully, while statistical methods help us judge whether the evidence matches the expectations of our theories. Quantitative scholars tend to specialize in one approach or the other. The interaction of theory and data for them thus concerns how models and statistical analysis draw on and respond to one another. In the abstract, they work together seamlessly to advance scientific understanding. In practice, however, there are many places and ways this abstract process can stumble. These difficulties are not unique to rigorous methods; they confront any attempt to reconcile causal arguments with reality. Rigorous methods help by making the issues clear and forcing us to confront them. Furthermore, these methods do not ensure arguments or empirical judgments are correct; they only make it easier for us to agree among ourselves when they do.