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What is a (global) polity?

Corry, Olaf (2010). What is a (global) polity? Review of International Studies, 36(S1) pp. 157–180.

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Despite sustained theoretical and empirical criticism of ‘statism’, a recognisable model of political structure other of hierarchy and anarchy (the models that underpin the state system-model) has long been lacking. Even many proponents of radical transformation of the international system often remain ‘post-international’, describing world politics essentially in terms of complications to the international system. This article agrees that a new point of departure is needed but offers a different model of political structure by redefining the term ‘polity’ – a term which is increasingly used to capture non-territorial political entities neither constituted by hierarchy nor by the lack of it. With the new definition building on Waltz’s theory of theory as a ‘picture, mentally formed’ in order to simplify a domain, a polity is deemed to exist when a set of subjects are oriented towards a common ‘governance-object’. The new polity model is applied illustratively to the idea of a global polity and a new polity research agenda of international relations is suggested.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2010 British International Studies Association
ISSN: 1469-9044
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Politics, Philosophy, Economics, Development, Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
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Item ID: 31078
Depositing User: Olaf Corry
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2012 09:35
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 09:52
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