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Social forces, states and world orders

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Laura Pinkham

on 27 September 2012

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Transcript of Social forces, states and world orders


Robert Cox
A Neo-Marxist Approach
to IR Antonio Gramsci Theoretical Position •“Theory is always for someone and for some purpose”

•Examine theory as an ideology

•Expose the perspective from which the theorist sees the world Robert Cox Two Types of Theory Financial institutions: IMF Theory Critical Question Structure Highlight
Alternatives Body Body Promote Change US interests being advanced through transnational institutions like the World Bank and IMF


Prioritizes specific state agencies: ministries of finance (and not labor ministries, planning offices, etc)



New axis of influence: international policy networks with key central agencies of government and with big business Internationalization of the state

Integration of production processes on a transnational scale

structure of states and world order

multinational banks also serve as a network of control and planning for the world economy of international production Internationalization of Production prevent 1/3 of the world's population from revolting in response to marginalization and poverty. Italian Communist Party
Why aren't revolutions happening in Western Europe?
Transition to socialism
Was not occurring...Why?
Power: mix of coercion and consent
Hegemonic ruling class builds consent: norms KNOWLEDGE
Always biased
Why? Because it is produced from the social perspective of the analyst!
Reflects the interests of the observer
Reveals inclination
What does this mean for IR theories? Critical Theory Highlights domination of the poor, global South
How is domination maintained?
International system as we see it: a specific configuration!
Who is this configuration benefiting?
Advance and promote progressive ideology Critical Theory HOW CAN WE CHANGE THINGS? Challenge the hegemonic position Problem Solving takes the world as it is as the given framework
make existing relationships and institutions work
accept the prevailing order Critical Theory ask how world order came about
alternatives?
guide to strategic action Cox: Summary Purpose of realism and neo-realism?
Hegemons shape the international order
Build consent for specific norms, values, and ideas
So what's the ruling hegemonic idea? SUPREMACY OF FREE TRADE!! 1: Hegemony based on global structure of social power inter-state power configuration monetarism as the orthodoxy of economic policy 2: non-hegemonic world structure of conflicting power centers ascendancy of several core countries
attack monetarism
national capital and organized labor 3: counter-hegemony based on a 3W coalition alternate view of a world order
New International Economic Order CURRENT WORLD ORDER STRUCTURE: American Neo-Imperalism more and less than the state
more: inter-state institutions
less: anti-imperial forces core and periphery countries
transnational structure CORE PERIPHERY International Production and Class Structure Educational institutions Critique Conceptualization and Maintenance of Power

Role of Institutions Financial
Institutions Where does agency fit into Cox's theory? Pawns in a global structure?
Perhaps unknowingly we are
Critical theory offers a different way of looking at the current structure and questioning what is considered implicit
Opportunity to reestablish agency
The world system is a reflection of particular production processes, social forces and forms of the state
There are alternatives! 1) Cox argues that theory is always for someone and for some purpose, which is consistent with critical theory. Given what you know about realism and neo-realism, what are the purposes of these theories and who may they be serving?

2)Cox outlines three possible outcomes that could result from changing production processes, but admits the last outcome, that periphery countries would form a coalition to resist core country domination is unlikely. Why do you think Cox would argue, at the time of writing (1981), that such an outcome would be improbable? Discussion Questions 3)Do you think such an arrangement, where peripheral states unite to foster autonomous development and an end to core-periphery relations, is possible? Why or why not? Discussion Questions 4)Do you think institutions are, as Cox argues, extensions of the state designed to build the consent of the ruled towards specific norms and values? Why or why not? Try, if possible, to provide an example to back up your claim. Discussion Questions 6) Do you think that international considerations supersede national considerations in our current world system? When studying IR, should we be thinking in terms of global structures or should we focus on states?

7)Of the theories we have examined in class thus far (realism, liberalism, neo-realism, neo-liberalism, neo-marxism), which theory do you find most convincing and why? Discussion Questions Onto Wendt and Constructivism! Thank you! mobilizing social forces
think in terms of a global class structure alongside or superimposed upon national class structures
One slight problem...
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