Non-State Actors and Authority in the Global System

Non-State Actors and Authority in the Global System

Non-State Actors and Authority in the Global System

Non-State Actors and Authority in the Global System


Traditionally in International Relations, power and authority were considered to rest with states. But recently, in the light of changes associated with globalisation, this has come under scrutiny both empirically and theoretically. This book analyses the continuing but changing role of states in the international arena, and their relationships with a wide range of non-state actors, which possess increasingly salient capabilities to structure global politics and economics.


This volume represents the best of the papers from the inaugural conference of the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionialisation (CSGR) at Warwick University. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council of the UK with an initial grant of over £2.5 million, the Centre is rapidly becoming an international site for the study of key issues in the theory and practice of globalisation and regionalisation. As the papers in this volume demonstrate, the Centre’s agenda is avowedly inter-disciplinary. Research staff in the CSGR are drawn from international relations, political science, economics, law and sociology. The Centre is committed to scholarly excellence but also strives to be problem-solving in methodological orientation.

Three broad categories of activity inform and underwrite the research programme of the Centre. First, what is globalisation? Second, can we measure its impacts, and if so, how? Third, what are its policy implications? Understandings of globalisation are seen to be multi-dimensional—political, economic, cultural, ideological—so the CSGR sees globalisation in at least two broad ways: first, as the emergence of a set of sequences and processes that are increasingly unhindered by territorial or jurisdictional barriers and that enhance the spread of trans-border practices in economic, political, cultural and social domains; and second, as a discourse of political and economic knowledge offering one view of how to make the post-modern world manageable. For many, globalisation as ‘knowledge’ constitutes a new reality. Centre research will ask what kinds of constraints globalisation poses for independent policy initiatives on the part of national policy-makers and under what conditions these constraints are enhanced or mitigated.

Within these broad contexts empirical work at the CSGR focuses on: first, particular regional projects in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific; second, the enhancement of international institutions, rules and policy competence on questions of trade competition and international finance and investment; third, normative questions about governance, sovereignty, democratisation and policy-making under constraints of globalisation.

Indeed, Centre research is sensitive to the wider normative nature of many of these questions, especially in research into the counter-tendencies towards, or sites of resistance to, globalisation at regional and local levels that give rise to different understandings of the importance of space and territoriality.

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