The Waltzian ordering principle and international change: A two-dimensional model

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In his work on structural realism, Kenneth Waltz developed a theory of international order that is admired for its parsimony but criticized for its simplicity. Using his ordering principle as a foundation, I critique and extend his theory by constructing a model of international order with two dimensions: one of political centralization and the other of segmentary/functional differentiation. The resulting map locates different configurations of order and highlights four ideal-types: mechanical anarchy, organic hierarchy, mechanical hierarchy and organic anarchy. I then use the two-dimensional map and related ideal-types to outline two different processes of international change — a classical path and a modern path — that were invisible in the Waltzian model. This article is thus a contribution to the developing literature on conceptualizing different forms of international order and the dynamics of international change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-152
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Journal of International Relations
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

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anarchy
ideal type
functional differentiation
centralization
realism
literature

Keywords

  • Anarchy
  • heteronomy
  • hierarchy
  • international change
  • international order
  • Waltz

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

Cite this

The Waltzian ordering principle and international change : A two-dimensional model. / Griffiths, Ryan.

In: European Journal of International Relations, Vol. 24, No. 1, 01.03.2018, p. 130-152.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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