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.
- international change
- international order
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations