Episode 25: The New Hierarchy Studies

9 08 2022

Scholars of international relations don’t agree on much, but they at least agree that anarchy (the lack of a common authority to make and enforce rules) is the defining feature of international politics, right?

Not exactly. There’s a long history of research that emphasizes the hierarchical character of international relations. Now a new wave of scholarship argues that international-relations theory should move beyond anarchy. Some advocate giving it a downgrade. Others want to banish the concept entirely.

What drives the new hierarchy studies? Why is it gaining steam? In this episode, David Lake, Dani Nedal, and Ayşe Zarakol join a “Whiskey Optional” roundtable on the subject of international hierarchy.

Patrick Thaddeus Jackson is Professor of International Studies in the School of International Service, and also Director of the AU Honors program. He was formerly Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Relations and Development, and is currently Series Editor of the University of Michigan Press' book series Configurations: Critical Studies of World Politics.