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Civil Wars
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Neomedievalism, civil war and the new security dilemma: Globalisation as durable disorder
Philip G. Cerny a a Professor of International Political Economy, University of Leeds,

Online Publication Date: 01 March 1998 To cite this Article: Cerny, Philip G. (1998) 'Neomedievalism, civil war and the new security dilemma: Globalisation as durable disorder', Civil Wars, 1:1, 36 - 64 To link to this article: DOI: 10.1080/13698249808402366 URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13698249808402366

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Neomedievalism, Civil War and the New Security Dilemma: Globalisation As Durable Disorder
PHILIP G.CERNY
Globalisation is creating a growing range of complex challenges to the autonomous policy-making capacity, authority and legitimacy of nation-states, while a new security dilemma is challenging the ability of states and of the states system to provide both international and domestic security as a public good. These changes are leading to an unbundling of basic state functions and the growth of uneven, crosscutting and overlapping levels of governance and quasi-governance, the fragmentation of cultural identities and the reconfiguation of social, economic and political spaces. At the same time, systemic pressures for the consolidation of new forms of transnational and international authority are insufficient, resulting in a governance gap. Exit is becoming an increasingly viable option for a growing range of actors and groups, leading to endemic civil and cross-border wars. The result will be not mere chaos, however, but something resembling the 'durable disorder' of the Middle Ages.

THE CRISIS OF THE OLD SECURITY ORDER

States have been the structural lynchpin of the modern international system, but the structure of the international order today1 is undergoing a long-term transformation. One of the most salient features of that change is a shift in the dominant form of violence and conflict from one characterised by interstate wars to one in which civil and cross-border wars increasingly predominate and proliferate. Of course, significant structural pressures on the nation-state have been identified at several levels not only in recent decades but over the longer run of modern history too, and civil and cross-

An earlier version of this paper was presented to a Workshop on Globalisation: Critical Perspectives, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Birmingham, 14-16 March 1997.1 am particularly grateful to Grahame Thompson and Bob Jessop for their extremely helpful comments. Civil Wars, Vol.1, No.l (Spring 1998), pp.36-64 PUBLISHED BY FRANK CASS, LONDON

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border wars are certainly nothing new. Alternative attempts to analyse structure and change in the international order have focused predominantly on the relationship of states and state forms with economic changes, and the most significant variable in recent versions of this debate has been the advent of the so-called 'Third Industrial Revolution' and the deepening of transnational economic interdependence or globalisation. But alongside these economic developments have come a range of social and political developments too. New information and communication technologies have intensified pressures resulting from the interaction of previously compartmentalised social and cultural categories, with an emphasis on the sheer speed of that interaction.2 The development of Marshall McLuhan's 'global village'3 has been parallelled (or, for some, superseded) by a postmodernist fragmentation of cultures and societies. In political terms, the reidentification of societies as 'multicultural', emphasising shifting identities and loyalties,4 is unravelling the consolidation of national culture societies5 which was at the heart of the nation-state project from Bismarck's Kulturkampf'to postcolonial 'nation-building'.6 Many major social causes and cause pressure groups, as well as sectoral interest groups, are thus becoming less concerned with negotiating direct benefits from the state and more focused on transnational issues such as the environment, women's issues, the international banning of landmines, opposition to the holding of political prisoners worldwide, promoting sustainable development and the like. And in security terms, the end of the Cold War is said to have unleashed a huge number of social and political demands which had previously been kept in ideological and political check. In this context, the very notion of the 'public interest' and the viability of the national state as a form of political community are being questioned. Whether democracy itself can be an effective form of political organization is under challenge too - not only in terms of what actors want from governments, but also as to whether national, territorially-based institutional structures in the future can reasonably be expected to effectively aggregate and reconcile divergent individual and sectoral demands in the first place.7 National-territorial institutions are being overlaid, cross-cut and even replaced by a range of multilayered public/private arrangements bridging the micro-level,8 the meso-level and the transnational in ways the state cannot.' This is the essence of what Hedley Bull and others have called 'neomedievalism'.10 At one level, these changes may be seen as part of a wider transnational restructuring of domestic political systems, challenging the operation and even the very legitimacy of nation-states from within. After all, transnationalisation is as

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much a domestic political process as an international one. But they also challenge the states system from what has been thought of as the 'outside', cutting across and blurring the traditional 'inside/outside' distinction. In particular, as already mentioned, the end of the Cold War has had a profound effect on international relations as they have been understood in the modern world. Indeed, the phrase 'the end of the Cold War' per se does not merely denote an event that occurred in 1989 or thereabouts. It involves a longer-term process which has progressively (if unevenly) undermined the states system from both above and below, inside and out, since the 1960s.
THE NEW SECURITY DILEMMA

The central mechanism of stabilisation and ordering in the states system taken, as it has been in the study of mainstream international relations, as a separate level of analysis from domestic politics - has usually been seen to be the way balances of power operate to counteract the so-called 'security dilemma'. The security dilemma is the notion that perceived external threats generate feelings of insecurity in those states that believe themselves to be the targets of such threats, thereby leading to measures to counteract those threats (alliances, arms buildups, and so on). These countermeasures in turn are perceived as threatening by others, leading to further countercountermeasures, and so on - undermining existing power balances and creating a vicious circle of ever-increasing insecurity. Only by creating and recreating balances of power, whether through war, through developing and manipulating power resources, or through politically effective (strongwilled) foreign policy, can this tendency to system breakdown be counteracted. In structure-agent terms, specific structural conditions limit the options faced by particular agents, limiting the range of likely behavioural outcomes. In game-theoretic terms, the payoff matrices built into the international system create incentives for players to "defect" rather than co-operate, unless restrained by the operation of the balance of power. Such an analysis has been at the heart of both classical realism" and neorealism.12 But the end of the Cold War did not result so much from the breakdown of a particular balance of power - the bipolar balance between United States and the Soviet Union - as from the increasing ineffectiveness of interstate balances of power generally to regulate the international system. For example, the failure of large powers to determine outcomes in the Third World through traditional security means - the most salient examples being Vietnam for the United States and the Sino-Soviet split (and later Angola and Afghanistan) for the Soviet Union - Was merely the first major shock

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to the balance-of-power system. The demise of the Soviet Union did not result just from some change in its relative overall power position vis-a-vis the United States. The USSR collapsed because of the evolving configuration of domestic and transnational pressures stemming from technological backwardness, international economic interdependence, awareness of social and cultural alternatives by individuals and groups made possible by international contacts and communications, the growth of consumerism and other pressures for "modernisation" which the USSR was less and less able to meet. Likewise, growing complex interdependence in the West undermined the hierarchical alliance structures set up in the postwar period by the United States, for example through the development of Gaullism in France.'3 Both superpowers became weaker in systemic terms, because traditional forms of power could not cope with the challenges of the late twentieth century international order. The lack of utility not only of nuclear weapons (increasingly seen as unthinkable and unusable) but also of limited 'low intensity warfare' (more and more costly and counterproductive, as demonstrated in Vietnam and Afghanistan) is leading to a common sense realisation that neither national nor collective security can any longer be reliably based on balances of power among nation-states perse. Furthermore, this change has entailed not merely the replacement of interstate competition for military security by new forms of interstate competition, for example, for 'economic security', but rather a realisation that security based on the simple interaction of unitary nation-states itself is becoming a cause of even greater insecurity. A new sense of generalised insecurity has emerged, symbolised not only from above by a general threat of uncontrollable nuclear annihilation, but also from below, by the rise of civil wars, tribal and religious conflicts, terrorism, civil violence in developed countries, the international drugs trade, and so on. This sense of insecurity has led to a growing realisation that the provision of security itself as a public good - the very raison d'etre of the states system - can no longer be guaranteed by that system. A kind of generalised 'insecurity from below' has emerged, bound up with the dual character of globalisation as a global-local dialectic, whipsawing the state between the international and transnational, on the one hand, and an increasingly complex set of micro- and meso-level phenomena on the other - what Rosenau has called 'fragmegration'.14 Post-feudal state formation and consolidation, from Westphalia to the twentieth century, revolved around the capacity of the Janus-faced state to provide security simultaneously at two levels: Weber's 'monopoly of legitimate violence' in the domestic sphere; and the capacity for Clausewitz's 'pursuit of politics by other means' in the international sphere. Institutionalising a more rigid

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inside/outside distinction - providing a stable internal arena for collective action, alongside the capacity of states to make 'credible commitments' externally - made politics into an increasingly coherent two-level game articulated around and through structurally differentiated states.15 States today, however, are increasingly challenged at both levels. In this 'new security dilemma', changing payoff matrices crystallising in the late twentieth century international order are creating a range of incentives for players to defect from the states system itself- unless restrained from doing so by the as yet embryonic constraints of complex, especially economic, interdependence. The decline of interstate wars at the end of the twentieth century and the increasing prevalence of civil wars today therefore mirror deep structural changes in the international order itself. Whether a layer of institutionalised power will crystallise and converge to provide effective collective security at a global level is highly problematic. Of course, new constraints are also being created by expanding intergovernmental and multilateral cooperation. However, these essentially involve a process of 'catch-up', lagging the development of micro- and meso-level processes. They are also vulnerable to micro- and meso-level defection. What we are left with, then, is a new security dilemma. In this situation, attempts to provide international and domestic security through the state and the states system actually become increasingly dysfunctional. They create severe backlashes at both local and transnational levels, backlashes which further weaken the state and undermine wider security. Furthermore, these backlashes do not develop in a vacuum; they interact with economic and social processes of complex globalisation to create overlapping and competing cross-border networks of power, shifting loyalties and identities, and new sources of endemic low-level conflict - a 'durable disorder' analogous to some of the key characteristics of the medieval world.16 This article, then, seeks to examine the complex interaction of globalisation, on the one hand, and the fragmention of security, on the other. Its underlying theme is that this interaction is indeed leading towards a kind of new medievalism that challenges a wide range of familiar understandings of social structure and change.

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GLOBALISATION AS COMPLEXITY

The new security dilemma, then, is inextricably intertwined with globalisation, broadly defined. Critics of globalisation discourse present the very idea and image of globalisation as representing an oversimplified linear approach. 'Globalises' argue, these critics say, that the world is increasingly being pushed by market forces (or, in the Marxist version, by

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the requirements of global capital accumulation) into becoming a homogenised, undifferentiated economy and, ultimately, society and polity.'71 would argue, on the contrary, that globalisation, like any process of the expansion and development of social systems, is characterised not by increased homogeneity, but by increased complexity and circularity.'8 Complexity signifies the presence of many component parts, intricately linked in ways which create multiple potential equilibria; as a system expands, so the number of parts and the intricacy of their linkages also expands. Circularity means that the evolving relationship between these parts develops along multiple pathways which interact with each other, feeding back in loops which do not merely repeat themselves but provide a dynamic which multiplies the effect of otherwise static complex structures. Thus sufficient slack is present (and continually being recreated and reshaped) within the system to make any process of change 'path dependent', i.e. open to some extent to the influence of agents as to the direction of future developmental pathways - although the scope for agency is always circumscribed in various complex ways.19 Furthermore, while complexity and circularity can mean a sophisticated and elegantly coordinated structure on the one hand, they can also mean that the different parts mesh poorly, leading to friction and even entropy, on the other.20 Thus globalisation is constituted not by unambiguous homogeneity, but by the interaction of differences — not just of national differences, of course, but of differences which persist or arise along a variety of levels and dimensions - in a complex process of divergence and convergence. This process, in sociological terms, is path dependent because complexity and circularity are to some (variable) extent reflexively monitored and shaped by social actors, making the process not merely a Darwinian one but partly a Lamarckian one. However, at each potential evolutionary moment in a process of globalisation (as with any form of structural change), although multiple potential equilibria exist, existing conjunctural conditions, previously embedded structural constraints and underlying structural tensions21 none the less limit the possibilities and probabilities for such reflexive action either being undertaken in the first place or, indeed, succeeding.
COMPLEX GLOBALISATION AND THE EVOLUTION OF GOVERNANCE STRUCTURES

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Even the structural predominance of nation-states and the international states system per se represents the crystallisation of a particular set of successive, path dependent equilibria in global politics. Broader social,

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economic and political structures beginning with the transition from feudalism to capitalism became absorbed and 'locked in' (to use Granovetter's phrase) to this increasingly embedded order; indeed, states and the states system became the core around which other complex structures in turn emerged and developed.22 Of course, the fully-fledged 'modern' state did not thoroughly develop until the Second Industrial Revolution and the Great Transformation.23 Globalisation, however, impacts that system in a range of complex, circular ways which challenge both of the main characteristics which gave the nation-state the edge in the last round of 'institutional selection' - that is, the multi-tasking or multifunctional character of the nation-state as an institutional structure, on the one hand, and the ability of state actors and their allies to make the sidepayments necessary to effectively maintain the provision of collective goods and the credibility of international commitments, on the other.24 In this context, the debate has opened up not merely on what globalisation will really mean for nation-states and other interstate forms of governance, but, more importantly, on what sort of governance structures may eventually emerge from the globalisation process. Both the multifunctional character of nation-state institutions and processes and the capacity of the state to make side-payments are under threat. With regard to the first, the different tasks, roles and activities of nation-states and state actors are being increasingly 'unbundled' by cross-cutting linkages among different economic sectors and social bonds. With regard to the second, the capacity of the state to make effective economic policy, especially redistributive policy, along with challenges to state ideological and cultural supremacy in the ongoing quest for loyalty and identity, have significantly transformed - and, some would say, undermined - the ability of the state to marshal both material and ideational resources in its interaction with other social and economic (and political) structures. The state, as David Lake has put it, is in the process of 'disarticulation'.25 Complex globalisation thus creates a governance gap which is likely persist and deepen.
PROBLEMS OF STATE CAPACITY AND AUTONOMY UNDER COMPLEX GLOBALISATION

If the state is in the process of disarticulation, what kinds of rearticulation might conceivably occur in the next phase of the process of institutional selection? For example, to expect the sort of fragmented, disarticulated international and transnational governance structures which are emerging from the processes of globalisation to maintain, expand or even defend the institutional gains of existing liberal democratic nation-states is simply not

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credible. Even as nation-building and democratisation processes are ostensibly being extended in the Second and Third Worlds, state policy capacity is being both hollowed out and put at the service of enforcing the outcomes of globalisation themselves. On the one hand, states today are increasingly bad at certain key tasks which have been important for their social, economic and political development and effectiveness in the modern era. These underperformed tasks include redistribution, structural regulation (the broad 'design capacity' to structure the way social and economic activities are carried out26) and the direct delivery of public services. Conservative neoliberals applaud such changes. And even social neoliberals, for example the 'reinventing government' school, try to make a virtue out of this: 'Governments should steer but not row', say Osborne and Gaebler.27 The 'New Labour' Government in Britain today is pursuing such a course.28 Of course, state capacity is being eroded at different rates in different sectors, and these different sectors are evolving distinct public, private and mixed governance structures - on multilayered domestic, global and transnational levels. On the other hand, states are left with a range of important but none the less residual tasks, and some of those tasks may paradoxically be expanded and reinforced in a complex globalising world. In the first place, the state will still be left with ensuring the provision - increasingly indirectly, however - of some distributive public services; that is, those which are not sufficiently profitable or altruistically motivating for transfer into the private or voluntary sector. Minimal welfare states will have to be maintained; the absence of any public safety net would lead to social unrest and destabilisation. This function, however, is primarily in evidence in the advanced capitalist world; in areas of the world where the welfare state has remained underdeveloped or essentially absent, there will be little effective structural pressure to create or develop one. Secondly, some states are still relatively good at prudential regulation and the ex post enforcement of contracts, as well as the promotion of certain forms of competitive advantage in a more open world through limited industrial and trade policy measures.29 Furthermore, older, more entrenched states still have something of a comparative advantage in providing identity and a sort of ersatz Gemeinschaft, but such ties are less compelling in newer states or latent and manifest non-states. However, the Gemeinschaft function too is being unevenly eroded by the postmodern fragmentation of national identities. In fact, however, what the state is best at is enforcing the norms generated and decisions made at the international and transnational levels.30 As market outcomes, the transformation of production processes, technological innovation, socio-cultural globalisation, and the marketisation

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of the competition state combine to transform nation-state structures and processes - in the absence of effective direct international 'police powers' and judicial and legal systems - state capacity in terms of enforcement will continue to grow and certain kinds of state intervention to expand. Indeed, the weight of state intervention overall - and its penetration into social and economic substructures - is actually increasing, not declining, as the result of globalisation. What is different, then, is the substance of the tasks, roles and activities that fall within the state's remit, with a particular emphasis on enforcement - and with a growing deficit with regard to redistribution between different socio-economic groups or to designing the structural contexts within which social and economic processes take place. Therefore the range of goals that political actors, both elite policymakers and mass publics, can aspire to is becoming increasingly circumscribed. The process of enforcement, furthermore, increasingly involves enforcing norms, rules and decisions which have not in the first place been arrived at through autonomous, endogenous (including democratic) processes, but which will instead reflect market decisions and the preferences of transnationallyimbricated, private oligarchic or oligopolistic structures. Challenges to the legitimacy of enforcing such decisions and preferences may therefore in some circumstances rapidly evolve into challenges to the state's primoridal claim to represent the public interest or common good and therefore to a monopoly of legitimate violence. A policy deficit is leading to a legitimacy deficit. This is already having far-reaching effects, especially in weaker states.
THREE SCENARIOS OF COMPLEX GLOBALISATION

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So how is governance likely to evolve in this context, and what are the probable consequences of this for states? A range of hypothetical scenarios can be situated along a scale running from ideal-type global hierarchy at one end to ideal-type global chaotic anarchy at the other. In the middle of the scale we find a 'rosy scenario' - an image of a relatively stable, quasipluralistic system, which I have elsewhere called 'plurilateralism'.31 In this case, whereas the formal democratic chain of popular sovereignty and governmental accountability ideally characteristic of national state forms of democracy may still be broken, there could be a strong possibility for the development of niches of individual and group autonomy to persist and even for pluralist norms of what David Held has called called 'cosmopolitan democracy' to emerge." However, given the increasingly embedded character of transnational private interest governments and their oligopolistic control of resources in the more transnationalised sectors -

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along with the continuing fragmentation of nation-state-based identities and institutions - I find this scenario less than credible." Towards the 'hierarchy' end of the scale, another scenario which I call 'sectoral hegemony' can be situated. Instead of a core state being 'hegemonic' in determining the rules of the game and in controlling freeriding (as is the case with realist versions of hegemonic stability theory in international relations), this function will fall to particularly autonomous, well-entrenched, highly transnationalised economic institutions and processes. The two major candidates for the role of such a sectoral hegemon are first, the largest multinational corporations, engaged in transnationalscale production and/or strategic alliances on the one hand, and, second, global financial market on the other. But whereas the former are only likely to be clearly dominant in their particular specialist sectors, financial markets and institutions are present in and cut across all sectors, setting the basic conditions, as well as making concrete decisions, for determining the price and distribution of capital - capital which constitutes the lifeblood and sinews of the international economy. To the extent that financial markets and institutions can organise an effective private regime across state boundaries, they would be the best placed sector for exercising some sort of co-ordination and control - governance - function. Nevertheless, both potential hegemons would still be dependent on states to provide legal mechanisms for the enforcement of decisions and market outcomes. Towards the other end of the scale, however - that of chaotic anarchy is the neomedieval scenario. With nation-state-based institutions and processes having been transformed into transmission belts and enforcement mechanisms for decisions arrived at on different levels of the wider global system, but with that system as a whole becoming increasingly incapable of generating effective, authoritative, multifunctional coordination and control mechanisms or governance structures, the international system is likely to be characterised once again by a number of attributes which echo features of the medieval world, attributes which will be considered in greater depth below. These include: first, competing institutions with overlapping jurisdictions (states, regimes, transgovernmental networks, private interest governments, and so on); second, more fluid territorial boundaries (both within and across states34); third, a growing alienation between global innovation, communication and resource nodes (global cities) on the one hand and disfavoured, fragmented hinterlands on the other; fourth, increased inequalities and isolation of permanent sub-castes (the underclass); fifth, multiple and/or fragmented loyalties and identities (ethnic conflict and multiculturalism); sixth, contested property rights and legal boundaries ( disregard for rules and dispute resolution procedures, attempts

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to extend extraterritorial jurisdiction, and so on); and seventh, the spread of what Alain Mine has called 'zones grises', or geographical areas and social contexts where the rule of law does not run (both localised ghettoes and international criminal activities).35
THE NEOMEDIEVAL SCENARIO

According to Mine, the medieval system - which, in its own terms, was a relatively successful one in political and economic terms over the long term36 - was not genuinely chaotic, but nor was it a stable, coherent order of the sort that could support a modern nation-state, much less a democratic one. Rather, it was characterised by a 'durable disorder', a situation of relative (but increasing) entropy over the centuries. The medieval era, taken as a whole, was one of increasing social, economic and political development as economic efficiency and an uneven quasi-stability led to growing surpluses, the spread of knowledge and innovation, and the emergence of more centralised bureaucratic hierarchies - although underlying tensions in its economic and political substructures eventually evolved into contradictions and crises in its political order. Today we now live in an era of increasing speed, global scale and the extremely rapid diffusion of information and technological innovation, characteristics too which seem to be outgrowing the political capacities of the existing institutional order. An extended phase of neomedievalism, punctuated by episodic structural mutations and the uneven maintenance of pockets of plurilateralism and elements of sectoral hegemony, seems the most likely scenario. Can a neomedieval durable disorder endure as long in the context of the twenty-first century as it could during the several centuries of the medieval era? Must it evolve either towards postmodernistic fragmentation and breakdown, on the one hand, or towards increasingly hierarchical transnational governance, on the other? Only in the first of the three subscenarios canvassed above - the 'rosy scenario' - would there be much hope for recreating the preconditions necessary for developing a relatively pluralistic and quasi-democratic, "cosmopolitan" form of effective governance, for a rearticulation of the multitasking character of authoritative institutions and for a renewed capacity of authoritative agents to make the kind of side-payments and engage in the kind of monitoring necessary to control free-riding and assimilate a huge range of alienated groups into such a society. Such an outcome seems highly unlikely, however. Quasi-democratic, cosmopolitan niches may be found, as they were in some medieval cities. But the nation-state and the states system will

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no longer function effectively in this world of fragmented globalisation, and there is unlikely to be any other coherent, regularised and stable institutional location or site for the pursuit of the 'public' as a whole, la chose publique or res publica. Until it does, then neomedievalism would constitute the most probable, and indeed the 'least worst', scenario. Neomedievalism as a concept is notable primarily for its metaphorical value. After all, in the longue duree of human history, the nation-state is a very recent phenomenon. Most societies have been a complex mixture or congeries of either or both small and large units, overlapping and nesting within and around each other, differentiated along a variety of purely conventional as well as functional fault lines. Where the neomedieval metaphor breaks down, of course, is the extent to which medieval social structures - and a whole range of other pre-state social forms - sprang from and reflected a fundamental parochialism. In the medieval era the great bulk of social, economic and to some extent political relationships were essentially built around the interaction of genuinely local identities, exchange relationships and power relationships. Not much room for globalism in the simple sense in this aspect of medievalism. However, such a picture does evoke the image of the environmentalist slogan 'Think globally, act locally' as well as the clumsy but useful word 'glocalisation' which has achieved a certain celebrity in academic and policy wonk circles. It also reflects Roland Robertson's wonderful neo-Parsonian definition of globalisation: 'We may best consider contemporary globalisation in its most general sense as a form of institutionalisation of the two-fold process involving the universalisation of particularism and the particularisation of universalism'.37
THE PREDOMINANCE OF SUBOPTIMAL -MULTILAYERED AND ASYMMETRIC -GOVERNANCE STRUCTURES IN PREMODERN AND POSTMODERN SOCIETIES

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Nevertheless, in contrast to our modern notions of statehood or governance, as local societies have become interlinked and interpenetrated with each other, they have generally not done so - prior to the consolidation of the modern nation-state - in terms of establishing consolidated, integrated, multitasking administrative hierarchies with a general grant of social authority analogous to the authority of village chiefs or big men, Roman potestas, or modern sovereignty. Rather, their structures have been multilayered and asymmetric. Different, asymmetrically structured hierarchies have usually held various kinds of authority, competing and overlapping with each other within the same broad territorial expanse. The shift of society to a wider base of interactions and linkages has usually been

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accompanied by locking in suboptimal equilibria (with the partial exception of the modern nation-state era) as layers of new and old social, economic and political relationships have essentially been imposed and juxtaposed around and on top of each other in patchwork fashion. The development of human politics and society has not on the whole been a teleological process, of evolution towards a particular goal, but one of bricolage. Indeed, the development of the modern state is the exception that proves the rule. Village and tribal/clan societies, unless highly isolated, have usually been drawn into wider systems of competing landlord/warlord relationships, in which layers of hierarchy are permeable and territorial frontiers fluid sometimes merely around border areas, sometimes in terms of core territories and cities too. Such overlapping and cross-cutting landlord/ warlord societies have also usually become imbricated in wider quasimonarchical and imperial systems, ranging from tributary and suzerain systems within which the concept of 'unity' has little social or economic depth or penetration, to complex, quasi-confederal, quasi-patrimonial empires. Religious hierarchies have frequently cross-cut such systems in complex ways; trade routes and fairs have sustained a limited market economy, usually on the margins but with growing structural impact; and cities have provided havens for groups which find themselves either on the periphery of, or able relatively easily to navigate across, the complex inner boundaries (and often external frontiers too) of such multilayered, asymmetric social formations. Communications and transport systems have obviously constituted a key set of technological constraints and opportunities within which such societies could evolve. Today, the global system ought in principle to be able to transcend the limitations of pre-state societies, including medieval ones. Indeed, nationstates have been the incubus of the transnational as well as the international; the capacity for globalisation processes to occur in the first place is due to the pre-existence of the nation-state/states system and its capacity to overcome many of the bounds of such parochialism. For example, national economies themselves evolved in the context of an increasing global division of labour and the spread of international markets for commodities and finance; national societies provided the breeding ground for both the Enlightment and the spread of modern universalistic religions (in contrast to the 'civil religions' of Ancient Greece or the insulated, centripetal belief systems of village societies) where previous social formations, even traditional empires, were more particularistic in their belief systems; and the emergence of the modern state - in both its European or Western form and later attempts at 'nation-building' - gave rise to different yet analogous political systems based on an 'international of nationalisms', bureaucratic

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rationality, economic modernisation and the like. The fact that modern states have had crucial structural similarities indicates that the states system is not the antithesis of globalisation, but its precursor.38 The main problem, of course, is that the very success of the state is also its prison - that is, that its success limits both the capacity of the state to operate transnationally in a global structural context and the potential capacity of latent or potential global-level equilibria to consolidate into similarly multifunctional, transnational governance structures with the capacity to make the necessary side-payments for survival and effectiveness. The nation-state both creates and underpins globalisation processes, on the one hand, and prevents those processes from effectively rearticulating governance at a 'higher' level, on the other.3' The result may well be the crystallisation of increasingly suboptimal forms of governance at both the state and transnational/international levels and the threat of growing institutional entropy in world politics generally. The 'hollowing out' of the state is not matched by any equivalent 'filling in' of multilateral, transnational, regional, or whatever, governance structures — thereby creating not only a 'democratic deficit' but also a wider and deeper governance gap as we move into the twenty-first century. In this context, neomedievalism, for all its limits as a concept, provides us with a range of analytical tools for understanding and evaluating these changes. One of the main consequences, of course, is the increasing breakdown of the state's monopoly of legitimate violence, and thus the growing incidence and structural significance of civil wars. This paper is merely a first cut at dealing with this issue, so I will at this stage simply outline some of the key characteristics, already listed, of the neomedieval model (see above) and ask some rather crude questions about the applicability of each to the 'global era'. The result will be more suggestive than conclusive, and some characteristics are more plausible than others in the contemporary context. Nevertheless, together they paint a rather different picture of the world than we are accustomed to in the main paradigmatic debates in international politics such as debates between neorealism and neoliberal institutionalism or globalisation versus 'internationalisation'. Remember that the key common features of neomedieval structures are that they are multilayered and asymmetric, giving rise to increasingly suboptimal outcomes and long-term entropy.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A NEOMEDIEVAL WORLD I: MULTIPLE COMPETING INSTITUTIONS

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The first characteristic mentioned is that of competing institutions with overlapping jurisdictions. Traditional historians and state theorists have

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focused on the modern transcendance of this aspect of the medieval world as the key to understanding the nature of the nation-state and the states system.40 The core of the medieval system, in contrast, was the development of complex structures of obeisance and vassalage. The early (or pre-) medieval order in Europe, often called the Dark Ages, was a period when, given reverses suffered by the Roman Empire and its eventual withdrawal and collapse, an extreme form of localism existed. Roman-era trade routes were abandoned, Imperial legal norms forgotten, and political power fragmented and diffused. The feudal order subsequently emerged essentially in bottom-up fashion through the exchange of obeisance and sharecropping (often imposed through predatory expansion) on the part of village and local societies for military protection from other relatively localised predators. This patchwork stabilisation of early feudal society, however, involved overlapping claims to power and territorial lordship claims originally settled in ad hoc fashion and later ritualised in overlapping hierarchies. Such hierarchies, originally very flat, became increasingly pyramidal as relative stabilisation enabled economic production to expand - thereby creating larger surpluses to be expropriated for conspicuous consumption, demand for the increasingly elaborate equipment required for warfare over strategic territorial areas (such as finite tracts of arable land), the establishment and protection of newly emerging trade routes and cities (originally for providing services to the nobility), and so on. Unevenly intertwining and interacting with this feudal hierarchy was of course the Roman Catholic Church (and, at times, rival Churches), which had its own extensive, complex hierarchy and problems of monitoring and controlling its vast lands and activities. As more surplus came to be produced, expropriated and exchanged, merchants, financiers, artisans and labourers created guilds and urban corporations which interacted with preexisting hierarchies in novel and increasingly complex ways - often cutting across ill-defined territorial frontiers with poorly enforced borders. There was also no real exclusive 'ownership' of land (and indeed other forms of property) in the modern or even the Roman Law sense; feudal property was 'entailed', with different castes having overlapping rights and privileges in the same lands and partial privileges stretching across different territories. Hierarchies were entrenched through vows of obeisance to feudal superiors and involved the provision of services, mainly military services, to superiors. Eventually, of course, as the aristocratic pyramid became steeper, embryonic administrative and diplomatic classes emerged in order to monitor and control the widening activities undertaken by or on behalf of their noble employers or to administer quasi-autonomous cities. Dispute resolution procedures and norms of

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authority in feudal society therefore revolved around settling questions of which individuals and groups possessed rights and privileges to territorial suzerainty, surplus expropriation and loyalty in this multilayered and asymmetric institutional system. Wars were essentially what would now be considered civil wars and/or cross-border wars, only there was no overarching civil authority to be contested or rent asunder. Empires represented high family rank and prestige but little, if any, actual power or control, and borders were merely multilevel, shifting frontiers between patchwork patrimonial estates. Such wars were not only endemic but also essential to the regulation of the system, creating new (and often unstable) obligations and relationships imposed over and juxtaposed with the old. Of course, with the steepening of the pyramid of wealth and control and the consolidation of competing dynastic monarchies claiming to inhabit the apex, the increasing autonomy and interdependence of significant sectors of the feudal economy (urban production, money-lending and finance, longdistance trade, and so on), and the growing institutionalistion of military and taxation bureaucracies, the stage was set for the nation-state to emerge from the creative destruction of fifteenth to seventeeth century warfare.41 The feudal nobility, of course, did not lose their power and wealth; rather, they were integrated into the system. Some historians have disputed whether there was ever a real 'transition from feudalism to capitalism' as such, or merely a reconversion of feudal power and wealth within a new context not finally to be relegated to anachronistic impotence until the twentieth century (if at all).42 Therefore disputes over the decline of the nation-state need not imply that nation-states will simply be replaced by some sort of integrated global order; they may merely be transforming themselves into structures which will be better able to survive in a multilayered global context, that is, into the 'competition state'.43 Monitoring and regulating economic activities are likely to differ from sector to sector, depending upon the scope and scale of the microeconomic and mesoeconomic characteristics of that sector - especially its degree of transnationalisation with the effective purview of states limited to those sectors the organisation of which structurally corresponds to the requirements of effective monitoring and control at a national/territorial level. Nation-states will probably look more like American states within the US federal system with circumscribed remits, but retaining important residual policy instruments and the ability to exploit niches in the wider system through limited taxation and regulation. They will be like residual aristocracies in an increasingly 'global' integrated capitalist environment, focusing on what is good for their own estates and seeking not to lose too much power and prestige to the nouveaux riches or transnational elites of the global economy.

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At the same time, it follows that the more transnationalised a sector, the more it will tend towards developing transnational self-regulatory institutions - whether with the implicit or explicit authoritative delegation of nation-states, as in traditional international regimes, or in increasingly unaccountable private regimes. Specific crucial tasks such as rating the bonds issued by firms and government institutions, maintaining common rules and monitoring and sanctioning the activities of the larger financial firms are already highly privatised on a transnational scale, of course.44 Transnational strategic alliances will increasingly regulate relationships between firms in sectors characterised by international-scale specific assets.45 The interaction of such private regimes will be mediated through global financial markets, which are likely to retain a fairly open structure, and through certain limited, residual intergovernmental regimes such as the International Monetary Fund. At the same time, regulatory or policy arbitrage (seeking out the most favourable regulatory and policy environments for particular activities) on the part of relatively transnationalised firms is increasingly homogenising the rules and outcomes of public policy formulation and implementation across borders. When added to transnational interest group formation and the development of transgovernmental coalitions bringing regulators and policymakers in overlapping spheres into regular networks cutting across 'splintered states', the rapid but asymmetric multilayering of political and economic institutions will lead, at best, to the emergence of quasi-public, quasi-private dispute settlement regimes seeking to arbitrate competing claims for rights and privileges in this patchwork system.
CHARACTERISTICS OF NEOMEDIEVALISM II: THE LACK OF EXOGENOUS TERRITORIALISING PRESSURES

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The main causal factor missing from this process today that was present in the transition from feudalism to capitalism is the element of exogenous systemic competition. It was the institutionalisation of competition and conflict between increasingly powerful dynastic families in the late medieval period which led to the consolidation of state bureaucracies and their growing penetration into more and more exclusively territorialised social and economic bases. With the exception of unexpected intergalactic warfare, there will be no external consolidating pressure on the contemporary system analogous to the inter-dynastic struggles of the Hundred Years' War, the Thirty Years' War and the subsequent three centuries of interstate competition both within Europe and across the world as Europe expanded. Just as the Chinese Empire, in Paul Kennedy's

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analysis, stagnated because it experienced no fundamental external threat for many centuries,46 so the neomedieval international order will face no direct exogenous political or military pressures for institutional consolidation at a transnational level. Indeed, the only analogous institutional development in recent decades has been the European Union, but that may prove relatively stagnant in a world of fragmentary, privatised, deregulated global economic competition. Thus an increasingly dense, multi-layered and asymmetric set of suboptimal competing institutions with overlapping jurisdictions - including, not breaking up, a residual nationstate - will stumble on, untroubled by exogenous pressures to consolidate. In this context, nation-states will find, weaker states first, stronger states later on, that their territorial and authoritative boundaries will effectively become more fluid - even if legal sovereignty is not formally threatened, state borders still appear as real lines on the map, and guarantees of diplomatic recognition and membership of certain international institutions remain. Collapsing states, like the Lebanon and Somalia; 'transnational territories' such as those unevenly controlled by the National Patriotic Front of Liberia;47 so-called 'archipelago' states like the former Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and sub-state ethnic and separatist movements, will threaten state cohesion at the same time that existing borders are clung on to for dear life in the name of elite legitimacy. However, it is unlikely that the actual breakup of nation-states per se will be as significant a development as the exogenous and endogenous differentiation of their authority, as discussed above - especially for the older and wealthier nation-states of the North. Nevertheless, centrifugal pressures on 'empire-states' like Russia and China are likely to grow in importance as the penetration of cross-cutting sectoral and market pressures of transnational capitalism expands within those territories. Some authors have always believed that even if China does not break up (with, for example, its long externally-interdependent Southern coastal region and hinterlands breaking away, among other oft-canvassed potential developments), its pre-modern structure of regional quasi-warlords loosely held together by a weak imperial bureaucracy will return in a form adapted to the structures of a complex global economy. At another level, the emergence of international or transnational regions is playing an increasing role in territorial organisation. However, what is most interesting about these regions is not their institutional coherence or supra-state-like structural form; indeed, the European Union is the only region with that sort of quasi-state coherence. What is most interesting is that they are themselves multilevel, asymmetric entities, with criss-crossing internal fault lines - sub-regions, cross-border regions, local regions, not

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merely 'nested' but often conflicting, with national, transnational and subnational rivalries poorly integrated - based mainly on the density of transactions which also reflect the complexity and circularity of wider globalisation processes.48 Will regions in the future reflect the macrostructures of the European-North American-Asian 'Triad'? Or are they fundamentally much smaller but overlapping nodal areas in which the density of particular (especially sectoral) socio-economic transactions and infrastructure is forming de facto cross-border regional clusters, such as around the Sea of Japan, the emerging German-Central European industrial economy, the maquiladora export zones in northern Mexico, or the much poorer cross-border social economies of Kurdistan or eastern Liberia? Regionalisation is thus itself a multilayered phenomenon, reflecting the interaction of processes of convergence and divergence in international politics - a world in which the whole is increasingly less than the sum of its complex parts.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A NEOMEDIEVAL WORLD III: THE UNEVEN CONSOLIDATION OF NEW SPACES, CLEAVAGES, CONFLICTS AND INEQUALITIES

The main structural fault lines - political, social and economic - in this complex world reflect not clear territorial boundaries enclosing hierarchical authority structures, but new distinctions between different levels of economic cleavage and urban/rural splits. The academic sociological and geographical literature on global cities reflects the concept that a range of 'virtual spaces' in the global political economy will increasingly overlap with and possibly even replace the 'real' space of traditional geographical and topological territorities. These new spaces are embodied - and increasingly embedded - in transaction flows, infrastructural nodes of communications and information technology, corporate headquarters, 'edge city' living complexes for 'symbolic analysts', increasingly 'dematerialised' financial markets, and cultural and media centers of activity (and identity). According to Christopher May, control of new ideas and innovations will come to be increasingly concentrated in such areas, protected and secured by a growing panoply of international and transnational intellectual property rights.49 On the one hand, therefore, the specific spaces which people perceive and identify with are likely to become increasingly localised and/or micro-level in structure (in the Middle Ages, space was highly localised, of course), while on the other hand, people may even lose their very perception of space being partitioned vertically and learn over time to 'navigate' between different overlapping, asymmetric layers of spatial perception and organisation.

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The poorer residents of such areas will find themselves increasingly excluded from decision-making processes. And in those areas where navigation among complex structural layers is more difficult - for example, where such nodes, infrastructure, activities, etc., do not exist within easy reach and perception, such as across large geographical spaces - many people will simply be 'out of the loop', country bumpkins or even roaming, deprived bands, like Hobsbawm's primitive rebels50 (consider contemporary Albania) forced once again to become predators or supplicants on the cities, as in the Middle Ages. Changes in institutions, the fluidity of territorial boundaries and the increasing hegemony of global cities will interact with new forms of 'flexible' labour processes and economic organisation to increase inequalities and turn downwardly mobile workers (especially the less skilled, the ghetto dwellers, and so on) into a new lumpen proletariat, underclass or sub-caste - a process well underway in the First World and already dominant in large parts of the Third World. In this context, it will not be merely ethnic loyalties and tribal enmities which will undermine the ersatz Gemeinschaft of the nation-state, although they have so far been the leading edge of cultural fragmentation. It will be the development of complex new inequalities of both real class and virtual geography. Such inequalities will be far more difficult to counterbalance and neutralise without effective or legitimate state institutions, and, especially when they are allied to other cleavages, they are likely to comprise an increasing source of civil and cross-border violence.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A NEOMEDIEVAL WORLD IV: FRAGMENTED IDENTITIES

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Such a situation will not merely be one of fragmentation, but one of multiple loyalties and identities. As in the Middle Ages, loyalty to or identity with family, local area, region, occupational solidarity, economic class, religious or ethnic group, ideological preferences, national and/or cosmopolitan values, etc., will no longer be easily subsumed in holistic images or collective identities. Indeed, a neomedieval world will be one of social and political schizophrenia, with shifting patchwork boundaries and postmodern cultural images. The presentation of this aspect of neomedievalism has been a controversial one. On the one hand, it has often come under fire from 'inter-nationalists' and believers in the continuing strength of deeply embedded national identities. However, I would argue that the fragmentation of identities will basically cut across, coexist and overlap with pre-existing national identities, although the latter will become increasingly empty rituals divorced from real legitimacy, system affect51 or

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even instrumental loyalty. On the other hand, the question of how such multiple identities can coexist in a stable fashion has led some observers to attempt to develop analogies with the unifying ideological and cultural role of the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. Such writers have attempted to identify possible successors to this role in a neomedieval world, considering such phenomena as New Age philosophy or the environmental movement. However, the role of pre-modern imperial religions tended to fragment and/or become assimilated into the traditions and social bonds of differentiated local strata, whether in the Holy Roman or the Chinese Empires, either becoming absorbed into and manipulated within the multilayered politics of the imperial and aristocratic veneer or shaping themselves to the substructure in which they operated. Any truly global cultural identity structure will have to be not so much homogeneous or unifying as intrinsically multilayered and flexible, being able to adapt chameleon-like to a wide range of differentiated contexts.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A NEOMEDIEVAL WORLD V: PROPERTY RIGHTS - AN EXCEPTION TO THE RULE?

One aspect of the medieval world which seems at first glance to be less problematic today is that of mixed, contested and overlapping property rights. Probably the most consensual and homogenising dimension of globalisation is the spread of Western, capitalist conceptions of property rights at both national and international levels. The conclusion of the Uruguay Round and the establishment of the World Trade Organisation, linked to the residual structural power of the Western nation-states and the growing authority of multinational corporations, global financial markets, and so on, are likely to ensure not merely the continuation but the further entrenchment of such rights into the future. Indeed, this will be the main source of the residual power of nation-states - their role as enforcers of national, transnational and international property rights. This role will continue to have an impact well beyond the technical bounds of such issues, and will lend a de facto coherence to global politics and economics, cutting across the competing institutions, differentiated sectoral regimes and multiple loyalties discussed above. Nevertheless, the enforcement of property rights, without the capacity for states to effectively pursue other collective values through public policy, may actually undermine state legitimacy in many circumstances. Governments themselves, by expanding their monitoring and enforcement roles through such measures as extraterritorial legislation, may create conflicts which weaken both property rights and identities.

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Therefore it is still unclear what role property rights, especially intellectual property rights, will play in such a context. In some ways, capitalist society developed despite rather than because of the existence of an intellectual property rights regime. The diffusion of scientific and . technological ideas in the modern period still had something of the character of a public good, and public or quasi-public institutions like universities emerged to increase the supply of knowledge on a widely available basis. If a strict intellectual property rights regime were to be constructed, it might actually prevent such diffusion in the future - reinforcing monopolistic practices in leading edge industries, turning university research into an adjunct of private profit-making by globally-linked firms, and effectively concentrating innovatory practices in global cities and their hinterlands (or virtual hinterlands, via electronic connections). Such a regime might well create an unevenness of access - a new form of 'enclosure' - that would reinforce other social, economic and political asymmetries in a neomedieval world.52 Therefore a more carefully specified and strongly entrenched property rights regime may paradoxically reinforce rather than counteract tendencies towards neomedievalism.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A NEOMEDIEVAL WORLD VI: THE SPREAD OF 'ZONES GRISES'

Finally, although there is little concrete than can be said in generalisable terms, it must be recognised that in a neomedieval world, there will not only be 'niches' for the maintenance of pluralist autonomy for individuals and groups; there will also be increased escape routes- and organisational opportunities - for those operating more or less 'outside the law'. Exit from political society is likely to become a more viable option for a wider range of actors and activities. At one level, such phenomena involve more than just international (and domestic) criminal activities such as the drugs trade or the (semi-transnational) Russian mafia; they also involve the areas where excluded people live - especially urban ghettoes, at one geographical extreme, and enclaves in inaccessible areas (jungle, mountains, and so on), at another. Indeed, the toughest problem in this area is where different dimensions of extra-legal activities intersect with legal or quasi-legal ones, for example where the resources and networks of the drugs trade not only create alternative power structures and social identities for members of the underclass physically located in ghettoes but also extend into state bureaucracies and 'legitimate' private firms, as mafias have always done. Mine, as I have pointed out, calls these areas 'grey zones'. Excluded rural hinterlands may also become grey zones.

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At another level, however, it is likely that many traditionally mainstream social and economic activities will expand as much through grey zones as through legitimate means, much as the so-called 'black economy' has done in many areas during the modern era. A transnationalised black economy constitutes a major challenge to the enforcement function of even the residual state, and the inclusion or integration of such areas and activities into the complex governance structures of a globalising world is likely to be extremely uneven. At a third level, too, Singer and Wildavsky, in distinguishing between 'zones of peace' and 'zones of turmoil' in the wider world order, were inadvertently pointing to another dimension of this phenomenon which cuts across borders and regions too - shifting the focus and locus of conflict and violence even farther away from the interstate pattern and towards the intractable complexities of the micro- and mesolevels.53 The 'new security dilemma' identified at the beginning of this article means that as the reliability of interstate balances of power declines, and as alternative possibilities for global and transnational security are found wanting - as the governance gap grows - the growth of 'insecurity from below' will create conditions in which increasingly intractable and complex civil and cross-border wars will become the norm.
CONCLUSIONS: DURABLE DISORDER AND THE GOVERNANCE GAP

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As noted earlier, the medieval world was not a world of chaos and breakdown. It was a relatively 'durable disorder'. Conflicts and crises did not cumulate into overall system crisis until the system itself was transcended by an alternative proto-system.54 This transformation consisted of the consolidation over several centuries of a steeper pyramid of power than had existed in the Dark Ages - or, rather, a set of steeper pyramids, each rooted in the rise to wealth and power of one of a small number of competing dynastic families across Europe. Out of the entropy of the feudal system grew a structured competition that engendered the emergence and consolidation of hierarchical nation-states, states which could consolidate because they were multitasking and because they could afford to make increasing side-payments to new and increasingly indispensable groups especially the bourgeoisie and the popular classes - seeking to be included in a growing range of political and economic processes. In today's globalising world, as in the medieval world, there is no external threat to the system as a whole which could galvanise a sufficiently hierarchical response to engender the emergence of genuinely 'global governance', and no prospect of a sufficiently autonomous and powerful collective vision religious, social, economic or political - to transform such a world into a

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new transnational res publica. Consequently, if a neomedieval international order is eventually to be transformed into a more hierarchical and authoritative global system, capable of effectively pursuing genuinely collective values on a wider, global level, then the sources of that transformation must come from within the newer, essentially transnational structures of such a world. They are unlikely to come from nation-states as such, however much states engage in multilateral cooperation as a pragmatic response to transnational challenges. Nation-states are too limited in the scope and scale of what they can do (especially in a post-hegemonic world) and too beholden to narrow domestic interests to be able to lead such a transformation process. They can, of course, play a facilitating role, especially as domestic enforcers of global norms and practices, and - paradoxically - as 'competition states', in pushing forward a process of economic globalisation in order to maximise domestic returns, a kind of barrier-lowering tit-for-tat. However, such developments will merely widen the governance gap, not fill it in. In reality, the source of any further consolidation of genuine global governance would have to come from a political process, perhaps one involving both the increasing international and transnational entrenchment of property rights, on the one hand, along with consequent claims for countervailing rights and privileges from specific transnational economic actors and sectors, on the other - restructured through an ongoing process of interaction with and among transnational interest groups and policy networks. Bentley's and Truman's 'governmental process' - that is, the predominance of functional representation over territorial representation55 would have to be refocused on genuinely global structures, however uneven. Both Held's cosmopolitan democracy and my own notion of plurilateralism would require a transformation of such pressures and forms of representation into a form of self-balancing pluralism within a complex global environment. But such actors and groups are most likely to interact outside the formal-legal bounds of both state sovereignty and/or formal multilateral political processes. Indeed, the most powerful and effective actors and groups in the globalisation process are likely to be the most monopolistic or structurally homogenous ones, such as multinational firms, transnational strategic alliances and global financial markets. Thus the outcome of a phase of neomedievalism is more likely to lead to some form of sectoral hegemony or transnational oligarchy than to genuine world government or to the establishment of pluralist cosmopolitan democracy. In any case, the range of potential equilibria characteristic of such a neomedieval system will be increasingly diverse. Complex situations are likely to produce complex outcomes. Whether any particular overall

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equilibrium eventually gets 'locked in' will depend on a kind of uneven punctuated, sometimes regressive, probably entropic - evolutionary process. The best that can be hoped is that such a process will be sufficiently Lamarckian, rather than Darwinian, that enough people can find a few virtual spaces within which to construct limited collective decisionmaking processes and perhaps quasi-democratic values. However, such an outcome seems both Utopian and highly improbable, at least in the medium term and perhaps even in the long term, in the light of the current transformation and splintering of the nation-state and the continuing anarchy of the international system. The new security dilemma identified at the beginning of this article means that as the reliability of interstate balances of power declines, and as alternative possibilities for global and transnational security are found wanting - as the governance gap grows - the growth of insecurity from below will create conditions in which increasingly intractable and complex civil and cross-border wars will become endemic. So long as the process of reshaping the political environment in reaction to complex globalisation remains uneven and multidimensional in time as well as space, we can expect civil and cross-border wars to predominate and proliferate. Nevertheless, such turbulence does not necessarily mean chaos. Indeed, the medieval order was a highly flexible one which created a wide range of spaces which could accommodate quite extensive social, economic and political innovations - eventually laying the groundwork for the emergence of the post-feudal, nation-state-based international order. In today's world of global finance, multinational firms, multilateral regimes and private authority, therefore, the emerging neomedieval world order, reflecting its medieval predecessor, is most likely to remain a kind of durable disorder for the foreseeable future. Nation-states will take on ever more onerous enforcement tasks in the face not only of endemic multilevel violence but also of peaceful but cross-cutting forms of political and social conflict. Nevertheless, in structural terms they will be essentially equivalent to local governments, with neither an effective general policymaking capacity nor an authoritative central government to appeal to. They will not regain their multifunctional character and will increasingly lose their ability to make side-payments to disaffected actors and groups, increasing the benefits of exit to the detriment of voice and loyalty and undermining the sense of the public interest and therefore of their own legitimacy. It can only be hoped that in the much longer run, the global order will prove to be structurally adaptable enough, as was its medieval predecessor, to leave open the possibility of its eventual evolution into something more structurally cohesive and normatively acceptable.

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1. For an exploration of the notion o f 'international order', as distinct from the concept of 'international system', see Robert Latham, 'History, Theory and International Order: Some Lessons from the Nineteenth Century', Review of International Studies, 23/4 (October 1997), pp.419-43. 2. Ian R. Douglas, 'Globalisation as Governance: Political Technology and the Assembly of Forces', in Aseem Prakash and Jeffrey A. Hart (eds), Globalisation and Governance (forthcoming). 3. Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1962). 4. Peter J. Dombrowski, 'Fragmenting Identities, Shifting Loyalties: The Influence of Individualisation on Global Systems Change', Global Society (forthcoming, September 1998). 5. Florian Znaniecki, Modern Nationalities: A Sociological Study (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1973; originally published 1952). 6. Reinhard Bendi, Nation-Building and Citizenship (New York: Anchor Books, 1969; originally published 1964). 7. P.G. Cerny, 'Globalisation and the Erosion of Democracy', European Journal of Political Research (forthcoming). 8. Often this micro-level is referred to as the 'local', as in the environmentalist slogan: 'Think globally, act locally'. However, this usage of 'local' implies that the phenomena concerned are intrinsically micro-territorial, whereas the argument here concerns a range of micropolitical, microcultural, microsocial and microeconomic phenomena which are not based exclusively on some clearly indentifiable territorial base but also rooted in geographically cross-cutting structural linkages. This is even more true for meso-level phenomena such as industrial sectors. 9. See, e.g., P.G. Cerny, 'Globalisation, Governance and Complexity', in Prakash and Hart (see note 2). 10. See, e.g., Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society (London: Macmillan, 1977), pp.254-5. 11. E.g., Henry A. Kissinger, A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh, and the Problems of Peace 1812-1822 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1957). 12. Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1979). 13. See P.G. Cerny, The Politics of Grandeur: Ideological Aspects of de Gaulle's Foreign Policy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980). 14. James N. Rosenau, Along the Domestic-Foreign Frontier: Exploring Governance in a Turbulent World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997). 15. Hendrik Spruyt, 'Institutional Selection in International Relations: State Anarchy as Order', International Organization, 48/4 (Autumn 1994), pp. 527-57. 16. Alain Minc, Le nouveau Moyen Age (Paris: Gallimard, 1993). 17. Paul Hirst and Grahame Thompson, Globalisation in Question? The International Economy and the Possibilities of Governance (Oxford: Polity Press, 1996); cf. John Zysman, 'The Myth of the Global Economy: Enduring National Foundations and Emerging Regional Reality', New Political Economy, 1/1 (Summer 1996), pp. 157-84. Such critics then present the presence of differences in state/societal arrangements, government policies, value systems, forms of corporate governance 'architectures of supply', technological formations, patterns of productivity, regional systems, etc., as evidence that 'globalisation', in their terms, is not really happening. 18. P.G. Cerny, 'Globalisation, Governance and Complexity' (see note 9). On complexity and circularity in the industrial economics literature, see Herbert Kitschelt, 'Industrial Governance Structures, Innovation Strategies, and the Case of Japan: Sectoral or CrossNational Comparative Analysis?', International Organization, 45/4 (Autumn 1991), pp.453-93. See also Mark Granovetter, 'Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness', American Journal of Sociology, 91/4 (November 1985), pp.481-510 and Granovetter, Economic Institutions as Social Constructions: A Framework

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for Analysis', Acta Sociologica, 35 (1992), pp.3-11 on multiple equilibria and path development, and Peter M. Blau, (ed)., Approaches to the Study of Social Structure (New York: Free Press, 1975) on the concept of structure in the traditional sociological literature. P.G. Cerny, The Changing Architecture of Politics: Structure, Agency and the Future of the State (London and Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1990), pp.4-9. On entropy, see Cerny, 'Political Entropy and American Decline', Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 22/1 (Spring 1989), pp.27-51. For example, those posited by Williamson concerning specific and non-specific assets or by Olson regarding public and private goods: Oliver E. Williamson, Markets and Hierarchies (New York: Free Press, 1975) and The Economic Institutions of Capitalism (New York: Free Press, 1985); Mancur Olson, The Logic of Collective Action (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971). The notion of the 'centrality' of state structures is examined in Cerny, Changing Architecture (see note 19). Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., Scale and Scope: The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990); Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time (New York: Rinehart, 1944); Cerny, Changing Architecture, op. cit.; P.G. Cerny, 'Globalization and the Changing Logic of Collective Action', International Organization, 19/4 (Autumn 1995), pp.595-625. Spruyt (note 15); cf. Cerny, 'Globalization and the Changing Logic of Collective Action', (note 23). Also see Cerny, 'Globalisation and the Erosion of Democracy', (note 7)., and Cerny, 'Communication', Political Studies, 45/1 (March 1997), pp. 1-2. The argument both for Lake and for myself is not so much that the state is being fundamentally 'undermined' by globalisation, but rather that its functions are being disarticulated — unevenly broken up and partly eroded — in a context of increased crosscutting affiliations and conflicts, transnational pressures, 'third-level games', etc. David A. Lake, 'Global Governance: A Relational Contracting Approach', in Prakash and Hart (note 2). Vipond makes a distinction between 'operational capacity' and 'design capacity' in financial regulation: Peter A. Vipond, 'The European Financial Area in the 1990s: Europe and the Transnationalisation of Finance', in P.G. Cerny, ed., Finance and World Politics: Markets, Regimes and States in the Post-Hegemonic Era (Cheltenham, Glos., and Brookfield, VT: Edward Elgar, 1993), p. 187. David Osborne and Ted Gaebler, Reinventing Government: How the Entrepreneurial Spirit is Transforming the Public Sector, from Schoolhouse to Statehouse, City Hall to the Pentagon (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1992). P.G. Cerny and Mark Evans, 'New Labour, Globalisation and the Competition State', paper to be presented to the annual conference of the Political Studies Association of the U.K., University of Keele, 7-9 April 1998. Grahame Thompson, 'Some Observations on the "International Competitiveness Debate" and International Economic Relations', unpublished paper, the Open University (September 1996). Or the 'global' level - as I prefer to use the word 'global' to mean the level at which the processes and practices of both internationalisation and transnationalisation interact and overlap. P.G. Cerny, 'Plurilateralism: Structural Differentiation and Functional Conflict in the PostCold War World Order', Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 22/1 (1993), pp.27-51. David Held, Democracy and the Global Order: From the Modern State to Democratic Governance (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1995). Cerny, 'Globalisation and the Erosion of Democracy' (note 7). For example, see François Prkic, 'End of the Cold War and Democratisation in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Emergence of Transnational Rebel Territories in Today's Conflicts', paper presented to the Workshop on Democratisation and the Changing Global Order, Annual Joint

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Sessions of Workshops, European Consortium for Political Research, Bern, Switzerland, 27 February-4 March 1997; see also Robert D. Kaplan, The Ends of the Earth: A Journey at the Dawn of the 21st Century (London: Macmillan, 1997). On the relevant characteristics of the medieval era and its application to understanding contemporary issues, see: Minc, Le nouveau Moyen Âge (note 16); Robert D. Kaplan, 'The Coming Anarchy', The Atlantic Monthly (February 1994), pp.44-76; Bruce Cronin and Joseph Lepgold, 'A New Medievalism? Conflicting International Authorities and Competing Loyalties in the Twenty-First Century', paper presented to the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Chicago, 23-27 February 1995; and Stephen Kobrin, 'Back to the Future: Neomedievalism and the Post-Modern World Economy', paper presented to the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, San Diego, 17-21 April 1996. See also Perry Anderson, Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism (London, New Left Books, 1974). Roland Robertson, Globalisation: Social Theory and Global Culture (London and Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1992), p. 102. Consider Kenneth Waltz's application of Durkheim's notion of 'simple structures': Waltz, (note 12), p.72, and Waltz, 'Reflections on "Theory of International Politics": A Response to My Critics', in Robert 0. Keohane (ed.), Neorealism and Its Critics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986), esp. pp.323-6. For a critique of Waltz's usage of Durkheim, see Cerny, 'Plurilateralism' (note 31), pp.28-31. Lake (note 25). E.g., Gianfranco Poggi, The Development of the Modern State (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1978). See Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000 (London: Unwin Hyman, 1988), esp. pp. 16-30; Perry Anderson, Lineages of the Absolutist State (London: New Left Books, 1974); R.J. Holton, The Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism (London: Macmillan, 1985); and Charles Tilly (ed.), The Formation of National States in Western Europe (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1975). Arno J. Mayer, The Persistence of the Old Regime: Europe to the Great War (London: Croom Helm, 1981). P.G. Cerny, 'Paradoxes of the Competition State: The Dynamics of Political Globalisation', Government and Opposition, 32/2 (Spring 1997), pp.251-74. Karsten Ronit and Volker Schneider, 'Private Organisations in Global Governance', paper presented to the conference on the Problem Solving Capacity of Transnational Governance Systems, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne, 8-9 November 1996; Timothy J. Sinclair, 'Reinventing Authority: Embedded Knowledge Networks and the New Global Finance', paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, DC, 28-31 August 1997; Virginia Haufler.'Private Regimes: Theory and Evidence', paper presented to the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, DC, 28-31 August 1997; Miroslava Filipovic, 'A Global Private Regime for Capital Flows', paper presented to the annual conference of the British International Studies Association, University of York, 18-21 December 1994; and A. Claire Cutler, 'Locating "Authority" in the Global Political Economy', paper presented to the annual conference of the British International Studies Association, University of Leeds, 15-17 December 1997. On the spread of complex transnational strategic alliances and the 'new competition', see Brian Portnoy, 'Transnational Networks and Industrial Order', paper presented to the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, DC, 27-31 August 1997. Kennedy (note 41). Prkic (note 34). Richard Higgott, 'Mondialisation et gouvernance: L'émergence du niveau régional',

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Politique Étrangère, 66/2 (Summer 1997), pp. 277-92. 49. Christopher May, Knowing, Owning, Enclosing: A Global Political Economy of Intellectual Property Rights, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Nottingham Trent University (June 1997). 50. E.J. Hobsbawm, Bandits (Harmondsworth, Middx.: Penguin, revised edn. 1972). 51. The notion of 'system affect', which is said to mean 'rain or shine' loyalty to the political system, is explored in Gabriel A. Almond and Sidney Verba (eds.), The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes in Five Nations (Boston: Little, Brown, 1965), pp. 192ff. 52. May (note 49). 53. Max Singer and Aaron Wildavsky, The Real World Order: Zones of Peace/Zones of Turmoil (Chatam, NJ: Chatham House Publishers, 1993). 54. According to Grahame Thompson, however, the medieval order as I have set it out is not actually 'medieval' per se. He regards the medieval order as characterised by a more 'antagonistic pluralism' even a 'radical disorder'. The kind of durable disorder described here ismore akin to the system of the Holy Roman Empire (HRE). The HRE is ... interesting and important because it was the first truly international governance system. ... [Its] plurality of organised political forces and institutions was held together in relative social peace and relative harmony by the constitutional order of the HRE. The complexity of those estates and domains that existed under the umbrella of the HRE ... [consisted of a] vast array of religious groupings, principalities, guilds, city states, free cities, leagues, and so on [which] existed as definite political entities ... exercising their own political business, as at the same time they owed some allegiance to the constitutional order of the HRE. (Thompson, 'The "New Medievalism" and the International System', unpublished paper, The Open University [1996)], p. 5.) My own view is that the HRE represented a high point of the later medieval period rather than constituting a separate model, and that the HRE itself was still characterised by frequent systemic turbulence and disorder. 55. Arthur. F. Bentley, The Process of Government: A Study of Social Pressures (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1908) and David A. Truman, The Governmental Process: Political Interests and Public Opinion (New York: Knopf, 1951).

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