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From International System to International Society: Structural Realism and Regime Theory Meet the English School Author(s):

Barry Buzan Source: International Organization, Vol. 47, No. 3 (Summer, 1993), pp. 327-352 Published by: The MIT Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2706979 . Accessed: 11/02/2011 11:13
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to system Frominternational structural society: international meetthe theory realismand regime Englishschool
Buzan Barry

society"to The purposeof thisarticleis to relatetheconceptof "international threebodies together bring One aim is to theory. realismand regime structural British-and to show how American,the otherlargely of theory-twolargely the one another.Anotheraim is to clarify and strengthen theycomplement precision.To do this,I so thatit can be used withgreateranalytical concept for develop the argumentalong three lines. First, I establish definitions society"thatenable a clear boundand "international system" "international ary to be drawn between them. Withoutsuch a boundary,the concept of analysisof to societyis too fuzzy be used eitherforcomparative international of development or international systems foranalysisof the historical different society. Second, I open up the question of how any given international societyrelates to world societyand tryto resolve the rather international as literature to whetherthese two ideas are nebulouspositionin the existing realismto Third,I use the logic of structural or complementary antagonistic. can emergeas a naturalproductof the logicof society showhow international to based accountto contrast functionally This providesan alternative, anarchy. is work of the English school. The argument that this the largelyhistorical global, account is better suited to analysisof the contemporary functional international societybecause it answers questions about the multicultural, to societythat are difficult deal withif expansionof European international It conceived of in termsof historicalcommunity. also societyis primarily ordered society a providesthe tools forconceptualizing complexinternational as lesserdegreesofcommitment one circlesrepresenting in terms concentric of international societyalreadyhas the movesoutwardfrom center.The current and the logic of uneven developmentsuggeststhat future this structure, thispattern. of developments itwillalso follow

NickWheeler, I would like to thankRichardLittle,JamesMayall,Nick Rengger,Ole Waever, referees for commentson earlier drafts of this article. and the IntemationalOrganization 47, Intemational Organization 3, Summer1993 ? 1993byThe 10 Foundationand the Massachusetts of Institute Technology

Organization 328 International thatthe English In part,the articleis a responseto Ole Waever'scriticism school has largelystagnateddespite the fact that it occupies an "extremely a Relations landscape," representing locale in the International interesting and able to combine distinct from realismand liberalism of thought tradition elementsof both and put them into historicalcontext.'In part it is also a too that,in focusing responseto AndrewHurrell'scritiqueof regimetheory on the particularand the rational,it has lost sightof some broader much and legal elementson which the phenomenonof contemporary normative societyare part of the same and international rests.2 Regime theory regimes have become of they but due to thepeculiarities academicdiscourse, tradition, largelydetached fromone another.Regime theoryhas made considerable to from beingreconnected the in and could now benefit progress itsown right thatbothputsit intoa broadercontext of society older tradition international political-legal and and (systemically historically) connectsit to the underlying The literature international on system. framework themoderninternational of societyconnectsthe studyof regimesto both its intellectualroots and the of earlierhistory thephenomenon. It The idea ofinternational society goes back at least as faras Hugo Grotius.3 law and the notionthatinternational is rooted in the classical legal tradition in of legal order.4 a constitutes community thoseparticipating theinternational relations,the concept has been put Withinthe disciplineof international of and developed by writers the so-called English school, including forward Gong,Adam Hedley Bull,Gerrit MartinWight, E. H. Carr,C. A. W. Manning, Watson, JohnVincent,and James Mayall.5Bull has perhaps been its most
and Cooperation 1. Ole Waever,"InternationalSociety-Theoretical PromisesUnfulfilled?" 27 pp. Conflict (1992) pp. 97-128,and in particular 98-100 and 121. Law and the Studyof International Regimes: A Reflective 2. AndrewHurrell,"International and Regimes Intemational Cooperation Approach," in Volker Rittberger, ed., BeyondAnarchy: (Oxford:Oxford University Press,forthcoming). of Relations,"Review Intemational 3. ClaireA. Cutler, "The 'GrotianTradition'in International Studies17 (January 1991),pp. 41-65. Society a Legal Community as (Alphen aan den Rijn,the 4. HermannMosler,TheIntemational and 1980),p. xv. Netherlands: Sijthoff Noordhoff, Years Crisis,2d ed. (London: Macmillan, 1946), pp. 162-69; 5. See E. H. Carr, The Twenty C. A. W. Manning,The Natureof Intemational Society(London: LSE, 1962); Martin Wight, and Martin Wight,eds., "Western Values in International Relations," in Herbert Butterfield Systems of Diplomatic Investigations (London: Allen and Unwin,1966), pp. 89-131; MartinWight, PowerPolitics(Harmonsworth, States(Leicester:LeicesterUniversity Press,1977); MartinWight, Theory: eds.,Intemational England:Penguin,1979),pp. 105-12; Gabriele Wightand Brian Porter, Press,1991); Hedley Bull, The The ThreeTraditions-Martin Wight (Leicester:LeicesterUniversity Relations, in AnarchicalSociety(London: Macmillan, 1977); Hedley Bull, Justice Intemational of 1983-84Hagey Lectures,University Waterloo,1984; Hedley Bull and Adam Watson,eds., The Press, 1984); GerritW. Gong, The Expansionof Intemational Society (Oxford:OxfordUniversity in Standard "Civilisation" Intemational Society (Oxford:ClarendonPress,1984); Adam Watson, of Studies13 (April and International Studies,"Review Intemational of "Hedley Bull, State Systems, Studies16 (April 1987), pp. 147-53; Adam Watson,"Systemsof States,"Reviewof Intemational Society(London: Routledge, 1990), pp. 99-109; Adam Watson, The Evolutionof Intemational and 1992); John R. Vincent,Nonintervention IntemationalOrder (Princeton,N.J.: Princeton and Intemational Relations(Cambridge: University Press, 1974); JohnR. Vincent,Human Rights

The Englishschool 329 publishedthe influential recentproponent, playinga leading role in getting seminalearlierworkof Wightand spreading conceptmorewidelyintothe the international relations literature.6 remainsbetterdevelopedas Despite itslonggestation, international society a historicalthan as a theoreticalconcept. Manning's foundationalwork, despite its undeniablymodern insightsinto the importanceof perception, political reality, was too belief, and language in constructing international in a (thoughit might convolutedand eccentric expression attract following to yet finda revivalamong postmodernists). Wight'sbrilliantcombinationof instincts a social of historicaldepth and range, with the pattern-seeking for The analytical tradition by set scientist, the style mostof his successors. set track.The primeobjective Bull and otherslargely followedWight'shistorical was empirical analysis of the modern European-generatedinternational the of society.Wight'sconcernwithexploring concept across the history the and little international system onlyrecently has been followedup byWatson,7 to has study international of society attempt yetbeen made to linkthehistorical the more abstractAmerican modes of theorizingabout the international system. Manningmake muchof thefactthat Both Carr and, at muchgreater length, states (and therefore also the idea of a societyof states) are in an important and breadth of people's sense fictions, whose status rests on the strength This positionis not to willingness believe in, or merelyaccept, theirreality.8 the unrelatedto BenedictAnderson'sdiscussionof "imaginedcommunities": whose scale to processbywhichpeople bond theirown identities a community means thatit is farbeyondtheirability experienceit directly.9 to Carr makes forceand politicalvalue of such ideas to those great much of the rhetorical of legitimacy their powersthancan mobilizethemto supportthe international This viewopens up a morenormative aspect of international society positions. as a conceptand provides twoanswersto thequestionofwhyone shouldadopt relations.The first the idea as an approach to understanding international what thatit workswell as an empiricaltool (whichis mostly answeris simply fits thisarticleis about). Here the case is thatthe conceptof society withthe
Society Press, 1986); and James Mayall, Nationalismand Intemational Cambridge University University Press,1990). (Cambridge:Cambridge Order 1648-89 (Cambridge: and ArmedConflict Intemational 6. See K. J.Holsti,Peace and War: Cambridge UniversityPress, 1991); and K. J. Holsti, "Governance Without Government: European InternationalPolitics," and Mark Zacher, "The Polyarchyin Nineteenth-century Orderand Governance," for Temple:Implications International DecayingPillarsoftheWestphalian Order and Government: Czempiel,eds., GovemanceWithout in JamesN. Rosenau and Ernst-Otto Press, 1992), pp. 30-57 and 58-101, Politics(Cambridge:CambridgeUniversity Changein World respectively. 7. Watson,TheEvolution Intemational Society. of Years Crisis,pp. 162-69; and Manning,The Natureof Intemational 8. See Carr, The Twenty especially chap. 3. Society, and SpreadofNationalon Reflections theOrigin ImaginedCommunities: 9. BenedictAnderson, ism(London: Verso, 1983).

Organization 330 International it a observeddata and offers way of understanding thatis not available using concepts. alternative the The second answer is more political: there is a case for promoting about international a thatitconstructs wayof thinking concepton thegrounds on effect the practice that,ifwidelyadopted,would have a beneficial relations of how statesrelate to each other.In otherwords,the veryact of perceiving internationalrelations in societal terms will itself condition behavior by of openingnewunderstandings whatis possibleand whatis desirable.The idea inasmuchas consciousnessof it helps to consoliof societyis self-reinforcing The idea thatlanguageis partofpoliticalaction date and reproduceitsreality. this and is byno means absentfrom has longbeen partof the realisttradition work.'0 between an international The nextsectionsets out the centraldistinction It society. raisesthequestionofwhenan international and system international two can society be said to existand beginsto approachan answerbyexamining models of how an internationalsociety comes into being. The different that in section takes up a second core distinction the literature, following is It and worldsociety. arguesthattheliterature society betweeninternational unclearabout how these twoideas relateto each otherand thatthe natureof how, and indeed whether, their relationshipis crucial to understanding to basic level. NextI try cast can develop beyonda fairly international society realist logic to see how lighton all of these questions by using structural withoutthe system societycould evolve froman international international a of of preexistence a naturalshared culture.Then I construct definition the for societyin termsof mutualrecognition minimum conditions international statesof theirlegal equalityas actorsand show how such a amongsovereign can be analytically deployed. Finally I summarizewhat is gained definition on of by analytically usingthe approachdeveloped here and reflect the utility realism,and regime of the thinking the English school, structural bringing intoclosercontact. theory

society and international International system


societyas "a groupof states (or, more Bull and Watson defineinternational which not merely a generally, group of independentpolitical communities)

in of factor a in the form system, thesensethat behaviour each is a necessary


the calculations of the others,but also have established by dialogue and and for consentcommonrules and institutions the conductof theirrelations, This in these arrangements."" recognisetheircommoninterest maintaining

10. Barry Buzan, Charles Jones, and Richard Little, The Logic of Anarchy:Neorealismto Press,1993), section3. Realism(New York: ColumbiaUniversity Structural 11. Hedley Bull and Adam Watson, "Introduction,"in Bull and Watson, Expansion of p. Society, 1-9. The quotationis drawnfrom 1. pp. Intemational

The Englishschool 331 are and society distinct. thatsystem clearlyestablishesthe principle definition it betweenthemlies,though does wheretheboundary It also beginsto suggest usefulto the it. for any notspecify detailedcriteria establishing It is particularly is of because itsconception system close to themechanistic presententerprise of understanding Americanusage.'2 It thus avoids the confusionthat exists and (as parts)and society self-conscious in part (as betweensystem interacting the for and self-regulating) opens the possibility synthesizing Englishschool confusion realism. On the English side, the terminological with structural of who used the term"systems states"to meanwhatis now Wight, arisesfrom society.13 meantbyinternational the is is and society central.System logically betweensystem The distinction a system existwithout society, can idea: an international morebasic, and prior, in buttheconverseis nottrue.As Bull notes,theexpansionof Europe starting long beforean internasystem created an international the fifteenth century a global Indeed, by Gong's argument, truly tional societycame into being.14 European one) did not operating (as international society opposed to a globally The system century.15 international beginto emergeuntillate in thenineteenth isolated previously of existedbecause the projection European powerbrought intoregularcontactwitheach other.For a peoples and politicalcommunities systemto exist requires the existence of units, among which significant to according some takes place and thatare arrangedor structured interaction defines significant orderingprinciple. The Bull and Watson formulation interactionas being action such that "the behaviour of each [actor] is a system, in of factor thecalculations theothers."In the international necessary The interactions politicalcommunities). the unitsare states (or independent of and trade,migration, the movement amongthemincludewar, diplomacy, ideas. according vary the KennethWaltznotwithstanding, consequencesofanarchy A in in to theleveland typeof interaction thesystem. system whichinteraction is the low,as during ancientperiodof humancivilization, capacityis relatively fromone in whichit is relatively high,as in the late twentieth quite different developed to allow capacityis sufficiently Whetheror not interaction century. witheach otheron a largescale, as in modern remoteunitsto trade and fight to Europe, or whetherit is onlysufficient allow the carriageof a few ideas, between remotecultures,as between classical and individuals technologies, to Rome and Han China, makes an enormousdifference both the natureof and theimpactof anarchicstructure.'6 international relations
Relations: 12. Richard Little, "The SystemsApproach," in Steven Smith,ed., Intemational (Oxford:Blackwell,1985),pp. 70-91. Approaches British andAmerican of 13. Wight, Systems States. Society,"in Bull and Watson, 14. Hedley Bull, "The Emergenceof a UniversalInternational Society, 117-26. pp. of Expansion Intemational Society. in of 15. Gong,TheStandard "Civilisation" Intemational chaps. 4-9. and Little,TheLogic ofAnarchy, 16. Buzan, Jones,

332 International Organization partof Bull and Watson's The questionis,when can we say thatthe society definition-thatstates "have establishedby dialogue and consent common rules and institutions the conductof theirrelations,and recognisetheir for these arrangements"-comes into being? common interestin maintaining Writerssuch as Gong, Watson, and Yongjin Zhang have grappledwiththat when specificnon-European states (China, to question in trying determine Ethiopia, Japan, Ottoman Empire, Siam) gained entryinto the globalized This enterprisehas made some progress European international society.17 to of membership despiteRoy Jones'sdismissal thewhole idea oftrying define as hopeless.'8As well as the questionofwho is in and who is out,thereis also thelargerand less-studied matter whenall or partofan international of system can be said to have become an international society. Bull's analysisdoes not give much guidance on thispoint.He argues that order, international societyis closelyassociatedwiththe idea of international of certain whereordermeans "an arrangement social lifesuchthatitpromotes This definition similarto the earlier one of Wight:"a is goals or values."'19 But if international of for system relationships certaincommonpurposes."20 for order, the idea potentiallystretchesacross an society is a synonym and of fromearly,underdeveloped, enormousspectrum possibilities, ranging of minimal one end (such as normsagainsttheseizureor murder emissaries) at to late, well-developed,and maximalon the other (a community states of of much of covering enmeshedin a network agreed regimesand institutions their interaction-an expanded version of the "complex interdependence" formulated Robert Keohane and JosephNye).21The huge scope of this by between spectrumunderlinesthe need both for a boundaryto distinguish and systemand system-plus-society for some kind of model to handle the of different society.Bull's crude stagesor levels of development international and notion that international societyis subject to strengthening weakening trends is a rather feeble analyticaltool unless some benchmarkscan be established against which to measure the extentand directionof change. caused him to Indeed, his failureto establisha clearer analyticalframework reach whollymistakenand unnecessarily pessimistic conclusionsabout the in of century.22 development international society thetwentieth

17. See Gong, The Standardof "Civilisation" Intemational in Society;Watson, "Hedley Bull, and International State Systems, Studies"; and YongjinZhang, "China's Entry intoInternational Society:BeyondtheStandardofCivilization," Review Intemational of Studies17 (January 1991),pp. 3-16. 18. Roy E. Jones,"The EnglishSchool of International Relations:A Case forClosure,"Review Studies (January 7 ofIntemational 1981),pp. 1-13. 19. See Bull, TheAnarchical Society, 4; and Bull and Watson,"Introduction." p. 20. Wight, PowerPolitics, 105. p. 21. Robert0. Keohane and JosephS. Nye,Powerand Interdependence (Boston: Little,Brown, 1977). 22. BarryBuzan, People, States,and Fear: An Agendafor Intemational Security Studiesin the Post-Cold WarEra (Hemel Hempstead,England:Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1991),pp. 166-74.

The Englishschool 333 system acquires an when an international Beforeone can answerprecisely society society, is necessaryto examinehow an international it international in comesintobeing.There are twopossibleviews,and it is helpful understandbetweengemeinschaft from sociology ingthese to use the classical distinction sees understanding of The and gesellschaft conceptions society.23 gemeinschaft bonds of common involving societyas somethingorganic and traditional, It historical conception: experience,and identity. is an essentially sentiment, sees understanding societies growratherthan being made. The gesellschaft societyas being contractualand constructedratherthan sentimentaland societiescan be made byacts organizational: It traditional. is moreconsciously ofwill. societycomes into being is rather The first view of how an international [i.e., advocatedbyWight:"We mustassume thata states-system an forcefully society]will not come into being withouta degree of cultural international historical analysisand fits This view resultsfrom amongits members."24 unity conception of society. Wight develops two closely with the gemeinschaft Europe. In examplesto supporthis case, classical Greece and early-modern in subsystems whose unitsshared bothcases, international societiesdeveloped elementsof culture,especiallyreligionand language. The ancient significant themfrom so-called thatdifferentiated Greeksshareda languageand religion barbarians.25 Most Westernand Southern(thoughfewerEastern) Europeans in residueofthe Roman Empire,mostnotably theCatholic sharedthecultural Watson continuedthe analysisin this churchand the Holy Roman Empire.26 occurs an Since a priorsharedculture vein,identifying additionalnine cases.27 in most of the main historicalexamples of internationalsociety (either the or naturally as a resultof earlier imperialhomogenizings), forceof this of it thatthe preexistence a At is argument strong. a veryminimum suggests is commonculture amongtheunitsof a system a greatadvantagein stimulating occur. of societyearlierthanwould otherwise the formation an international as or Whether notitis a necessary condition, Wightargues,is arguable. historicalcases are few: eleven altogether,if Watson is Unfortunately, correct.Even worse, the period of European expansionhas so shaped and of societythatwe are dominatedall subsequentdevelopments international clear historicalevidence of how an international to unlikely get any further knowncases of of forms novo.Although development thebetter de the society international may have been associated withthe preexissocietyhistorically for thereis no logicalnecessity such an association. tenceof a commonculture, of history the Middle East, with its many Indeed, the messymulticultural elementsof internathatsignificant and waningsof empires, suggests waxings
23. 24. 25. 26. 27. (Leipzig: Fues's Verlag,1887). und F. Tonnies,Gemeinschaft Gesellschaft p. of Systems States, 33. Wight, Ibid.,pp. 83-85. Ibid.,chap. 5. Society. of Watson,TheEvolution Intemational

Organization 334 International that in can tionalsociety form a subsystem does not sharea commonculture.28 This points to a functionalview, more in accordance with gesellschaft can society of in of understanding society, whichthedevelopment international response to the existenceof an increasingly be seen as a rationallong-term system. international dense and interactive at Whetheror not unitsshare a commonculture, some pointthe regularity force the developmentof a will virtually of and intensity theirinteractions degree of recognitionand accommodationamong them. As ruling elites recognize the permanence and importanceof the economic and strategic interdependenceamong their states, theywill begin to work out rules for desiredexchanges.Failure to and forfacilitating avoidingunwantedconflicts potentialloss and, moreseriously, do so would mean enormousinconvenience advantageforthosewho failedto takethisstepwhenothershad ofcompetitive done so. Althoughwe have no fullydocumentedhistoricalmodel for this from societycould evolvefunctionally process,its logic is clear: international solves bonds.This perspective cultural preexisting without thelogicof anarchy perspectivewhen some of the problems that arise for the gemeinschaft societies develop close relations with states shared-cultureinternational in outside their civilizationalsphere. Examples here are Wight's difficulty whetherPersia and Carthagewere part of the Greek international deciding in and lackofcommonculture29 Bull's problem seeinghow despitetheir society a European internationalsociety became a trulyglobal one. Although for culture elements a common of did European imperialism provideimportant of development thatsociety the contemporary society, a global international a by accommodation statesrepresenting also containsa good deal offunctional of diversity cultures. Bull leans towardthatfunctional Wight'shypothesis, While not challenging of to line in trying establishhis basic view of society.Given the inevitability necessary a withotherunits, commondesirefororderis theminimum relations societyalong gesellschaft conditionto begin the evolutionof international states capacity, withvery low interaction systems lines.Except in international policy.Note the location of cannot choose whetheror not to have a foreign of and system thecharacterization many mostutopiasoutsidetheinternational desirefororderbeginsto emergewhen as states.A minimal dystopias warfare relations leaders realize the disadvantagesof permanentchaos if interstate goals as basic to any Bull positsthreeelementary remainwholly unregulated. for on society:(1) some limits the use of force,(2) some provision the sanctity rights.30 of for and ofcontracts, (3) some arrangement the assignment property will push leaderships into pursuing The idea is that mutual self-interest
the from Beginning of vol. 1,A History Power 28. See Michael Mann, TheSourcesofSocial Power, Press, 1986), chaps. 3-6 and 8; and Watson,The toAD 1760 (Cambridge:CambridgeUniversity chaps. 2-4, 6, and 12. Society, Evolution Intemational of chap. 3. of Systems States, 29. Wight, pp. Society, 4-5. 30. Bull, TheAnarchical

The Englishschool 335 an common objectives in these three areas and thus into constructing of rulesand institutions order.As Watsonnotes,"The regulating international develop to the point where the a systemusually,and perhaps inexorably, becomes an membersbecome conscious of commonvalues and the system This approach, with its strongorientationtoward society."31 international frameprovidesa usefuland effective realistconcernswithnationalsecurity, unitsestablish or competitive evenantagonistic otherwise why workforprobing for "by dialogue and consentcommonrules and institutions the conductof these their relations,and recognise their common interestin maintaining capturesthislogicnicely.32 raisonde systeme Watson'sterm arrangements." is line,however, thatit omitsthe notionof One weaknessof thisfunctional To that commonidentity is centralto theconceptof society. deservethelabel, a societieshave to containan elementofcommonidentity, sense of "we-ness," line thatcomprises more thanmere sharedgoals. Wight'sgemeinschaft takes societyand for precondition international to such an identity be a historical does not have to considerthe issue. But how does shared identity therefore societyin whichthe unitsstartout withdifferent come about in a gesellschaft cultures?There are two possibilities.The firstand simplerbuilds on the makes units As generateslike units.33 interaction Waltzianlogic thatanarchy of it more similar, becomes easier foreach to accept thatthe othermembers Mutual as sense thesame typeofentity itself. thesystem in some important are disparateactors exchangesof thisacceptanceenable a collectionof otherwise of Historicaldiscussions how of members a community. to considerthemselves withwhatGong has termedthe European non-Europeanstatescame to terms of "standardof civilization"are suggestive how this process of convergence case beingJapan'sconscious the works, moststriking towarda sharedidentity century.34 the intoa Westernstateduring late nineteenth reshaping itself of concerns the more The second possibilityfor gesellschaftcommunity Waltz denies thispossibility, of complicatedsituation unlikeunitsin anarchy. Buzan and RichardLittlearguethatWaltz is butJohnRuggieas well as Barry is Bull's term"neomedievalism" thiselementof structure.35 wrongto close off of as gainingcurrency a label for a system unlikeunits,thoughhe saw that likeWaltz,he saw withinternational which, society, as possibility incompatible neomedieval thereis no logicalreasonwhy Nevertheless, as strictly state-based. societies.In sucha could notdevelopinternational of versions anarchic systems not as sharedidentity a similartypeof unitis by definition a basis for system,
Studies,"p. 151. and 31. Watson,"Hedley Bull, State Systems, International p. Society, 14. of 32. Watson,TheEvolution Intemational 1979), of Politics(Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 33. KennethN. Waltz,Theory Intemational p. 93. Expansion Society; Bull and Watson, in of 34. See Gong,TheStandard "Civilisation" Intemational Society. ofIntemational in and 35. JohnRuggie,"Continuity Transformation the WorldPolity:Towards a Neo-Realist and Little,TheLogicofAnarchy, Politics (1983), pp. 261-85; and Buzan,Jones, 35 World Synthesis," chap. 3.

336 International Organization for the system, onlypossibility shared society.In a neomedievalinternational identity not in acceptanceof likenessas unitsbut in acceptance of a set of is of the of the rulesthatlegitimize differentiationunitsand establish distribution actors.Compared differentiated amongfunctionally rights and responsibilities among like units,this is a of with the primitive possibility shared identity to society. It is difficult complex and sophisticatedformof international The historical case of aboutfrom scratch. coming imaginesuchan arrangement medievalEurope had the enormouslegacyof the Roman Empire,especially a model.It and enable itand is therefore gemeinschaft to theChurch, underpin would have to society neomedievalinternational seems likelythatanyfuture of type.In the an society thelike-units evolvefrom alreadystableinternational I concentrate on form mainly the simpler thatfollows willtherefore discussion the international because itis thepriortype.Nevertheless, society oflike-units for worthkeepingin mindas an evolutionary possibility neomedievalformis international societies. developed highly In the gesellschaft model, it can be argued that shared goals and identity of rules, at some point;thatis, thatthedevelopment commonnorms, converge as a generate, eventually and institutions-of sense ofraisonde systeme-must A arrivedat by this well as be generatedby,a commonidentity. community and morefragile one thanthat moreconditional, routewould be a narrower, formed a commonculture.Unless thereis some sense of commonidentity, by Bull does not followhis own logic however,societycannot exist.Curiously, as downthisline. Indeed, he does not discusscommonidentity an elementof at society all. international societyto come into waysforan international There are thus two distinct and the existence:what mightbe called the "civilizational"(gemeinschaft) model is the models.Historically, civilizational the "functional" (gesellschaft) froman originalshared culture,as in the more powerful. Whetherresulting an as case of theclassicalGreeks,or from imperial legacyof sharedculture, in international societieshave dominatedthe the case of Europe, civilizational international historical record.There appear to be no pure cases of functional what vitalto understanding but processis nonetheless societies, thefunctional societyexpands beyond its originalcultural happens when an international international societycan eithertranscendits domain. Unless a civilizational to it be it originalcultureor transmit outward, will inevitably confined some can society world,a global international regionof the planet.In a postcolonial elements. and have strong gesellschaft onlybe multicultural musttherefore

International and worldsociety society


associatedwith A second keydistinction by acknowledged mostof thewriters whichis about the natureof is society," the tradition between"international politicalunitscompose the international relationsamongstates(or whatever

The Englishschool 337 nonstateorganizations, whichtakes individuals, and "worldsociety," system), the and ultimately global populationas a whole as the focusof global societal mayreferto the and International worldsociety and arrangements. identities discussion themtendsto have that of entireglobal system-and contemporary phenomena (Europe, Islam, focus-but theycan also referto subsystemic or possible formore than one international ancientGreece). It is therefore to to "world"society coexistor forone partofthesystem have an international while otherpartsdo not. The centralquestionis how these two ideas society has or complements opposites?The literature not relateto each other:are they yet explored this question adequately, and until the relationshipis made towarda layeredunderstanding to clearerit is impossible makemuchprogress to from basic/minimal highly of international society rangedalong a spectrum developed.The discussionin the previoussectionalreadyhas raised the issue. societiescome models of how international and functional The civilizational about how international conclusions intobeingseem to pointto quite different view,especiallyas relateto one another.In thecivilizational and worldsociety advocated by Wight,some element of world societyis a preconditionto In view,it is possibleto imagineprimitive society. the functional international at of without elements worldsociety all. any societiesexisting international within realist the has takenplace largely society Discussionof international of the stressing centrality the state and the role of withwriters framework, a World societyis associated more withidealistthinking: anarchicstructure. for the futureand, as a presenttrend, possible and desirable development with of to seen as antagonistic theprimacy the state.These associations largely to a reinforce tendency inasmuch they as realismand idealismare unfortunate statesactingas bastionsofmutually conflicting: think theideas as necessarily of or the exclusiveidentitiespreventing emergenceof a world citizenry global of and the undermining identity legitimacy states necessarily cosmopolitanism AndrewLinklatsociety. the of and thuscorroding foundations international to er's workis a good exampleofthe attempt use a globallogicofhumanrights to and humandevelopment mountan assaulton thestateand to seek "a higher for the of form international politicallife... maximising conditions individual in this self-determination."36 Surprisingly, viewalso surfaces the and collective law of of writings Bull,who arguesthatthe extension international to subjects order the law) undermines international otherthanstates(e.g., humanrights saw such as Hans Morgenthau, of Some realists, based on the society states.37 that for worldsocietyas a precondition a worldgovernment would eventually to the system a close.38 bring anarchicera oftheinternational

Relations,"Reviewof Intemational "Men and Citizensin International 36. AndrewLinklater, pp. 1981),pp. 23-37 and especially 34-35. Studies (January 7 pp. Society, 151-53. 37. Bull, TheAnarchical Politics AmongNations,5th ed. (New York: Knopf,1978), pp. 17-18 38. Hans J. Morgenthau, and 24.

Organization 338 International developmenas to tendency see thetwoconcepts somehow Thereis a contrary society a kindofwaystationon is tallylinked,as in the idea thatinternational road away froma raw and unmoderatedanarchyand towarda the historical in Manning does so more world society.Bull hintsfaintly this direction.39 thatthebasis ofinternational observation makestheincisive Wight explicitly.40 betweenpoliticalunitsand in of lies society bothin therecognition similarities but a generalsense of commonhumanity, he does not take the pointfurther thatbeyonda certain It thanthat.41 is on thisviewthatI plan to build,arguing without paralleldevelopsociety cannotdevelopfurther point,an international worldsociety. mentsin itscorresponding to has in None oftheauthors thetradition attempted resolvetherelationship This omissionallows,and is perhaps and betweeninternational worldsociety. Even in ambiguities the conceptof societyitself. in partcaused by,persistent society this think to be, has failedbothto define whosejob one might sociology, as a unit of analysis and to separate social processes fromeconomic and have advocatedrejection sociologists At politicalones.42 leasttwodistinguished thatno unitcan be found concepton the grounds of "society"as an analytical it relations an perspective, from international withit.43 However, to correspond of identity societalactorsin terms thestrong to is notall thatdifficult construct is Onlywhenthisrelationship and religion.44 groupsgeneratedbynationalism clarifiedcan one make any progresstoward a theoreticalmodel of how sucha model,theconceptis trappedin develops.Without society international nebulous despite the rising historyand doomed to remain theoretically of significance thephenomenathatit describes. in is and The tensionbetweeninternational worldsociety quite strong Bull's goes some way toward and his failureto explore commonidentity writing, in relationship his work the poorlydeveloped and unsatisfactory explaining between internationalsociety (and internationalorder and international political system) and world society (and world order and world political and he does not say system).In Bull's view thereis no global world society, muchabout it.He saysmoreaboutworldorderand theworldpoliticalsystem, orderand categoriesthaninternational as seeingthese simply more-inclusive amonga wide rangeof relationships containing politicalsystem, international to and actorsin additionto states.But it is clear byinference, byhisreferences between world and international universalvalues, that the key difference and the is societyis thatthe former based on unitsat the level of individuals societycan also be seen in latter,at the level of states (thoughinternational
p. Society, 319. 39. Bull, TheAnarchical chap. 14. Society, of 40. Manning,TheNature International Relations,"pp. 95-97. "WesternValues in International 41. Wight, of Encyclopedia the Social Sciences,vol. 14, 42. Leon H. Mayhew,"Society," in International 1968,pp. 583-85. (Cambridge: Cambridge 43. See Immanuel Wallerstein,The Politicsof the World-Economy p. Press,1984) p. 2; and Mann, TheSourcesofSocial Power, 2. University and Migration, PierreLemaitre,et al., Identity, 44. Ole Wzever, BarryBuzan, MartenKelstrup, chap. 2. 1993),especially in theNew SecurityAgenda Europe(London: Pinter,

The Englishschool 339 individualterms as existingamong the ruling elites of states). For Bull, societyrests on common norms,rules, and identitiesamong international states, whereas world society would rest on common norms, rules, and the terms, modern In acrossthesystem. structural held byindividuals identities of the is featuring sovereignty of society anarchic, politicalsystem international states as the foundationof societal relations among them. The political structure a potentialworld societyis ambiguous.It could be a hierarchy of or anarchy; it could it (worldgovernment); could continueto be international be primal anarchyat the individuallevel-the stateless societyof classical it eliminates politicalsector.Although has not the anarchism-thateffectively been much discussed in relationto world society,the veryidea of a global societybased on individualspresupposes rather high levels of interaction and planet-some versionof Onlyon a denselynetworked interactive capacity. and common Marshall McLuhan's global village-could a shared identity levelacrossthesystem. developat theindividual norms As noted above, in some waysthese twolevelsof societyappear fundamenand nationalidentities theexplicit The of tallyantagonistic. cultivation distinct unitsappear at first glance to intosovereign of fragmentation the global polity if share a of be the antithesis world society.Conversely, the global citizenry into politically wide rangeof commonvalues,what is the pointof organizing depends plausibleantagonism separatestates?But note how thissuperficially exclusive;that is, that on the assumptionthat identitiesmust be mutually at people can hold onlyone identity the expense of another.This is a rather A viewsuggests nationalisms. postmodern view nineteenth-century ofexclusive in thatpeople are quite capable of holdingseveralidentities parallel.One can, European, and Westernall at the same time forexample,be English,British, thatwould arise ifone triedto be, say,bothEnglish the without same conflict and Scottish Englishand Frenchat thesame time.Alongsidethislayeredset or of as one could also hold otherlarge-scaleidentities a memberor supporter From movements. or variouspolitical, cultural, gender,professional, religious of it thisperspective becomes possible to imaginethe development a world society alongside national or civilizationalones without there being any erosionofone bytheother. necessary law. Bull makes muchof A similaranalysiscan be applied to international of law society conflict betweeninternational and theinternational thepotential to states.45 worriesabout the extensionof legal rights nonstate He sovereign entities and individuals(human rights),fearingthat such extensionswill order. His and therefore the bases of international underminesovereignty so. but it is not necessarily Imagine a set of open, could be justified, worry embedded in each member's are firmly liberal states in whichhuman rights All states are also committedto relativelyopen domestic constitution. law economic and culturalinteraction. Among such states,an international
Relations, pp. in chap. 6; and Bull, Justice International 45. See Bull, The AnarchicalSociety, 11-18.

Organization 340 International (i.e., a regime) of human rightswould do little more than codify and existing practice. standardize is society betweenworldsocietyand international The case forantagonism that suggesting Opposed to it is a set of arguments nor automatic firm. neither societyis to progress(or in Wight'sview even to come into if international being) beyond a rather basic level, then it can, and possibly must, be The key link is in the level of accompaniedby world societydevelopments. on policy.In pluralistsocieties,mass opinion sets constraints makingforeign policies can be promotedand sustained.In an internawhat kind of foreign capacityand complexinterdecharacterized highinteraction by tionalsystem pendence,policies of openness requirepublic supportacross a wide rangeof values can such policiesbe sustained.Bull issues. Onlyifpublicsshare certain withoutseeing the full seems to lean in this direction,though apparently whenhe talksabout theneed, at least amongelites,fora common significance, To welfare values,and morals.46 including language,art,epistemology, culture, the extentthatsuch a commoncultureemergesamongthe masses as well, it for society. the reinforce possibility international shouldenormously a There is therefore plausible case that world societyand international society can only develop hand-in-hand.An internationalsociety cannot being supportedby the developlevel without primitive develop past a fairly mentof elementsof "world"cultureat the mass level,and thisis trueon both a and global scales. Conversely, world societycannot emerge the subsystem and unless it is supportedby a stable politicalframework, the state system the remains onlycandidateforthis. To pursue this argumentin more detail and to resume progresstoward it can society be said to exist, is the answering questionofwhenan international societydevelops in a to helpfulto return the process of how an international it this time thinking throughmore fullyin international system, primitive of the to This is notan attempt represent actual history structural realistterms. societydeveloped. Instead, it triesto develop in how any giveninternational societies can evolve naturally line that international abstractthe functional One of its uses is to providea basis forrethinking fromthe logic of anarchy. the about international societythathave come from some of the assumptions about the historical approach.It shouldalso providea clearerwayof thinking society and world society and lead us relationshipbetween international and international system a betweeninternational towardidentifyingboundary society.

before society System


modelof international an developmental The easiestwayto construct abstract systembefore any societal is to imagine an anarchic international society
pp. Society, 315-17. 46. Bull, TheAnarchical

The Englishschool 341 to by no For sucha system exist, takesplace: pure system, society. development among the units:theyhave become interaction thereis significant definition cross paths. regularly thattheiractivities numerousand powerful sufficiently intermarriage), visits, will occur (trade,individual Some peaceful interaction ideas and transmit contact,will inevitably and these, along withconflictual forcodes of conductthat creates pressure Trade automatically technologies. the process of exchangeand protectthose engaged in it. Without facilitate or restricted, would be severely tradingactivity some assurancesof security, or theft, excesstaxation. bypiracy, evenextinguished, has a low interaction While levels of contactremainlow (i.e., the system of and towardstrangers theutility of conventions society theinternal capacity), exotic trade may well keep interactionquite peaceful. But as interaction of capacity increases, contact becomes more intense and the probability up societieswill findtheirboundariesrubbing against rises.Different conflict and status.Some resources, each otherand willfallintodisputeoverterritory, societieswill respondto the factthatthereis a good livingto be made from herdsHorse-mounted piracyand aggressionand will specialize accordingly. men, for example, have sometimesfound that the tools and skillsof their agriculturalists. advantageover more sedentary life-style thema military give Others will acquire imperial ambitions,findinginternal legitimationfor in in economy,culture,or simply theirsuperior expansionism theirreligion, is interaction reached,all the unitswithin power.Once thislevel of strategic dilemmaand thebalance of of come underthepressure thesecurity thesystem do recognizeeach other, power.Since the unitsshare no culture, not formally it communication, is easy for and have no establishedconventions diplomatic and self-righteous self-centered forthe behaviorof each to take on a highly an of characterin relationto the interests others.In individuals, excess of over relationalbehavioris definedas autism.The international inner-driven withoutany societyare thus analogous to those of a relationsof a system onlyweaklymediatedbycommunicamadhouse:idiosyncratic, unpredictable, and tionand a sense ofraisonde systeme, easilymovedto violence. in existing thismode international system It is possibleto imaginea primitive at developing least a to fora longtimebut difficult imagineit doingso without In system society. such an underdeveloped fewbasic elementsof international the of anarchy47) struggle individual (or, as I have earliercalled it,"immature" leads to balance of powerand the reproduction unitsto survive automatically be of Casualtyrates might ratherhigh: of the anarchicstructure the system.48 some units would be obliterated(note the fates of Assyria,Carthage,the others).The overallconfiguration Hittite Empire,theIncan Empire,and many would be unstable.In a naturalor free-for-all of boundariesand membership of gain control it balance of powerof thistype, is possible thatone unitmight anarchyinto a hierarchicalstructure, the system, transforming temporarily
and 47. Buzan,People,States, Fear. Politics. of 48. Waltz,Theory International

342 International Organization and disintegration untilinternal allow the reemergence internaof weakening tional anarchic relations (China, Persia, Rome). Such imperial episodes transmit elementsof commonculturethroughout system, the Hellenic the as and Roman empiresdid, and these elementscan play an important role in facilitating development international the of society whenthesystem returns to anarchicstructure. Watsonpostulatesa spectrum possibilities systemic of for politicalstructure, from on ranging the anarchy one end,emphasizing independenceofunits(e.g., classical Greece), to empireon the other,wherethe system controlled a is by centralimperialauthority (e.g., China and Rome). In betweenlie hegemony, and overthe suzerainty, dominion, indicating increasing degreesofdomination The two ends of this scheme parallel Waltz's systemby a major power.49 distinction between anarchic and hierarchicalsystems, Wight's between a of ImmanuelWallerstein's betweena system statesand a suzerainstatesystem, "world economy" and a "world empire," and Michael Mann's between "multipoweractor civilizations"and "empires of domination."50 Watson's innovation to presenta spectrum is thana dyadicchoice and to suggest rather thatthe ends represent extreme and unstablepositions, withthe middlerange of beingthemorenaturalcondition international systems. Ifwe assume as a starting in pointa rawunsocializedanarchicsystem which interaction and shaping" strategic amongthe unitsis in play,Waltz's "shoving forcesof socializationand competition would be at work,pressuring unitsto of adapt to thepractices themostsuccessful (and powerful) punishing those by that did not withweakness,insecurity, possible loss of independence.51 and This kindof intenseand regularinteraction necessitatesthe development of some conventions communication negotiation for and which amongthe units, in turncreatespressureforsome form recognition. of Even if all of the units remainfundamentally war,seekingto expandtheirinfluence at and territorial control whenever opportunity allows,therewillstillbe periodsof truce,there willstillbe incentives trade,and therewillat timesbe the need or desireto to formalliances againstotherrivalsor to negotiatecease-fires. The elementof commonhumanity would also sometimes create pointsof contactover issues such as obligations the dead. Where long-term to in results standoff, rivalry as betweenRome and Parthiaor classicalGreece and Persia,thedurability the of factson the groundcreatesincentives the partiesto recognizeat least the for of reality each other'sexistence. Unless one unitis able to dominatethe system, pressuresof lifein the the anarchyvirtually force the eventual developmentof at least a few basic
49. Watson,TheEvolution International of Society, 13-18. pp. 50. See Waltz, Theory International of Politics,pp. 114-16; Wight,Systems States,chap. 1; of ImmanuelWallerstein, "The Rise and FutureDemise of theWorldCapitalistSystem," Comparative Studiesin Society and History, 16, no. 4, 1974,especiallyp. 390; and Mann, The Sourcesof vol. Social Power, chaps. 4 and 5. 51. Waltz,Theory International of Politics, chaps.5 and 6.

The Englishschool 343 This would be trueeven ifeach of the units society. elementsof international culture or group, withlittle no common containeditsownlanguageand culture amongthem,thoughit is easier ifpriorimperialor hegemonicepisodes have spread some elementsof commonculture.A versionof this situationarose century, when duringEurope's encounterwith Asia duringthe nineteenth to whether in Europeans used theidea of a "standardof civilization" deciding on Reflecting thisproblem treatAsian statesas legal equals or as subordinates. lawyerJohnWestlake argued thatany country at the time,the international "withan old and stableorderof itsown,withorganisedforceat theback of it, to and complex enough for the leading minds of that country be able to from theirs ... must be appreciate the necessities of an order different thanours."52 withothercivilisation though as recognised beingcivilised, of order that was sketched drivenlogic Here we findBull's functionally witheach otheron a regular, above. Units thathave no choice but to interact similar types basis,and thatbeginto accept each otheras essentially long-term of sociopolitical organization,will be hard put to avoid creating some Theywillneed to be able to for mechanisms dealingwitheach otherpeacefully. exchange emissaries or ambassadors. They will need to be able to make of Theywillneed, in other for agreements truce,alliance,or division property. words,to be able to create some level of order in theirrelationsin termsof To and property rights. do these contract, Bull's threecore values of security, to have to giveat least de factorecognition each other willperforce they things treaties. and making for as unitsand to developsome arrangements diplomacy All of this will be true even if peace in the systemis merelyan interlude for with even moderately between renewed rounds of fighting, in a system say, capacity (sufficient, for sustained force developed levels of interaction the or projection tradeoverdistancesof a fewhundredkilometers), costsand inconveniencesof not having such mechanismswould be intolerable. In once others thoseunitsthatfailedto adopt such mechanisms Waltzianterms, from the to sufficiently riskelimination had done so wouldweaken themselves system.

international system The boundary between mutualrecognition and international society: ofsovereign equality
a commonculture In thismodelofimmature international anarchy, preexisting But international the society. through does notprovide basis fora gemeinschaft of war and thebalance ofpower,thetransfer theinteractive operationoftrade, travel, and the technologies(both mechanical and social), intermarriage, homogenizingeffectsof periods of hegemony,suzerainty,dominion, or
" of 52. Cited in Gong,TheStandard "Civilisation,p. 59.

Organization 344 International imperialrule, unitswill tend to become more similarto each other.This is "like units.""3 The process neverreaches generating Waltz's logic of anarchy levels to facilitate but total homogeneity, it can quite early reach sufficient communicationand some level of diplomatic exchange and recognition. logic,Watsonconcedes that"no in Findinghimself the gripof thisfunctional some regulatory system definedby Bull has operatedwithout as international developed to even thoughthese are not sufficiently rules and institutions," In an society.54 otherwords,elementsof international constitute international international system. existeven in a primitive society At some point, the logic of contact and the desire for a degree of society, but of orderwillresultin the formation an international international without betweena system whatis thatpoint?By Watson'slogic,the boundary cannotbe definedbythe mere presenceor and one withinternational society is amongstates.Bull's definition not precise rules and institutions absence of to avoid creatinga large grayzone in whichsome norms,rules,and enough society. callingit an international exist, notenoughto justify but institutions level of regulated an Watson evades the issue by suggesting intermediate In and betweenmere interaction sharedculture.55 takingthisroutehe system and the the discussedabove ofreconciling gemeinschaft demonstrates difficulty of gesellschaftunderstandings society.Given his Wightianpredispositions toward a prior shared culture,he is clearly reluctantto accept that the of functional logicwillproduce a societyand a sense of unfolding gesellschaft withthe gemeinschaft understandsufficient stand comparison to community norms, rules,and evenvalues It ingof society. mayproducecommoninterests, but and institutions, these do not add up to a societyin Wight'sgemeinschaft and the of sense. The gap between the functional development gesellschaft zone, or gray pointsto the intermediate historical evolutionof gemeinschaft international system to boundaryseparating area, as an alternative a distinct society.But thisgrayzone in whichWatson seeks refuge frominternational insteadof It problems createstwoboundary does notsolvetheproblem. merely to one (system gray zone and grayzone to society)and lends supportto critics such as Jones, Mann, and Wallersteinwho dismiss societyas analytically useless because ofitsoperationalimprecision. by and society underscored is boundary betweensystem The need fora firm evolution to thekindsof questionsthatarisein anyattempt tracethehistorical over worksmorepowerfully of international Since the logicof anarchy society. is wheninteraction capacity low), shorter distances thanlongerones (especially within will systems, emergeinitially international societies,like international and only later develop at the level of the international regionalsubsystems and logic is true forboth gemeinschaft systemas a whole. This region-first
Politics. of 53. Waltz,Theory Intemational Studies,"pp. 151-52. and 54. Watson,"Hedley Bull,State Systems, International 55. Watson,"Systems States,"pp. 100-102. of

The Englishschool 345 issue. First,it for gesellschaft societies.It has threeimplications the boundary in distributed be society will,to beginwith, unevenly means thatinternational system, withsome regions(perhaps onlyone) havingit and the international a boundariesnot onlybetween othersnot.There is therefore need to establish society exists) or per se (i.e., whether not anyinternational system and society internaexisting within largernonsocietal butalso betweensocietalsubsystems societiesexistcontempotionalsystems (i.e., wheretwoor moreinternational thatsome of Wight'scivilizational, raneously).Second, it opens the possibility international societieswill face the challengeof expandinginto gemeinschaft culture.If thishappens,as it did in the cases of regionsalien to theirfounding classical Greece and modern Europe, it brings the functionallogic of societyinto direct contactwith the historicalone. developinginternational members societiesincorporate gemeinschaft international How do expanding that do not share theirculture,and what happens when one international means of society challengesanother?Third,thispattern unevendevelopment over the societytakes effect that even when some measure of international will some partof the system have moredeveloped whole international system, (or at least more elaborate) internationalsocieties than others. As in is economics,uneven development the rule. The consequence once internathe tional societybegins to operate throughout system(or perhaps,to start whichthereis at least system existswithin earlier,once a global international is societalcircleswilldevelop. one societalsubsystem) thatlayersof concentric sets of States in the core circlewill have more sharedvalues, and muchfuller than those in the outer circles. The existence of rules and institutions, of is a yes,a spectrum international society not simply yes or no issue. Within is and bothlevelsof development degreesofparticipation possible. and does pose a real Given thatthe gap betweengesellschaft gemeinschaft of a problemin generating consensusunderstanding "society"in its internaand betweeninternational tionalapplication, howis a distinct system boundary international to society be demarcated?A solutioncan be foundin theidea of in was notedabove as a necessary sharedidentity, which ingredient theconcept can thenthe If criteria sharedidentity be established, for of society. clear-cut is boundary clear. In need fora gray zone disappears,and thepathto a distinct needs to be rootedat orderto workin thefunctional model,thissharedidentity rather thanin thecultural in of criteria gesellschaft leastinitially thebehavioral ones of gemeinschaft. these criteria the definingboundary between By is and international system society whenunitsnotonlyrecognizeeach otheras but beingthe same typeof entity also are preparedto accord each otherequal not and signify only legal statuson thatbasis. Mutual recognition legal equality of but a turning pointin thedevelopment rulesand institutions also acceptance in of a sharedidentity whichstatesaccept each otheras beingthe same typeof of This act denies the possibility suzerain, dominion,and imperial entity. for conditions relations(thoughnot hegemonicones) and sets the minimum diverseunits.As Wight societalrelations putsit,"It wouldbe amongculturally

Organization 346 International statesunlesseach statewhileclaiming of to impossible have a society sovereign to for recognisedthateveryotherstate had the right claim sovereignty itself, as and enjoyitsownsovereignty well."56 Historically, this transitionoccurred in Europe with the emergence of The claim of as sovereignty the basic principle of interstaterelations.57 provided a clear basis for legal equality exclusiverightto self-government to in despite differences power among the units.It raised territory political in of and primacy imposedon statesan obligation nonintervention each other's thatwas, and stillis, veryclear in principlethoughextremely internalaffairs To try and complex in practice.58 get the flavorof this difficulty, difficult intervention? By question:Is all interaction no answering to the philosophical the equals, statesform sense of community acceptingeach otheras sovereign Note also how of amonglike unitsthatis the essentialingredient anysociety. law to international of the centrality international confirms this definition societyis a legal international society.In its most basic and essential form, that Waltz puts on the From this point of view, the emphasis construction. underanarchy forcethe to of tendency socializationand competition powerful for the of like unitstakeson a new significance, it identifies logic development of relationscreatesthe naturaldynamics anarchicinternational bywhichthe to international society develop. conditions a basic gesellschaft for marksseveral society and The formation operationof such an international thoughmuch remainsthe system, changes froma presocietalinternational sincebothare main overmuchas before, same. Balance ofpowerand warcarry of As system. can be seen in the history featuresof an anarchicinternational by states still need to seek security century, Europe duringthe eighteenth That is why war and in of to adjusting shifts thedistribution powerand status.59 of alliance remain legitimateinstruments policy. But the possibilitiesfor and law and diplomacy international are muchimproved formalizing extending becomes of by the institution sovereignequality.Diplomatic representation law more secure and more continuous,and as Bull notes, international can Withthe move awayfrom naturallaw into the widerrealmsof positivelaw.60 of foundation legal equality, of muchscope opens forthedevelopment law as a relationsamongsovereign states,thoughit can onlydevelop way of ordering whereconsensusallows.As previously, greatpowersremainthe mostinfluenof the tial actors but now have the additional responsibility maintaining society.61 by framework orderrepresented international of

56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61.

of p. Wight, Systems States, 135. Society, 33-38. pp. Bull, TheAnarchical Society, 18-21. pp. and Mayall,Nationalism International chap. 5. Holsti,Peace and War, Society, 33-38. pp. Bull, TheAnarchical pp. Society, chap. 9, especially 200-205. Bull, TheAnarchical

The Englishschool 347 The status of sovereign equality gives even less powerfulunits some requiredunder mutualrecognitions The againstelimination. formal protection the equalityserveto institutionalize externalstatusof sovereignty. sovereign an unitscan onlyasserttheirclaimto autonomy Without international society, With defenseagainstchallengers. and establishit by sustainedand successful validatedbytherecognition claims unitscan havetheir society, an international of others. This validation gives them standingas sovereignmembersof a thoughas the Poles knowbyno means guarantees, and community reinforces, to The right existadds importantly entity. their right existas an independent to and order the boundaries of legitimacy of unitsby defining to the security internationalsociety, legal they function.In contemporary withinwhich of equality has been the basis for the delegitimization many threats of secession,and coercionthatwere earlierseen as part annexation, intervention, In as of the natural behavior of states in an anarchic system.62 extremis, in demonstrated recenttimesbycases such as Cambodia,Chad, Lebanon, and stateswhose internal can sovereignty even keep in existence Somalia, external of is weak. Externalrecognition secessions,as in the sovereignty extremely demise of larger cases of Yugoslavia and the SovietUnion, seals the internal units. can of society proceed At themostbasic level,thedevelopment international At elementsof of withno parallelevolution worldsociety. most,some minimal autocratic, but elitesis required, in monarchical, culture amongruling common to reference themasses. without statesthiscan be constructed or authoritarian society simply of Ruling elites may favor the arrangements international of facilitate maintenance theelites'rule.Amongotherthings, the because they of some alleviationof externalpressurefreesresourcesforthe consolidation and favors statesfirst, thereis nothing society domesticcontrol.International societyas faras emergenceof international benignabout the first necessarily themassof thepopulationis concerned. One major change that comes with the advent of even a rather basic societyis thatpoliticalorder and the balance of powerbecome international all) policygoals formany(not necessarily states.In his analysis foreign explicit of early-modern Europe, K. J.Holsti,forexample,putsmuchemphasison the that forcein the negotiations goals as a driving of development antihegemonic at agreements Westphalia(1648) and Vienna producedmajorwar-termination (1814-15).63 Most of the major powers were activelyconcerned to take from measures that would prevent any one state, or any one dynasty, a Europe. This goal reflected passionate concernto protectthe dominating Internastates:Watson's raisonde systeme. of system independentsovereign
Manifestationsof an Ancient 62. Alan James, "The Equality of States: Contemporary Studies18 (October 1992),pp. 377-92. of Doctrine,"Review International chaps. 2 and 6. 63. Holsti,Peace and War,

Organization 348 International of tional orderwas based on the legitimation anarchyas definedby internationalsociety. Once thebalance ofpoweris recognizedas a possiblebasis fororder,rather dilemma,simplyan automaticconsequence or than being, like the security then the greatpowerscan, if theyagree, mechanismof the anarchicsystem, consciously manage theirrelationsto preservea balance.54In the nineteenth and over allocationof territory colonies. this century was done by agreements on During the cold war it was achieved by superpoweragreements levels of In of nucleararmament. thiswaytheprinciple balance can become a meansof reducingconflictamong the great powers and of moderatingthe security (again not a dilemmaamong them.It also gives great powers some security A fromthe system. developmentalong these guarantee) againstelimination increase threatsto minorpowers or units lines may,as is well-established, outside the society that can find themselvesbeing used as resources for adjustments thegreatpowers. by to But the shift consciousnessabout order and the balance of power does difference between internationalsystemswith create another significant In the societiesand thosewithout. thosewithout, operationof the balance of structure. unitsstruggle As to powerworksautomatically reproducethesystem the of to preserve their workto preserve anarchicstructure independence, they at least twoofthemare successful, endures.But thesystem. longas As anarchy becomes in systems the society, processof reproduction withan international awarenessofor desirefor even ifthereis no specific consciousand intentional, as Mutual recognition sovereign as equals bystatesis anarchicstructure such.65 to It legitimacy the idea an affirmation anarchicstructure. givessystemwide of and overtime, allows it international thatpoliticalfragmentation defines order, to of law theworking international and diplomacy consolidateand institutionalize that idea. Conscious pursuitof the balance of power as an ordering It the of of has principle greatpowerrelations the same effect. reinforces right an viewofinternational greatpowersto existand institutionalizes oligopolistic order. Conclusions On thebasis ofthedefinitions clarifications and workedout above,itis possible a clear image of exactly what is meantby international to construct relatively international system.Present day international societyin the contemporary In the international is society society a hybrid. partit stemsfrom gemeinschaft that developed in modernEurope and imposed itselfon most of the planet
of Review the 64. RichardLittle,"Deconstructing Balance of Power:Two Traditions Thought," ofInternational Studies15 (April 1989),pp. 87-100. chap. 9. 65. Buzan, Jones, and Little,TheLogic ofAnarchy,

The Englishschool 349 a processbywhich and heyday, in partitreflects gesellschaft during imperial its have withhighlevels of interaction different culturesembedded in a system come a longway witheach other.We have certainly learnedto come to terms from the period in which internationalsociety was largely a globalized fromwhich most non-European expressionof the European gemeinschaft, culturesand peoples were excluded by theircolonial or unequal status.The by is society the mutualrecognition nearlyall bottomline of thisinternational onlya entities. thatcriterion By statesof each otheras legallyequal sovereign society. number statesare nowoutsideinternational of tiny phenoma is society bydefinition postcolonial globalinternational This truly origins,it has a enon. As one would expect fromits partlygemeinschaft developed than the European (now Western)core thatis much more highly of and intensity rules, variety, restof it in termsof havinga highernumber, And as of bindingits membersin a network regimes. norms,and institutions it multicultural origins, is globally its gesellschaft one would expectfrom partly in differentiated termsof the degreeof commitin characterand significantly mentwithwhichstates adhere to it. The overallcohesion of thissocietyhas increasedby the demise of the Soviet Union, whichuntil been substantially 1990 led a challenge to the West in almost all areas of norms,rules, and and statesovereignty nuclearweapons. exceptthoseconcerning institutions of distraction superpower the The endingofthecold warremoved obscuring society leavinga clearerpictureof a postcolonialglobal international rivalry, A in circlesof commitment. smallnumberof constructed termsof concentric excluded by the refusalof manyothersto accord pariah states are partially A themdiplomatic recognition. fewstatessuch as NorthKorea and Myanmar societyby (Burma) place themselveson the outer fringesof international In and recognition exchange. morethanthebasicsofdiplomatic accepting little China, and India that the middle circlesone findsstates such as Argentina, what seek to preservehighlevels of independenceand select quite carefully they rules,and institutions accept and whattheyreject.In the core one norms, One of for of the finds maingenerator and support theglobalnetwork regimes. intowhichstatesvoluntarily of regimes a also finds dense network overlapping environeconomicefficiency, in of bind themselves pursuit increasedsecurity, societal openness,and a range of otherobjectives.The mentalmanagement, of so has European Community progressed fardownthisroad thatthe density into bringing to qualities, society beginning assumestatelike is itsinternational of amongits existence an anarchicinternational system questionthecontinued members. clearly how the The Persian Gulf War in 1991 illustratesparticularly in themselves operatedand identified society concentric circlesofinternational of challengeto the existence one ifits relationto one violentand fundamental accepted members.In the centercircle stood the United States,whichwas only if givenwide supportand willingto lead only if followedand to fight some including assistance.In the second circlewere otherspreparedto fight,

Organization 350 International Britain and France) and others membersof the Westerncore (principally in interests theregion centerbutwithimmediate from ring's the further usually circlewerethosepreparedto Egyptand Saudi Arabia). In thethird (principally In suchas Japanand Germany. the core primarily members paybutnotto fight, or but fourth circlewere thosepreparedto support, not fight pay. This group was large and contained those prepared to vote and speak in favorof the forces(such as Denmark).It military action,some ofwhomalso sentsymbolic of included the Soviet Union and China as well as a mixture states usually circle containedthose states circles.The fifth residentin core and middling satisfiedto be neutral, neither supportingnor opposing the venturebut as Council resolutions legitimate. preparedto accept United NationsSecurity commuof Withinthesefivecirclesstood the greatmajority the international nityand all of the major powers. In the sixthcirclewere those prepared to oppose, mainlyverbally and by voting (i.e., still within the rules). This Yemen, and a fewotherArab states.In the seventh containedCuba, Jordan, circle stood those prepared to resist: Iraq. This case is only one (rather the extreme)instance.It does not show,thoughit suggests, normalconfiguraof society.What it does tion and membership the circles of international structure of of is illustrate the factand the significance the concentric-circles itself. society international it morethana in If international is society understood theseterms, is clearly a regimeof regimes,adding a usefulelementof be regime.It might seen as But it is also the atomizedworldof regimetheory. holismto the excessively rests.There whichthewhole idea of regimes on legal and politicalfoundation can before even a normof reciprocity be some sense of community has to and it is to this that the internationalsociety traditiondraws emerge, of conceptions rationalist (and positivist) attention.66 Hurrellargues,purely As thatis expressedin the internaregimeleave out the elementof community constitutesthe systemof sovereignstates. tional law that fundamentally Internationallaw defines what states are, and they cannot thereforebe of law, and the community of independent it. This backdropof international a of on mutualrecognition sovereignty whichit rests,is not merely regimebut thatis necessary before muchmorebasic: the politicalfoundation something can regimes come intoplay.67 society opens up a The combiningof regime theoryand international develops. society fascinating researchagenda about how a global international society a Is theEuropean Community model forwhereadvancedinternational or leads (i.e., to integration), should it be disqualifiedas a model for the is thatitsowndevelopment too as international system a wholeon thegrounds more much influencedby the pressure to become a larger (and therefore levelsof international Can one identify unitin a surrounding system? powerful)
Regimes." Law and theStudyof International 66. Hurrell,"International 67. Ibid.

The Englishschool 351 themin terms a spectrum of and specify of of society development international sectors,stoppingshortof full regimesin the economic,political,and military of the Can one specify details and the membership the politicalintegration? different circles of internationalsociety by examiningstates' patternsof in in and membership institutions, participation adherenceto rulesand norms, of the development international what conditions regimes?Can one identify and whatmight cause it to go intodecline? There is no guaranteethat society international societyis a one-wayprocess, and as the collapse of the world unraveling is years suggests, regimesduringthe interwar trade and financial and probably business. violent almostcertainto be a painful societydevelopsrequiresa clear viewof The questionof how international and relateto each other.It was arguedabove how international worldsociety if are for society the thatelements worldsociety a precondition international of to of in gemeinschaft terms are not necessary the initial but latteris conceived stages of a gesellschaftinternationalsociety. This does not lead to the or conclusionthatworldsocietyis eitherirrelevant opposed to the idea of a the through Indeed, whenone thinks society. gesellschaft global international dense of involving society, higher levelsof possibledevelopment international it networks regimes, becomes apparentthatsuch regimesmake the states of and societieswithin themprogressively moreopen to each othereconomically, democratic statesare thosemost and Pluralist, militarily, societally. politically, society, in suchstatesopennesscan and attracted highlevelsofinternational to to have converged a significant degree. onlybe sustainedifsocietiesthemselves of elements worldsociety become As international society develops,substantial a and of necessary the stability furtherance thatdevelopment, to increasingly in of truth discoveredby the governments the European Community recently theircrisisoverMaastricht.68 international societyand world Indeed, at higherlevels of development, International far ideas, become symbiotic. society, frombeing contradictory withoutwhichworld societywould societyprovidesthe politicalframework world societyprovidesthe face all the dangersof primalanarchy.In return, remains stuckat a foundation without whichinternational society gemeinschaft tells basic level. This interrelationship us muchabout how and whythe fairly circles. societyis organizedintoconcentric contemporary global international it culturally, also tells us how Because humankind so deeplydifferentiated is it difficult will be-perhaps impossiblefor the foreseeable future-ever to society. createa uniform globalinternational on societyare questions fromthis line of thought international Extending circlesdo (and should) relateto about howthe different of rings itsconcentric International each other.Here lies the problematicagenda of intervention. intervention. These setsthe rulesforwhatis and whatis not legitimate society as to evenclose to thecore ofinternational society, rulescan be difficult fathom
and Agendain Europe,especiallychap. 4. Migration, theNew Security 68. Wwever al., Identity, et

352 International Organization The question of how,or if, Yugoslavia demonstrates. the case of the former Do have the is they operate acrossthe rings evenmoredifficult. core members in statesoverissueson whichthosestatesdo not right intervene outer-circle to accept the norms or adhere to the regimes? In concrete terms,does the a have the right prevent state outsidethe nuclear to international community nonproliferation regime (e.g., Pakistan) from acquiring nuclear weapons? or to discovered cheating Does ithave theright responsibility attacka member (e.g., Iraq or possiblyNorth Korea)? One cannot answer these questions A within perspective thespecific the of regime. clearerviewof adequatelyfrom can what is and what is not legitimate and/ornecessaryintervention onlybe of societyas a understanding international developed on the basis of a fuller whole. Much of thisresearchagenda becomes available because of the joiningof That linkmakespossiblea to realisttheory. Englishschool thinking structural societythatfitsneatlyinto structural gesellschaft conceptionof international on effect systemic of pressure units."Like units" realist ideas abouttheshaping the boundarybetween international become a criticalinput into defining with and withoutinternational societies societies,and international systems become, like the balance of power, a natural product of the shovingand both bodies of thought. This synthesis strengthens shapingforcesof anarchy. The link rescues the English school fromthe stagnationof its historical the a claimto cul-de-sacbygiving conceptofinternational society muchfirmer theoretical realismitopens usefulconnective channelsto status.For structural structural both history and liberal theorythat are compatiblewith existing of realism, together the Englishschool,structural realistanalysis.This fitting would appear to containno substantial drawbacksand to and regimetheory a foundation a for offer manyadvantagesin constructing coherenttheoretical and researchagenda. wide-ranging policy-relevant