Power Transition, Fundamental Institutional Change and the Coming World Order

Call for Contributions

Tonny Brems Knudsen and Cornelia Navari are proposing a new joint project to follow on from International Organization in the Anarchical Society (Palgrave 2019). It will consider the current power transition as it affects, and is affected by, fundamental institutions and mediated by international organizations. The project managers are looking for studies that consider different aspects of the power transition, and different actors, including organisational actors like the EU, as they are shaped by fundamental institutions and played through international organizations.  


The study will be built around the proposition that international organizations, and order itself, are rooted not in great power choices or in rational calculi of their value, but in more fundamental institutions that constitute the social order of international relationships. With respect to the power transition, it will argue that liberal internationalists have confused a liberal world order with world order as such, and that the realist power transition theory treats power as the independent variable, whereas it is the dependent variable, dependent on the wider norms, rules and practices of international society and only partly on the strategies of the powers themselves. The authors conceive of the transition as a three-level game, consisting of 1) fundamental institutions and great power status, 2) international organizations and great power agency, and 3) international organizations as organizers and feeders of fundamental institutions. A paper outlining the approach is available for those interested in contributing.


Contributions should consider in what circumstances and how fundamental institutions and international organizations shape the ongoing power transition rather than the other way round. Please send proposals to Tonny Brems Knudsen (e-mail)  and Cornelia Navari (e-mail)