When and why do powerful countries seek to enact major changes to international order, the broad set of rules that guide behavior in world politics? This question is particularly important today given the Trump administration's clear disregard for the reigning liberal international order in the United States. Across the globe, there is also uncertainty over what China might seek to replace that order with as it continues to amass power and influence. Together, these developments mean that what motivates great powers to shape and change order will remain at the forefront of debates over the future of world politics. Prior studies have focused on how the origins of international orders have been consensus-driven and inclusive. By contrast, Kyle M. Lascurettes argues in Orders of Exclusion that the propelling motivation for great power order building has typically been exclusionary. Dominant powers pursue fundamental changes to order when they perceive a major new threat on the horizon. Moreover, they do so for the purpose of targeting this perceived threat, be it another powerful state or a foreboding ideological movement. The goal of foundational rule writing in international relations, then, is blocking that threatening entity from amassing further influence, a motive Lascurettes illustrates at work across more than three hundred years of history. Far from falling outside of the bounds of traditional statecraft, order building is the continuation of power politics by other means.
Monday, June 8, 2020
Lascurettes: Orders of Exclusion: Great Powers and the Strategic Sources of Foundational Rules in International Relations
Orders of Exclusion: Great Powers and the Strategic Sources of Foundational Rules in International Relations (Oxford Univ. Press 2020). Here's the abstract: