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The Coming Multi-Order World - Power, Principles and Practice in Times of Transformational Change

Carlsberg Foundation Monograph Fellowships

What

The project seeks to understand the current systemic transformation and the crisis in the liberal international order, and it seeks to assess the prospects for cooperative and sustainable global governance in an international system that is likely to be more diverse in terms of power, principles and practice. The project starts from the premise that not only is the existing liberal international order today in crisis, but that new international orders are currently in the making, suggesting that the emerging international system will consist of several different types of international orders. The project seeks to answer the question of how to create the best conditions for meeting common challenges and securing peace, prosperity and sustainability in the coming multi-order world.

Why

Transformation of the international system is a complex, but rare occurrence that is often accompanied with upheaval, uncertainty and violence. The project is important because it will help us understand the process and anticipate its outcome to better understand how we might mitigate its inevitable negative consequences. By demonstrating that the future international system will be a multi-order system rather than a multipolar one, the project shows that the primary governance dynamics are likely to be within and between different orders, rather than between multiple sovereign states. This is a fundamental change, which necessitates a reassessment of traditional assumptions about the primacy of multilateralism and the universality of liberal values as a foundation for global governance.

How

Writing a research monograph can be a lonely process with many distractions. Most of my time in the coming year will be devoted to fully engaging with the literature and writing, although I anticipate some travel for conducting research interviews and presenting the project. The process towards completing the monograph is planned as four distinct phases:

  1. Engage with the relevant literature, whilst writing the theoretical chapters.
  2. Develop the four categories of orders, whilst conducting research interviews in Washington, Moscow, Beijing, Brussels and Berlin.
  3. Write the three empirical chapters, whilst presenting findings to academic peers and policy practitioners for feedback.
  4. Finalizing the project for submission to publisher and arranging reviews and endorsements.

SSR

The project has a high degree of societal relevance because it engages with the urgent challenge to figure out how to achieve global sustainable and cooperative governance under the new systemic multi-order conditions. The project brings new thinking forward by offering new theorizing on the current systemic transformation; by categorizing international orders into four different types of orders, and by introducing the concept multi-order governance as an analytic for understanding how to facilitate cooperation between multiple international orders across divisions of power, practice and principle. The knowledge generated will contribute to practical policy-making for meeting the many challenges that are currently facing policy-makers at both the global and local levels.