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Representants and international orders

Drieschova, Alena ORCID: 2022. Representants and international orders. International Theory 14 (2) , pp. 233-262. 10.1017/S1752971921000154

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The article introduces a new explanation of international order that focuses on representants. Representants are practices, artefacts and language that stand in for the international system's units in international fora. They are crucial for international relations, given that international relations deal with a macro-realm that can never be fully present, but needs to be made concrete in specific localities. Representants have four interrelated effects: (1) They define the units of the international system; (2) They legitimize them; (3) They provide them with differential degrees of power; (4) They serve as tools for governing. When representants are seriously challenged, orders are in crisis; when new representants emerge, a new order has taken hold. The paper develops a mechanism of change emerging from struggles over representants. It studies the transition from the medieval order of universal monarchy to an order of divine right absolutism. Representants, such as gothic cathedrals, the mass, and coronation rituals maintained the medieval hierarchical order with the pope/emperor at the apex. The Reformation provided the last step in kings' challenge to the medieval order. Kings adapted existing representants, so that they would portray the independence of kings from the papacy/emperor, and simultaneously position kings above feudal lords.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
ISSN: 1752-9719
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 July 2021
Date of Acceptance: 31 May 2021
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2023 17:37

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