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Ordering Disorder: The Making of World Politics

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journal contribution
posted on 04.05.2022, 14:29 by Jamie Johnson, Victoria Basham, Owen Thomas
This article offers insights into the character and composition of world order. It does so by focusing on how world order is made and revealed through seemingly disorderly events. We examine how societies struggle to interpret and respond to disorderly events through three modes of treatment: tragedy, crisis and scandal. These, we argue, are the dominant modes of treatment in world politics, through which an account of disorder is articulated and particular political responses are mobilised. Specifically, we argue that each mode provides a particular way of problematising disorder, locating responsibility, and generating political responses. As we will demonstrate, these modes instigate the ordering of disorder, but they also agitate and reveal the contours of order itself. We argue therefore that an attentiveness to how we make sense of and respond to disorder offers the discipline new opportunities for interrogating the underlying forces, dynamics and structures that define contemporary world politics.



Review of International Studies, 2022. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0260210522000183

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School of History, Politics and International Relations


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Review of International Studies


Cambridge University Press (CUP)



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