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The International Order at the Beginning of the 21 st Century

Theoretical Considerations


Andrea K. Riemer

‘9/11’ marks a watershed event in the current international order. It also marks a psychological and perceptive turning point. It is the obvious landmark of events, which were characterized by numerous signals already in the mid-1990s. None of those events happened overnight or unexpectedly. It is common knowledge that neither social science theories nor societal practice provided theories or methods, which enabled them to offer early warning and early response capabilities with regard to fundamental systemic changes. The underlying approach to the current international order is based on the analysis of ‘big patterns in current events’, the meta-order, its actors, their rules of behavior and engagement, different power-layers and the role of change. Finally, it supports arguments about the usefulness of early warning and early response. Such approach is based on intertwining knowledge from the realms of international relations, current history, historical sociology, and political sciences.
Contents: Definition of tools – ‘International system’ and ‘international society’ – The ‘concept of change’ – Factors within the current international order – The concept of security – The concepts of ‘existential challenges’ and ‘securitization’ – Categorization of challenges in the current international order – Early Warning and Early Response.