Just a note that I plan to revive the blog in the very near future. After the last post things got very busy: I underwent my viva examination for my thesis (I passed!) and moved country twice. As a result updating the blog fell off my ‘to do’ list. But have no fear, in short order I’ll be back to launching the occasional intellectual RPG at the Panzer of social-scientific orthodoxy once again.
In passing, I should thank Nicholas Rowland for inadvertently prompting me to return to the blog with his interesting comment on a post I made about Skocpol and Fukuyama’s perspectives on the Tea Party movement.
For now, here’s a shameless plug for my article ‘The dimensions of the divide: vertical differentiation, international inequality and North–South stratification in international relations theory’, published recently in the Cambridge Review of International Affairs. If the title wasn’t enough of a hook, here’s the abstract as a teaser:
Recent attempts at developing social-structural accounts of the international order have suggested that the international system might be analysed in terms of patterns of vertical differentiation and stratification. Taking up this challenge, this article argues that inequality should be understood as part of the ‘deep structure’ of the international system rather than in terms of the attributes of individual states. It suggests that we can understand how stratification and vertical differentiation emerge by examining five dimensions along which processes producing asymmetry occur, focusing on transactions between actors. These dimensions are: inter-state political hierarchy; secular socioeconomic development within societies; global stratification within the world economy; the dynamic of competitive development; and the process of overall collective management and supranational governance of the international system/global order. The historical intersection of these forms of stratification has produced an emergent, historically contingent division within the international order familiar to students of international politics as the North–South divide.