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Patterns of non-governmental interactions as a bridge between the structuralist theory of the state and the study of international relations.

Palan, Ronen Peter (1990) Patterns of non-governmental interactions as a bridge between the structuralist theory of the state and the study of international relations. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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There is a wealth of theoretical as well as empirical society-oriented research which is generally discussed under the rubric of sociological theories of the State and which, unfortunately, at present is not made full use of in the study of International Relations. The thesis aims to create the conditions that will enable us to 'tap' this material for the benefit of the study of international relationships. The thesis provides evidence that analyzing politics in terms of 'the State' directs out attention to a single central problem, the interrelation between the governing institutions of a country amid other aspects of that society. Modern theories of the State discuss the nature of the political process which is the process by which societies organise themselves. Therefore, the political process itself is located at the centre of the analysis. International interactions are then classified into two categories: formal interactions which are defined as all those emanating from the governing institutions of a country, and informal interactions, which encompass all other types of interactions. 'Informal interactions', that is, private trade and investment, the flow of ideas, immigration, the dissemination of techniques and technologies, etc, create a substratum of unmeditated links among what appear on the surface as independent, separate societies. Although varied and chaotic in their origins, they are much more predictable in their social effects. A significant portion of them conform to two simple patterns, named respectively horizontal and vertical links. The first pertains to cases whereby, in one form or another, a group of people residing in one formation are linked directly to a group residing in another, thus resulting in an 'informal' vertical tie between the two social formations. Horizontal links are links of competition. They are based on the principle that competitors tend to modify their behaviour to improve their competitive position. Both ties effect structural changes within social formations that reverberate through their 'domestic' political processes. These links are the principal channels by which 'domestic' political processes are 'externalized' and in turn 'internalized' on a world scale -- they are the primary forms by which International Relations and the domestic political processes are inter-linked.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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