The focus in this book so far has been on the actors, but it is time to look more closely at the international context in which they operate and which shapes both thinking and outcomes. It is made up not only of the actors themselves and their interactions but also of the many economic, political and cultural forces which are out of their hands. In what Hedley Bull (1977) termed the anarchical society, elements of cooperation and conflict coex ist uneasily, with the system looking differently according to an actors location in it. This chapter looks at the interplay between material and human factors, and at the extent to which states are limited by the web of institutions, rules and expectations which they inhabit. Chapter 8 then moves away from the state system to analyse the other sites of agency which have arisen in international relations and the web of transnational relations which they generate.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
- Foreign Policy in a Multi-Actor World
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number
- Chapter 7