Interpolarity: Re-visiting security and the global order

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This Introduction to Special Issue (SI) seeks to provide a corrective dimension to unipolar and multipolar understandings of global order by proposing to integrate several levels of analysis. It seeks to introduce a different understanding of the contemporary world order. To this end, it first develops a new theoretical model of world order, putting forward the concept of interpolarity. Interpolarity is understood as the interaction between multiple interdependent poles of different sizes. The main utility of this concept is that it can provide a theoretical foundation for integrating means, ways, and ends in a more stable manner. Second, this Introduction to SI estimates three main conceptual building blocks of an interpolar world order: positive power, citizen reciprocity, and elite bridging. The contributions in this Special Issue examine different aspects of the European security and foreign policy as part of the liberal international order – including the relations with NATO and the US –, EU actorness in cybersecurity governance, French-German cooperation, role conceptions and differentiated integration, as well as the BRICS perspective on world order.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDefence Studies
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)571-590
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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