International Organization in the Anarchical Society

The Institutional Structure of World Order

  • Tonny Brems Knudsen
  • Cornelia Navari

Part of the Palgrave Studies in International Relations book series (PSIR)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Cornelia Navari, Tonny Brems Knudsen
    Pages 1-20
  3. Theoretical Investigations

  4. Global International Organizations and Fundamental Institutions

  5. Regional International Organizations and Fundamental Institutions

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 357-368

About this book


This book takes up one of the key theoretical challenges in the English School’s conceptual framework, namely the nature of the institutions of international society. It theorizes their nature through an analysis of the relationship of primary and secondary levels of institutional formation, so far largely ignored in English School theorizing, and provides case studies to illuminate the theory. Hitherto, the School has largely failed to study secondary institutions such as international organizations and regimes as autonomous objects of analysis, seeing them as mere materializations of primary institutions. Building on legal and constructivist arguments about the constitutive character of institutions, it demonstrates how primary institutions frame secondary organizations and regimes, but also how secondary institutions construct agencies with capacities that impinge upon and can change primary institutions. Based on legal and constructivist ideas, it develops a theoretical model that sees primary and secondary institutions as shared understandings enmeshed in observable historical processes of constitution, reproduction and regulation.

Tonny Brems Knudsen is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Aarhus University, Denmark. 

Cornelia Navari is Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, UK, and Visiting Professor of International Affairs at the University of Buckingham, UK.


The English School Constructivism Primary Institutions Regional International Organizations Global International Society United Nations Economic Sanctions United Nations Security Council World Trade Organization Arab League Normative Boundaries Fundamental Institutions Secondary Institutions Southeast Asia Great Power Management United Nations Reform Pluralism Sovereignty Pluralists Solidarists Neorealism

Editors and affiliations

  • Tonny Brems Knudsen
    • 1
  • Cornelia Navari
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  2. 2.University of BuckinghamBuckinghamUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information