Power, Production and World Order Revisited: Some Preliminary Conclusions



The end of the Cold War fundamentally reshaped international studies. The ceteris paribus assumptions, which had made the interstate conflict dimension the privileged object of analysis and neorealism the dominant paradigm of the field, could no longer be plausibly maintained. The unequivocal victory of the US and the West in the Second Cold War, under the increasingly market oriented and neoliberal leadership of the Reagan administration, generated a fair degree of triumphalism and optimism in liberal academic circles. Expressed most strikingly by Francis Fukuyama’s (1992) ‘end of history’ thesis, international politics was seen as increasingly devoid of conflict. In a world of ‘complex interdependence’ (Keohane and Nye, 1989), the realist games would be increasingly displaced by liberal games characterized by a rational, positive-sum politics of allocation, identity formation and cosmopolitan democracy.


Social Relation Power Relation Trade Union Public Sphere Ideal Type 
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© Matt Davies and Magnus Ryner 2006

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