Gradual Processes, Ambiguous Consequences: Rethinking Recognition in International Relations

  • Anna Geis
  • Caroline Fehl
  • Christopher Daase
  • Georgios Kolliarakis
Part of the Palgrave Studies in International Relations Series book series (PSIR)


‘Recognition’, or its negative counterpart, ‘misrecognition’, is relevant wherever people or their collective organizations interact—or fail to interact. Individuals and collective political actors seek recognition of certain qualities, positive characteristics, competencies, achievements, or of their status within a specific group of people, a society, a political system, or the international political realm. The addressees of this recognition-seeking behaviour vary broadly, depending on the respective situation and depending on what exactly one actor would like to see recognized by another. A child might seek recognition from her parents or from fellow children of her first colour painting; a scholar might seek recognition of her opus magnum from fellow scholars or the public. A non-governmental organization might seek recognition of its humanitarian work from governments, the UN, potential donors, or from the needy people it supports. The violent group ‘Islamic State’ might seek recognition of its self-proclaimed ‘caliphate’ from Muslim believers, Muslim leaders, or regional organizations. Even a superficial scan of the daily news shows the ubiquity of issues related to ‘recognition’ in politics and society. Yet, what a certain actor seeks recognition of and from whom, how exactly recognition comes about (or fails to come about), and how it can be ‘measured’ is not as self-evident.


International Relation Gradual Process International Politics Ambiguous Consequence Violent Conflict 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Anna Geis, Caroline Fehl, Christopher Daase, and Georgios Kolliarakis 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Geis
  • Caroline Fehl
  • Christopher Daase
  • Georgios Kolliarakis

There are no affiliations available

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