A Re-assessment of the world society conceptualization

Tepeciklioğlu, Ali Onur
This dissertation argues that non-state actors were more apparent, and relatedly, more capable of controlling and transforming the international relations in the pre-modern period than they are in the modern. The role of non-state actors is dramatically limited in the modern international society because of the nation-state, the most centralized and penetrating polity that humankind have ever established. The organizing principles of the pre-modern international relations were more suitable for non-state action. World society conceptualization of the English School is adopted in order to develop this argument. As the existing accounts of the world society concept particularly concentrate on the possible effects of the values having the potential to be shared globally in the modern international society, they simply neglect interest-seeking and pre-modern forms of non-state action. For this reason, this dissertation makes a distinction between the value-based (ideational) and interest-seeking (functional) world society elements and analyzes their impact on the international system/society with respect to their aims. According to this distinction, functional world society elements only aim to control a specific sphere of international relations, while the ideational world society elements seek to reshape the core foundational principles of the international system/society. In order to support its main argument, the dissertation analyzes four distinct cases, namely the Roman Catholic Church, Amnesty International, the Hanseatic League, and International Chamber of Commerce, and compares them with each other. Main findings of the study show that the non-state dimension of international relations prevails against the state dimension in the pre-modern international relations.


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Citation Formats
A. O. Tepeciklioğlu, “A Re-assessment of the world society conceptualization,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2016.