The concept of globalisation fundamentally challenges the methodological territorialism that has long defined the parameters of social research. Nowhere is the encounter between the social sciences and globalisation better illustrated than in the discipline of international relations which, as the ‘international’ prefix connotes, takes nation states as the locus of the world’s power, authority and, hence, governance. This chapter contends that the novelty of globalisation for the social world and social research lies in its specification as an ‘ation’ not a ‘nation’. Whereas ‘national’ perspectives proceed on the premise that governance is synonymous with governments, globalisation as an ‘ation’ makes no prior assumptions about the sources of power, authority and governance but instead deems them a matter for empirical interrogation. These investigations have produced new, or lent credence to existing, frameworks and vocabularies that seek to depict the fluidity and messiness of governance in a globalised world. The chapter concludes by considering the merits of three such frameworks: multilevel governance; transgovernmental networks; and neo-medievalism.
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