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Rethinking International Relations

Bertrand Badie

In this thought-provoking book, Bertrand Badie argues that the traditional paradigms of international relations are no longer sustainable, and that ignorance of these shifting systems and of alternative models is a major source of contemporary international conflict and disorder. Through a clear examination of the political, historical and social context, Badie illuminates the challenges and possibilities of an ‘intersocial’ and multilateral approach to international relations.
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Chapter 3: Territorialization and deterritorialization

Bertrand Badie


The Westphalian order has been mainly challenged in its territorial dimension. Decolonization brought to light other conceptions of space (tribal or imperial), while globalization still questions the relevance of state borderlines and cuts through all kinds of delimitation. The new communication technology makes sovereign separations inefficient, while traditional visions of space management come back and partly restructure the international order. This chapter revisits the territorial principle and asks: what does it mean? What does it imply from an IR point of view? What is the “deterritorialization process” that we can observe here and there? How does it explain some of the major changes in our present world system? What are the main “post-territorial trends” and how do they transform the present international arena?

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