Struggles for Recognition: The Liberal International Order and the Merger of its Discontents

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The Liberal International Order (LIO) is currently undermined not only by states such as Russia but also by voters in the West. We argue that both veins of discontent are driven by resentment towards the LIO’s status hierarchy, rather than just economic grievances. Approaching discontent historically and sociologically, we show that there are two strains of recognition struggles against the LIO: one in the core of the West, driven by populist politicians and their voters, and one on the semi-periphery, fuelled by competitively authoritarian governments and their supporters. At this particular moment in history, these struggles are digitally, ideologically and organisationally interconnected in their criticism of LIO institutions, amplifying each other. The LIO is thus being hollowed out from within at a time when it is also facing some of its greatest external challenges.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Organization
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - Populism, Recognition, International Relations Theory, West, Russia, Digital, Liberalism, Liberal international order, Authoritarianism, Stigma, Deviance, semi-periphery, Discontent, International Relations, global governance, Rising powers, Identity, Sovereignty, Nationalism

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