Mar 26 2020

PDF | On Aug 1, , Harvey Starr and others published Turbulence in World Politics: A Theory of Change and Continuity. By James N. Rosenau. (Princeton. Turbulence in World Politics is an entirely new Turbulence in World Politics: A Theory of Change and Continuity. JAMES N. ROSENAU. Copyright Date. Book Review: Turbulence in World Politics, James. N. Rosenau. Harvey Starr. University of South Carolina, [email protected] Follow this and .

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Today, however, such extensions have become common practice. I politcis the reason is that many do, rlsenau, remain trapped in conceptual jails that do not include propositions allowing for change. In considering these various dilemmas and how ultimately I will choose my way among them, I, of course, wonder whether you have ever experienced unease with the routes you chose or the positions you chose to assume, and have you ever felt any pressures to go a certain way?

I want rosdnau last paper or book to be the social science equivalent of a home run. I myself feel inept jamrs this regard and am quite convinced that no amount of diligence could fully retool me as a skilled producer of mathematical studies of international phenomena. That is a primary weak- ness of the realist paradigm, but it is also true of other approaches.

Your insights are well taken, except that your comments tend to be overreactions to the label I used. No longer is it possible simply to ascribe developments as the consequence of state actions and the exercise of state sovereignty. The future of politics If the foregoing analysis of the underlying dynamics jamee the emergent epoch is reasonably accurate, a broad outline of the nature and direction of politics in the future can be readily derived.

In sum, it follows that while you may still be a newcomer, I urge you to resist the pressures of colleagues, either the pressures that push you to yield to their ways or those that encourage you to opt for approaches which need defense.

I know I made such a statement in my intellectual autobiography kames is Chapter 19 in Distant Proximities, but on second thought that may be inaccurate. The index neither lists any variant of the terminality concept nor refers to hierarchies of loyalties.

With ever more skillful publics converging into ever greater numbers of networks and organizations, with people on the move ever more extensively, and with global structures jwmes bifurcated, it seems likely that the contradictory trends toward greater integration and greater fragmenta- tion will continue to accelerate.

James N Rosenau

Reprinted here by permission. Considerate and kindly paternalism is apparently no match for the self-doubt and perhaps self-pity that the graduate student thrusts in his own way. More accur- ately, analyses cast in a conventional linear framework seem bound to fall short in terms of capturing the interactive, high-speed nature of the phenomena of interest. Jwmes of the present era are situations where what seems remote also seems close-at-hand, “thereby compelling individuals and collectivities alike to cope continuously with the challenge of distant proximities” The third variable could be that of East European culture, wherein one compares the Communist states of that region with other Communist states that do not have a common geographic locale and shared historical experiences.


And increasingly it has become an enterprise administered separately from the other established social science disciplines. Equally important, the conceptual gap is by-passed because of the number and variety of sources turbulnece contribute to and sustain the processes of fragmegration. Chiefs of State simply do not reverse years worlr political socialization and commitment, we would have retorted to an obstreperous graduate student who naively suggested that progress in the Middle East might result from some leader breaking with precedent and undertaking to talk directly with his adversaries.

I think the answer to all three of dorld questions is roughly the same. The risks for me personally are not very great, partly because few will probably read my confessions chapter and partly because I am too near the end of my career and too set in my ways for such risks to be relevant.

This on refers to processes of a particular sort, and not to values or structures. It is possible, in other words, to distinguish between independent dynamics that give rise to true polarizations and inter- dependent dynamics that only appear to be polarizing.

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This type constitutes “a hybrid structure in which the dynamics of governance are so intricate and overlapping among the several levels as to form a singular, weblike process that, like a mobius, neither begins nor culminates at any level or at any point in time Ascribing change to such developments is easy, but in assessing the dur- ability of the changes, or discerning the early indicators of regime, alliance, situational, or market collapses, our conceptual equipment is rudimentary, if not altogether lacking.

It sounds trite, but the best way is to be yourself intellectually, wherever that may lead you. Partly habit, both on the part of analysts and the orientations of citizens, who are seen as so locked into historical and habitual ways that their ultimate identities and loyal- ties are never treated as problematic. The new US Department of Homeland Security may be a portent of change in the direction of agencies that embrace both domestic and foreign challenges.

It is certainly not the case that I always planned to move in new direc- tions once I got tenure. Even if others are impressed by imaginative insights, varied footnotes, elaborate graphs, and tight organization, he knows that this is only the appearance of reliability, not the substance of it. You, of course, have certainly not been one to shy away from change and transformation.

So yes, I still regard it as my best book, though I am also very proud of those that followed. On the other hand, the bifurcation of global structures makes it seem highly improbable that formal governmental institutions will evolve on a worldwide scale.

Contemporary digital technologies enable individuals to greatly expand the range of their interpersonal relationships beyond face-to-face contacts jaems to participate in the formation and enlargement of groups in an ever more networked world, what Castells refers to as the “network society”. If the mysteries of a fragmegrative world are to be fathomed, we cannot shy away from the methodological questions on the grounds of inexperience.


In a discipline like IR, more so than in most other disciplines, we are issue-bound; we need to try and understand things as they happen. It has always seemed to me, for example, that the US intervention in Vietnam was founded on the premise that since such an intervention worked jzmes Korea, a similar outcome could be expected in Vietnam, an analogy that clearly proved to be inaccurate.

This seems to spell jmaes dilemma for the discipline in that those most poised to make changes the newcomers are in the worst position to do so because they lack widespread legitimacy or name-recognition. One need only consider the obvious example of recent years: It is useful to ask students of the Communist world — even politkcs who do not have a comparative state of mind, but would be interested in seeing where it might lead — what kind of variables are of interest?

On balance, however, the overlap of the two volumes is not nearly so salient as the distinctions between them. Hence, normally those who use them must overcome both the inhibitions against mathematics that are frequently instilled early in life and the gaps in training that widen as the inhibitions deepen. In his first writings in the field, he argued that the growing uncertainty in world politics arises from turbulence.

But conceivably others, fearing their disciplinary perspectives will be undermined if they broaden their horizons, will alter their organizing premises without doing so in the context of global dynamics. Furthermore, collective action may not be the only consequence of micro inputs, as is illustrated by the increasing frequency of individual hackers breaking into and paralyzing computer systems. If it does not seem very central to you, but if the idea of comparing Bulgaria and Romania does, then your interest would seem to be in cultural variables — those having to do with Eastern Europe, making Bulgaria and Rumania more worth comparing than Bulgaria and Cuba.


IR is not inherently founded on inquiries into political matters. But they do provide powerful instruments with which to probe certain kinds of problems. At some point one has to face the question of whether what seems like a never-ending journey is, in fact, coming to an end and, if so, when wofld acknowledge that it is over. The axioms are derived either systematically or impres- sionistically from observation, but however they are derived, once they are linked together in a model rigorous logic takes over and the ensuing analysis is governed by relationships inherent in the mathematics employed rather than by those per- ceived to be operating empirically.