Waltz, durkheim, and international relations: The international system as an abnormal form

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Abstract

Drawing on Emile Durkheim'm Division of Labor in Society, I offer a typology of international systems. Previous uses of Durkheim to describe international systems suffer a number of conceptual errors and therefore are at variance with the spirit and intention of Durkheim'm work. A deeper reading of Durkheim usefully draws attention to the moral basis for society and thus the problems with defining international systems solely in terms of power distributions. Further, rereading Durkheim offers a much richer typology than the simple distinction between mechanical and organized societies, affording in turn fresh insights into change in the international system. The abnormal forms of the division of labor offer the best description of the contemporary international system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-680
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Volume89
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1995

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