Public and Private Authority in Global Governance

Lecture Series "Beyond Anarchy: Rule and Authority in the International System"

Prof. David A. Lake,
University of California, San Diego

11 December 2013, 6.15pm
Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main
Campus Westend, Hörsaalzentrum HZ 8

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Abstract
The division of politics into domestic systems of hierarchy and effective political order and an international system of anarchy and weak political order is wrong, descriptively and analytically. Authority is not given or fixed, but is itself the product of politics. Public authorities embodied in states, nonstate authorities of many forms, and individuals alone and in groups struggle over their legitimate powers and areas of autonomy. Conceived as a political phenomenon, a proper understanding of authority dissolves the domestic-international divide from the inside out. Conversely, authority exists in myriad forms at all levels of politics, including by states over other states, by supranational entities, and by “private” actors. Equating all authority with the public or lawful authority of states, theorists have incorrectly assumed that the international system is anarchic or devoid of authority higher than states themselves. As globalization expands, the power and role of the various global authorities may also increase, if only to maintain existing levels of governance in a world of shared problems or, perhaps, to provide even greater order. The ultimate trajectory and outcome of this dynamic process is now unknown. But we can predict with certainty that, as political projects, global authorities will be increasingly objects of struggle and contestation. Revealing these global authorities, often of long-standing, further dissolves the domestic-international divide, this time from the outside in.

CV
David A. Lake is the Jerri-Ann and Gary E. Jacobs Professor of Social Sciences, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Associate Dean of Social Sciences, and Director of Yankelovich Center for Social Science Research at the University of California, San Diego. He has written widely in the field of international relations. Lake is the former chair of the International Political Economy Society and past President of the International Studies Association. The recipient of UCSD Chancellor’s Associates Awards for Excellence in Graduate Education and Excellence in Research, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006.

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