Chaos and Governance

The blog Chaos and Governance has a series of posts on Francis Fukuyama’s book Origins of Political Order. Good throughout.

Here’s a worthwhile point:

I was slightly disappointed how rarely the idea of the ‘struggle for recognition’ comes up in the book. Fukuyama is a well known for his Hegelian view that the search for recognition – reciprocal acknowledgement by one’s peers – is the driving force in human history. Yet the idea only has a walk on part in this book, with the biological drive to favour friends and family doing the heavy lifting.

Though Fukuyama has tilted to sociobiology away from Hegelianism, I did not find it too disappointing.

Here’s another germane point:

I’m not really sure how separable the rule of law and political accountability in Fukuyama’s narrative. … it is difficult to think of a state with political accountability (which we might define as the ability of corporate actors representing both elite and subordinate social classes to constrain the state) in which the rule of law was unknown.

Much more there.

My own take on Fukuyama is here at Reviews in History.

Plus, C&G’s author has an article on dimensions of inequality in the world order arguing that there are five axes of asymmetry, namely:

  • inter-state political hierarchy; (i.e. national power)
  • secular socioeconomic development within societies; (i.e. level of development)
  • global stratification within the world economy; (i.e. core and periphery)
  • the dynamic of competitive development; (i.e. geopolitical pressures from the more advanced)
  • the process of overall collective management and supranational governance of the international system/global order (i.e. influence in rule-setting)

I agree with the idea of multiple, overlapping disparities in stratification. But I would add that there are other kinds of asymmetry among societies and civilizations besides these five, such as levels of cultural creativity or innovation.

Nicholas Lees, ‘The dimensions of the divide: vertical differentiation, international inequality and North–South stratification in international relations theory’ Cambridge Review of International Affairs (2012) 25: 2, 209-30. Here.


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  1. Pingback: Breviosity on Fukuyama « Chaos and Governance

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