Emergent Actors in World Politics: How States and Nations Develop and Dissolve

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Princeton University Press, 1997 M06 12 - 258 pages

The disappearance and formation of states and nations after the end of the Cold War have proved puzzling to both theorists and policymakers. Lars-Erik Cederman argues that this lack of conceptual preparation stems from two tendencies in conventional theorizing. First, the dominant focus on cohesive nation-states as the only actors of world politics obscures crucial differences between the state and the nation. Second, traditional theory usually treats these units as fixed. Cederman offers a fresh way of analyzing world politics: complex adaptive systems modeling. He provides a new series of models--not ones that rely on rational-choice, but rather computerized thought-experiments--that separate the state from the nation and incorporate these as emergent rather than preconceived actors. This theory of the emergent actor shifts attention away from the exclusively behavioral focus of conventional international relations theory toward a truly dynamic perspective that treats the actors of world politics as dependent rather than independent variables.

Cederman illustrates that while structural realist predictions about unit-level invariance hold up under certain circumstances, they are heavily dependent on fierce power competition, which can result in unipolarity instead of the balance of power. He provides a thorough examination of the processes of nationalist mobilization and coordination in multi-ethnic states. Cederman states that such states' efforts to instill loyalty in their ethnically diverse populations may backfire, and that, moreover, if the revolutionary movement is culturally split, its identity becomes more inclusive as the power gap in the imperial center's favor increases.


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Terrorism & Invisible Balance of Power
In his book, “Invisible Balance of Power, US vs Islamic Militants: Dangerous Shift in International Relations”, published in 2005, Sajjad Shaukat has taken
present ‘different war’ as an interaction of ‘state terrorism’ led by the United States and the ‘group terrorism’ by the Al Qaeda or Islamic militants. It is notable that a number of authors have written books about the 9/11 tragedy, but ground realities developed in accordance with the book. After seeing the main title, some people think that the book is against the US or its western allies, but without any prejudice, he has discussed both the sovereign and non-sovereign entities on parallel lines in this research-based book. On the one hand, he has pointed out Al Qaeda’s ambush attacks, targeted killings, beheadings etc., while on the other, he has mentioned special operations by the US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and CIA-tortures cells in various Islamic countries. In this regard, missile strikes by the drones on Pakistan’s tribal areas and elsewhere amounts to state terrorism, which are being responded by the internal backlash…suicide attacks and hostage-takings by the Muslim radicals. Shaukat has proved that both the warring parties kill innocent civilians through ruthless terror.
Giving a number of references of the power-theorists like Machiavelli, Hobbes, Morgentahu etc. Shaukat has written that power factor or use of forces has failed in this different war which took origin from the privileged and unprivileged status quo led by the most developed states and the less developed countries respectively.
Besides, Shaukat has introduced new ideas about the issues relating to the Islamic ideology, Jehad, liberalism, Western world, terrorism, causes of suicide attacks etc.
Particularly, future observations of the author like a prolonged war, failure of military paradigm by the state actors in coping with the non-state actors, increase in US cost of war, rise of more terrorism, unsuccessful mission of NATO in Afghanistan, plane plot in UK, international financial crisis, warlike situation between America and Iran, Syria and Israel including other developments have proved correct.
Shaukat also gave positive suggestions to the US, but President Obama did not act upon them. Therefore war on terror has resulted into more implications as already predicted by the author. For example, he elaborated that Al Qaeda fighters have been creating economic instability in the world through their subversive acts, giving a blow to the larger economies of the US and the developed nations.
The book indicates that realism (power factor) must be reconciled with idealism, which is essential for world peace and geo-political interests of the US-led developed countries and those of the small countries by reforming the system of the UN.
It is due to the present scenario of war against terrorism—which already pointed out by the author that the publisher reprinted the book after seven years.
Main Title: Invisible Balance of Power
Author: Sajjad Shaukat -ISBN, 9690019589
Published by: Ferozsons, 60 Shahrah-i-Quaid-i-Azam, Lahore, Pakistan
Date of Publication: 2005
Pages: 245
Price: Rs. 495
Reprinted in 2013, Price: Rs. 595
Publisher’s Email: support@ferozsons.com.pk
Telephone: 0092 42 35712024
0092 42 35712276
Author’s Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

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Invisible Balance of Power Remains Applicable
Reviewed by Zaheer Ud Din
Despite their weak position, non-state actors, popularly called
Islamic militants have counterbalanced the power of the US-led powers, which have been facing a stiff resistance across other parts of the world in general and Afghanistan in particular. Unlike war against terrorism, the author; Sajjad Shaukat calls invisible balance of power by which he means that just like the system of balance of power, sub-national groups are checking the hegemony of the United States, most powerful state on the earth. Just as the ex-president Bush had named it a ‘different war’ against the militants, the author also proves it as a different balance of power. Failure of the US and its allies in coping with the non-state actors itself verifies the existence of invisible balance of power though different in action, but has the potential of creating a balance of power in a vacuum which emerged after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, when no major country or alliance of states had checked the world dominance of the sole superpower.
The author discusses the past theories of the political philosophers, and applies them to the ongoing different war which took origin from the privileged and unprivileged status quo led by the most developed states and the less developed countries. Sajjad elaborates that when political and economic injustices of the US-led powerful states rendered the governments of the small states helpless and when coercive diplomacy continued on the weak countries, the non-state actors started organizing themselves against America and its supported sovereign entities…which resulted in a different style conflict. Since 9/11, while pointing our various developments in the world such as invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, stiff resistance of the Islamic radicals there through bombasts and suicide attacks…as also noted in Uzbekistan, Philippines, Yemen and Saudi Arabia from time to time, the author has logically proved that both the sovereign and non-sovereign entities mostly use invisible tactics, ultimately causing panic in the respective societies. Besides ambush attacks and brutal acts by the Islamic insurgents, he equally explains the special military operations of the US and NATO forces and targeted killings including similar pattern by other state actors in the occupied territories of Kashmir, Palestine and Somalia. While giving examples of these small states, particularly Afghanistan and Iraq, the author indicates that “moral force” of Muslim militants has rendered the superior “physical force” of the US troopers obsolete because the holy warriors take a minimum amount of physical force and convert it to maximum amount of power due to the psychological impact by demoralization.
Sajjad has taken present ‘different war’ or ‘terrorism’ as an interaction of state terrorism led by the United States and the group terrorism by the Al Qaeda or Taliban. In both cases, innocent civilians become targets of ruthless terror. In this context, missile strikes by the CIA-operated drones on Pakistan’s tribal areas and elsewhere amounts state terrorism terrorism, which are being responded by the internal backlash…suicide attacks and hostage-takings by the militants.
Title: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations
Main Title: Invisible Balance of Power
Author: Sajjad Shaukat -ISBN, 9690019589
Published by: Ferozsons, 60 Shahrah-i-Quaid-i-Azam, Lahore, Pakistan
Year of Publication: 2005
Pages: 245
Reprinted: 2013
Price Rs. 595
Publisher’s Email: support@ferozsons.com.pk
Author’s Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com


Modeling Actors in World Politics
Defining the State and the Nation
From Reification to Emergence
An Overview of the Literature
Why Models Are Needed
Why Current Models Will Not Do the Trick
An Example of Geopolitical Overexrension
Modeling Nationalism
A Taxonomy of Nations and States
Three Types of Nationalism
Nationalist Mobilization and Coordination
Nationalist Mobilization
Modeling Political Mobiilization
Modeling Collective Action

Toward Richer Models
The Problem of Historical Contingency
The Problem of Methodological Individualism and Materialism
The Complex Adaptive Systems Approach
An Introduction to the Models
Emergent Polarity
Power Politics and Emergent Polarity
A Nontechnical Overview
Technical Specification
Hegemonic Takeoff
Regional Balancing
Extending the Emergent Polarity Model
Strategic Adaptation
Proportional Resource Allocation
TwoLevel Action
Historical Illustrations
Nationalist Coordination
An Ecological Model of Nationality Formation
Technical Specification
Simulation Results
Nationalist Coordination and the Formation of Yugoslavia
Conclusions for Theory and Policy
Closing the Metatheoretical Gap
Consequences for Policy

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About the author (1997)

Lars-Erik Cederman is University Lecturer in International Relations at Somerville College, University of Oxford. He has written for such publications as International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, and European Journal of International Relations.

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