International System and Globalisation

  • Fabio de NardisEmail author


States coexist alongside other states with which they maintain relations of cooperation or conflict. Together they give life to the international political system which, even in the absence of a single sovereign authority, adopts a structure based on shared principles and rules. All states are nominally equal, but not all have the same weight in setting behavioural standards. There is therefore a hierarchy with the economically and militarily stronger states at the top. The international system is not completely anarchical. Between total anarchy and total hierarchy there are different intermediate formulas ranging from alliances between states to higher forms of integration, as happens in the case of international regimes or agreements between governments within an institutional framework. In the field of international relations, we can identify several schools that, on the one hand, stress conflict and inequality between states, and on the other hand, focus on cooperation and equality between states. The growing interdependence among actors, especially under the pressure of the processes of transnationalisation of the economy, has given rise to a global political system, where states are joined in the global arena by a series of non-state actors, such as large economic corporations and a myriad of non-governmental movements and organisations that, together, give meaning to a global civil society that acts on a local and sub-national level, as well as on a transnational level. In this context, governments face a series of challenges in the fields of safety, environmental sustainability, rights and knowledge that make the world a community of destiny. Environmental sustainability, international security and international migration are just some of the challenges facing international politics.


International politics International relations Globalisation Environmental sustainability Migration Security 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History, Society, and Human StudiesUniversity of SalentoLecceItaly

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