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      Let's talk about the interregnum: Gramsci and the crisis of the liberal world order

      International Affairs

      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Abstract

          The liberal international order (LIO) is in crisis. Numerous publications, debates and events have time and again made it clear that we are in the midst of a grand transformation of world order. While most contributions focus on either what is slowly dying (the LIO) or what might come next (China, multipolarity, chaos?), there is less analytical engagement with what lies in between those two phases of world order. Under the assumption that this period could last years or even decades, a set of analytical tools to understand this interregnum is urgently needed. This article proposes an analytical framework that builds on Gramscian concepts of crisis that will help us understand the current crisis of the LIO in a more systematic way. It addresses a gap in the literature on changing world order by elaborating three Gramsci-inspired crisis characteristics—processuality, organicity and morbidity—that sketch the current crisis landscape in a systematic way. Building on this framework, the article suggests different empirical entry points to the study of the crisis of the LIO and calls for a research agenda that takes this crisis seriously as a distinct period of changing world orders.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          International Affairs
          Oxford University Press (OUP)
          0020-5850
          1468-2346
          May 2020
          May 01 2020
          May 01 2020
          May 2020
          May 01 2020
          May 01 2020
          : 96
          : 3
          : 767-786
          Article
          10.1093/ia/iiz254
          © 2020

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