1. The concept of heterarchy provides a lens for understanding the complex issues that define world politics.
2. Heterarchy is defined as the coexistence and conflict between differently structured micro- and meso- quasi-hierarchies that compete and overlap across borders, economic-financial sectors, and social groupings.
3. The book examines how power and authority are diffused throughout the international system, the importance of nonstate actors in influencing international outcomes, and how states are under stress from external forces of globalization and internal forces of fragmentation.
The article provides an overview of the concept of heterarchy in world politics, which is defined as “the coexistence and conflict between differently structured micro- and meso- quasi-hierarchies that compete and overlap not only across borders but also across economic-financial sectors and social groupings” (4). The article does a good job of summarizing the main themes discussed in the book Heterarchy in World Politics, including power diffusion throughout the international system, the influence of nonstate actors on international outcomes, and how states are under stress from external forces of globalization as well as internal forces of fragmentation.
The article is generally reliable in its presentation of these themes; however, it could be improved by providing more evidence to support its claims about power diffusion throughout the international system, particularly with regard to nonstate actors’ influence on international outcomes. Additionally, while it does mention some potential risks associated with heterarchy such as increased complexity or decreased state control over policymaking decisions, it fails to explore other potential risks such as increased inequality or decreased accountability for those making policy decisions. Finally, while it does provide some counterarguments to prevailing IR theories such as realism or institutionalism which assume a unitary state actor, it fails to explore other counterarguments such as those presented by critical theorists who argue that states are not necessarily unitary actors but rather sites where multiple interests intersect.