Sovereignty norms establish a largely "juridical statehood," for instance, in Africa, which becomes a key political resource for these states within the interstate system.(69) And David Strang has shown that states externally recognized as sovereign show less movement between independent, dependent, and unrecognized statuses than do states not so recognized.(70)
Another body of scholarship, poststructural international relations theory, pursues a radical constructivist position. Beginning with the work of Richard Ashley,(71) poststructuralists have focused on how state identities are, down to their core, ongoing accomplishments of discursive practices. Crucial among these practices is foreign policy, which produces and reproduces the territorial boundaries that seem essential to the state.(72)
Neo-realism's disregard of questions of identity formation, and classical realism's emphasis on the power-seeking interests of states as a function of human, rather than male, nature have given feminist critiques of realism a dual target. In the words of Ann Tickner, "in the name of universality, realists have constructed a worldview based on the experiences of certain men: it is therefore a worldview that offers us only a partial view of reality."(73) In both of its incarnations, realism seeks to articulate objective and timeless laws--the will to power and the tendency to balance power--that feminist critics argue reflect a deeply gendered view of reality. Relativizing that view, feminist theory insists, is a crucial first step in eventually transforming it.(74)
Like feminism, a fourth theoretical perspective that fits into the upper-right quadrant also is not state-centric, and perhaps for that reason is not well known in international relations scholarship. This is the sociological research that John Meyer and his colleagues have done on the world polity.(75) This group has focused on the ideological and institutional foundations of world society as opposed to the society of states.(76) A parallel concern is quite natural to students of domestic affairs, who analyze the social embeddedness of states and markets as a crucial feature of national politics. And it resonates partly with theories of transnational relations that have informed international relations research during the last two decades.(77)
This body of empirical research has focused on a world political Ideology, carrying standardized models of statehood. The spread of democratic ideologies and market models provides obvious examples, along with the underlying consolidation of regional and even global ideologies of citizenship and human rights.(78) Even states' military procurement is partly scripted in models of statehood that diffuse widely in the world system. Adoption of such evolving world models has shown a weakening relationship over time with specific characteristics of particular states, which indicates conventionalization and in some instances even institutionalization...