In this article, I argue that contemporary theories of collective intentionality force us to think about anarchy in new and challenging ways. In the years since Wendt declared the state a person, the collective intentionality of groups has become the focus of important scholarship across the humanities and social sciences. But this literature will not sit easily with mainstream International Relations for two reasons. First, contemporary theories of collective intentionality are difficult to square with the idea that the personified state is an intentional agent, with first-person plural self-awareness and moral obligations. However, by contrast, the same theories make it eminently plausible for all sorts of other groups to be intentional, agential, moral persons and can tell us how states are constructed. In short, this set of theories radically pluralises and transforms standard political ontology while also accounting for common misperceptions. I push these insights further to argue that radical pluralisation suggests that anarchy may be the structural context for politics as such. What we know from mainstream International Relations theory is that politics without an orderer is well-ordered regardless. It may be time to recast these insights in order to demonstrate how complex pluralism is not chaos but anarchy.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1177/1755088217715789
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 62,343
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory.Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 1983 - University of Notre Dame Press.
After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory.Samuel Scheffler - 1983 - Philosophical Review 92 (3):443.

View all 30 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The New Anarchy: Globalisation and Fragmentation in World Politics.Philip G. Cerny & Alex Prichard - 2017 - Journal of International Political Theory 13 (3):378-394.
Why Anarchy Still Matters for International Relations: On Theories and Things.Silviya Lechner - 2017 - Journal of International Political Theory 13 (3):341-359.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Collective Intentionality.Deborah Tollefsen - 2004 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Beyond the Big Four and the Big Five.Frank Hindriks, Sara Rachel Chant & Gerhard Preyer - 2014 - In Sara Rachel Chant, Frank Hindriks & Gerhard Preyer (eds.), From Individual to Collective Intentionality. pp. 1-9.
Collective Memory.Kourken Michaelian & John Sutton - 2017 - In M. Jankovic & K. Ludwig (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Collective Intentionality. Routledge. pp. 140-151.
Collective Intentionality and Causal Powers.Dave Elder-Vass - 2015 - Journal of Social Ontology 1 (2):251–269.
Hard Problems of Intentionality.Marc Rowlands - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (3):741-746.


Added to PP index

Total views
19 ( #558,425 of 2,445,365 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #457,131 of 2,445,365 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes