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Approaching the Global Polity

Morten Ougaard

CSGR Working Paper No. 42/99

October 1999




The world is becoming increasingly tightly organised politically and the global polity is emerging as a major research theme. Well defined conceptualisations and theoretical approaches have still to be developed but important contributions and insights are found in theories on regime-formation and institutionalisation, the literature on globalisation, convergence and diversity, neo-Gramscian world order analysis, internationalisation of the state and transnational and trans-governmental relations. The paper discusses main themes in these literatures and identifies promising avenues for further research, among them trans- governmental relations and transnational class-formation.


Finally the conceptualisation of the global polity is discussed and a definition suggested. The global polity is defined as the totality of global political structures and processes including non-state actors. It is further specified by three analytical aspects: a set of structured arenas, mechanisms for global policies, and embodiment of relations of power.


Keywords: Global polity, global governance, regimes, convergence, international institutions, internationalisation, globalisation, non-state actors, transnational class formation, internationalisation of the state.



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