Oct 30, 2023
Multiplicity and Inter-societal Coexistence in International Relations

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In the context of IR, Multiplicity emerged as a research programme in 2015 and has since given rise to a Carr lecture, journal forums (such as the current issue of Globalizations), and a round table event at the EISA conference in 2019. Nonetheless, it remains a debated term.


Multiplicity is a promising new common ground in international relations (IR) and deserves wider recognition. Since its emergence in 2015, it has given rise to a Carragher Lecture, a journal forum in Globalizations and an EWIS conference session. In addition, it is now being increasingly explored by scholars from diverse backgrounds and in a wide range of international studies fields.

This section offers a broad inventory of multiplicity across a range of sectors/products and discusses its implications for CSR policy, GVC governance and the role of lead firms in multi-standard supply chains. It identifies three types of multiplicity – implementation/monitoring, competitive and societal multiplicity and explores their consequences for various market actors (see Table II).

Implementation multiplicity concerns the effects on the efficiency of standards’ implementation and monitoring. In particular, it increases the costs for market actors that are subject to multiple standardizations and may result in overlapping or even incongruently duplicating implementation/monitoring policies at producer facilities. This type of multiplicity also raises fears of a race to the bottom in which standards become more lenient to attract firms, thereby undermining overall effectiveness of standards.

Inter-societal coexistence

As in non-human ecological communities, groups with competing interests in a shared landscape can coexist sustainably only if direct competition is limited and competitive advantage equalized. The latter depends on how much the members value cultural pluralism, whether formal and informal social institutions provide equity, and whether people are flexible enough to adjust to change.

Similarly, conflict and peacebuilding efforts can help engender inter-societal coexistence in post-conflict and fragile environments. These initiatives include dialogue and exchange, problem-solving workshops, peace education, media campaigns to reframe the ‘other’, and so on. They may also involve the creation of spaces for interaction without violence and the building of new ties between different communities in professional, family, and friendship settings. These endeavours may be supported by a range of actors, from the local to the international, at the centre and periphery of societies. Moreover, they should seek to generate interactions that are proactive rather than reactive and foster discourses (i.e., political, pedagogical, artistic) that promote inter-societal coexistence.

Inter-disciplinary research

The term inter-disciplinary is used to describe research that utilizes the approaches of several established disciplines or traditional fields of study. It is also a term used to refer to teaching and learning pedagogies that connect different academic schools of thought, professions or technologies in the pursuit of common objectives.

Interdisciplinary research may involve using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. It may also involve combining research from multiple sources and bringing them together in a coherent manner to form a complete explanation.

Some argue that the goal of interdisciplinary research is to transcend disciplines. They see the disciplinary silos of knowledge as problematic both epistemologically and politically. This view of interdisciplinarity may be influenced by critiques of the dominance of academic knowledge within society and demands for social justice.

The international beyond IR

The Active M International Equity Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation through a diversified portfolio of primarily non-U.S. equity securities and related income. It may be appropriate for investors who are aware that investing in foreign markets entails additional risks, such as social and political instability, reduced market liquidity and currency volatility.

The vast majority of international relations (IR) theories were developed mainly in response to Eurocentric concerns. As a result, they have little to say about what happens in the world’s other 80%. By deconstructing leading schools of critical IR theory – Gramscianism, postmodernism and feminism – to reveal their frequent lapsing into Eurocentrism, this article seeks to re-imagine a more robustly anti-Eurocentric critical IR by steering it in fresh non-Eurocentric directions. This is done through deploying an ‘inclusive knowledge futures’ analytical framework that mainstreams a number of profound Africa based philosophies (henceforth Afric-rhektology). In doing so it can also help decolonise the current order in IR studies.

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