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The de-institutionalisation of power beyond the state

White, Jonathan (2022) The de-institutionalisation of power beyond the state. European Journal of International Relations, 28 (1). 187 - 208. ISSN 1460-3713

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Identification Number: 10.1177/13540661211053683


The making of modern authority centred on efforts to formalise and de-personalise power, and transnational orders such as the European Union have often been viewed as an extension of that project. As this article argues, recent developments tell a different story. More than a decade of crisis politics has seen institutions subordinated to and reshaped by individuals and the networks they form. Locating these tendencies in a wider historical context, the article argues that greater attention to informality in transnational governance needs to be paired with greater recognition of the normative questions it raises. Just as a separation between rulers and the offices of rule was central to the making of modern legal and political structures, the weakening of that separation creates legitimacy problems for contemporary authorities both national and supranational. Rather than acclaimed as flexible problem-solving, the step back from institutions should be viewed as a challenge to accountable rule.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2021 14:15
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2022 09:18

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