Debating Worlds: Contested Narratives of Global Modernity and World Order

Daniel Deudney, G. John Ikenberry, Karoline Postel-Vinay

Research output: Book/ReportBook

4 Scopus citations


In the late twentieth century, the narrative of universalization of Western liberal democratic modernity dominated the international scene. A few decades later, a new plurality of narratives has emerged, reflecting both a global redistribution of geopolitical power and deep political transformation within Western liberal societies. Each of the new, or most often reinvented, narratives combines stories of the past with understandings of the present and attractive visions of the future. They constitute “narratives of the global,” i.e. macro-stories that actors generate to make sense of their place in global integration and development and use to formulate a call for action or a specific agenda. Although competing narratives have always existed in world politics, today’s narrative plurality has become increasingly salient and problematic, challenging the possibility of global regulation of fundamental issues—such as health, energy, and climate change—in an era marked by planet-wide cascading interdependences. Understanding this challenge entails first to map the main narratives that are at play in the growing contestation of the present global order. It also implies a historically informed discussion of the key features of narratives of the global: the focus of this volume is to provide genealogies of the content of a set of narratives that have in common sweeping stories speaking to challenges and experiences of global modernity, and to illuminate the roles and impacts that agents acting on their basis have had in world politics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages302
ISBN (Electronic)9780197679302
ISBN (Print)9780197679319
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


  • global
  • global modernity
  • liberal internationalism
  • narrative
  • narrative plurality
  • world order


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