People hold a vast number of systematic conceptions (or fantasies) about the order of their immediate environment or even of the whole known world beyond it, including the possibilities of a world peace.
In PRIF Working Paper No. 21 "Zwischen Staatenwelt und Weltstaat: Zur Diskussion über Weltordnung und Weltfrieden", Gert Krell and Peter Schlotter focus on concepts that emerged in the modern Western world – with a few minor glances into history. They primarily examine political concepts or concepts in political science, however, with crosslinks to philosophy or sociology.
The authors discuss the more normative as well as the more descriptive-analytical concepts, among which some combine both approaches. All of them differ not only in their selection of major actors or central categories, but also in their evaluation of the intensity and the conflict-proneness of the process of globalization – even within certain theoretical traditions such as Marxism or Institutionalism. In general, the authors lean towards the more reserved interpretations of the chances for world society, a world state or world peace; they emphasize the role of individual states, especially the great powers, for the political order.
Dr Gert Krell is retired Professor of International Politics at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. During 1971 and 1977 he was a Research Fellow, from 1981 to 1995 Head of a Research Group at PRIF.
Dr Peter Schlotter is retired Professor of International Relations at the University of Heidelberg. From 1974 to 2005 he was a Research Fellow at PRIF.
This PRIF Working Paper is available as a free PDF download.