Subordinates’ Quest for Recognition in Hierarchy

Change log

jats:p The scholarship on hierarchy held the promise of exposing conditions of systemic inequality in world politics. However, a significant strand of it approached the international order from above, privileging the perspective of dominant actors. I make the case for a from-below approach to hierarchical orders, recognising and accounting for understudied experiences in world politics, but also developing a more accurate understanding of hierarchy. Through a relational-sociological approach, I conceptualise hierarchy as a socially differentiated system predicated on recognition. The experience of misrecognition by way of normative and material constraints constitutes actors as subordinates. I propose a framework for subordinate actors’ navigation of hierarchy in quest of social recognition. I identify three strategies that subordinates employ, depending on the misrecognising constraints they counter (normative/material) and the recognition they seek (internal/external). Subordinates may engage in norm appropriation, alternative leveraging, and salvation from victimhood. I demonstrate the applicability of the framework by examining Egypt’s quest for recognition in the aftermath of the 2013 military coup. </jats:p>

Hierarchy, subordination, recognition
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Millennium: Journal of International Studies
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SAGE Publications