Human Motivations and Political Action: Modeling Globalization for Trans-Disciplinary Conversation in International Studies
There are limits to the philosophical assumptions about human motivation, that have informed political analysis in Realism, and more recently, in the theories within International Studies that have attempted to take us beyond Realism. Still, the spirit of Realism pervades the main competing paradigms in International Political Economy, so that we have 'realisms' of markets, classes, individuals and genders, besides the realism of states, assumed in Realism. The neo-Liberal globalization of markets, production systems and their governing institutions, and the associated strategic and military activities of the sponsoring states, have stimulated other globalizations in response. These embrace agents whose actions are not easily explained in terms of the pursuit of Order, Wealth, Freedom and Justice, as done in different mixes, in Realism, neo-Liberal and Radical theories. I explore what other motivations might help us understand political action, and suggest a model that could organize the analysis of the combined impact of conscious and structural factors in social change globally. It could facilitate conversation across disciplines about the dynamics, not only of production and trade, or of competing authorities, but also of language, music, films and popular and religious discourses.
Keywords: Non-Material Motivation, Forms of Consciousness, Globalisation
Prof. Michael Allen
Associate Professor, Political Science, Director, Center of International Studies, Department of Political Science; Africana Studies; Center for International Studies, Bryn Mawr College