Moral Authority and Status in International Relations: Good States and the Social Dimension of Status Seeking

Review of International Studies, Vol 44, No 3, 2018, pp. 526-546.

We develop scholarship on status in international politics by focusing on the social dimension of small and middle power status politics. This vantage opens a new window on the widely-discussed strategies social actors may use to maintain and enhance their status, showing how social creativity, mobility, and competition can all be system-supporting under some conditions. We extract lessons for other thorny issues in status research, notably questions concerning when, if ever, status is a good in itself; whether it must be a positional good; and how states measure it.



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