Matthew S. Weinert

World society has become something of a trope in International Relations (IR) theory to capture a web of relations between diverse actors operating outside the formal rubric of the state. One presupposition of world society and its cosmopolitan iterations is particularly problematic, as it concerns reciprocal, inter-human recognition. Given multiple practices and instances of dehumanization and misrecognition which undermine or deny the rights and status claims of certain ‘types’ of people – or even their claim to being human in the first place – we must turn this assumptive ideal of universal recognition into a question. How, this chapter asks, is recognition cultivated if it is not automatically bestowed? The chapter explores a set of processes that aid in the constitution of inter-human recognition. Because of their socio-political ramifications, these generative processes function as a first-order practice or, in IR theoretical terms, a primary, constitutive institution of world society conceived of as an inter-human society.

in Recognition and Global Politics