World society as collective identity: world society, international society, and inclusion/exclusion from Europe
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In a world of regions, inside/outside dynamics—the identity politics of international society—are effectively reinstated. Accounting for these dynamics from an English School (ES) perspective requires, first, prior clarification of the place and role of the concept of identity in ES theory. Constitutive of society in both inter-state and inter-human domain, of international and world society, respectively, identity arguably is key to social structural ES theorising. This is visible in, second, the (in-)congruence of identities across domains, constellations of international and world society, instilling a state with the desire for belonging. Induced in this way is the ‘movement’ of a state in international society, triggering the identity politics of (regional) international society. This is illustrated, third, by the patterns of inclusion and exclusion currently on display at the Eastern boundary of the contemporary European society of states that transpire as the result of ‘neighbourhood’ states aspiring to join ‘Europe’.