Best Article in the European Journal of International Relations 2023

The winner of the EISA´s Best Article in EJIR 2023 is Jonathan White from the London School of Economics and Political Science “The De-institutionalisation of Power beyond the State”.


The abstract of  the article:

The making of modern authority centred on efforts to formalise and de-personalise power, and transnational orders such as the European Union have often been viewed as an extension of that project. As this article argues, recent developments tell a different story. More than a decade of crisis politics has seen institutions subordinated to and reshaped by individuals and the networks they form. Locating these tendencies in a wider historical context, the article argues that greater attention to informality in transnational governance needs to be paired with greater recognition of the normative questions it raises. Just as a separation between rulers and the offices of rule was central to the making of modern legal and political structures, the weakening of that separation creates legitimacy problems for contemporary authorities both national and supranational. Rather than acclaimed as flexible problem-solving, the step back from institutions should be viewed as a challenge to accountable rule.


The committee comment :

“The prize committee found that the article presents a path-breaking argument about the normative costs of informality in world politics. It renews our understanding of how and why power was institutionalized and what happens when it is de-institutionalized. The article shows clearly how informality erodes power’s accountability and what this means for governance in general and for sovereignty, in particular”.