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date: 14 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the concept of the “embedded state” that illustrates how nation states have come to exert their authority within an internationalized authority structure comprised of international institutions and organizations. It begins with a historical overview of the reconfiguration of authority structures and documents the transition from the “sovereign state” to the “embedded state.” It next situates the metaphor of the “embedded state” within the scholarly debate about the changing authority relations between nation states and international institutions. It then demonstrates how state authority has been embedded in primarily state-controlled international institutions to manage international interdependence, along with the dramatic change in the authority of international institutions over the last 20 or 30 years. The chapter also considers the implications of the ensuing authority configuration for self-reinforcing and/or self-undermining institutional dynamics before concluding with directions for future research.

Keywords: embedded state, nation states, authority, international institutions, sovereign state, international interdependence

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