Westphalia at the Edge of Chaos? The Nation-State and the 9/11 Frontiers of Change

  • Felipe Canlas III


This article looks at the impact of 9/11 on International Relations theorizing, examining specifically the claim that events following the 9/11 attacks have necessitated the creation of a “new” international order far different from the one established based on the norms of Westphalia. The article contextualizes the discussion on the new breed of international terrorism within the debate over the prospects of a “new” international order as explained by post-9/11 theorists. The article concludes that the changes trumpeted by the same scholars as heralding the coming of a new post 9/11 international order are not revolutionary as proclaimed. Instead, these are actually evolutionary in nature and thus, do not result in a complete change in the international system.


Westphalian system; state; international relations theory