Family Matters: Exploring the Role of Families as an Independent Level of Analysis in International Politics

13 December 2023, Version 1
This content is an early or alternative research output and has not been peer-reviewed at the time of posting.


This article introduces a novel perspective in the field of international relations by proposing the family as an independent level of analysis, alongside the traditional individual, state, and international system levels. The paper argues that families exert a significant, yet underappreciated, influence on international politics through their unique dynamics and networks. The theoretical framework integrates insights from family studies, sociology, and international relations to reconceptualize the role of families in global governance. Through a series of diverse case studies—including royal family diplomacy, family structures in conflict resolution, and transnational family networks—the paper illustrates the multifaceted impact of family ties on state behavior and international relations. The findings reveal that family dynamics play a crucial role in shaping diplomatic relations, global economic policies, and human rights discourse. By acknowledging the family as a distinct level of analysis, this work seeks to enrich the understanding of international affairs.


International Relations
Family Level of Analysis
Global Governance
Family Dynamics
Conflict Resolution
Transnational Networks
Royal Families
Gender Dynamics
Family Reunification Policies
Family Businesses
International Trade
Human Rights
Policy Recommendations


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