This theory (linked to Meyer 1980, 1997) draws attention to what we have in common rather than emphasizing difference. These similarities come about because of shared scripts or frames, that is, ways of doing things and ways of thinking about things. It is not quite the same as homogenization as there is still room for difference, so, as in world culture theory, world polity theory does not entail homogenization. It does acknowledge that actors are diverse. There is no ‘‘central actor [rather], the culture of world society allocates responsible and authoritative actorhood to nation states’’ (Meyer et al. 1997: 169). In this, world polity theory (WPT) can resemble an international approach (see realist paradigm). However states are not the only actors as they are not the only entities that can deploy the common frames and scripts which themselves help to legitimate the nation-state (Meyer 1980). Other actors include NGOs, voluntary associations and experts and even individuals. The relationship between actors and the polity can be explained in terms of structuration theory; that is, the relationship is recursive. The paradigm of the nation-state, education and health institutions

and the general supremacy of values of rationality and science are examples of ways of thinking that are global, regardless of important differences between regions and states. Adopting the model of a nation-state, for example, brings with it certain rights with respect to other nations, most significantly, sovereignty and territoriality. The model is globally recognized and adopted. The advantage of identifying such shared scripts and frames (which theoretically exist at a cognitive level) means that communication and action can take place even in the face of conflict. The organizational frame established post-WWII and the kinds of

actors it identifies are crucial in seeing WPTas a theory of globalization rather than simply a way of talking about internationalization. ‘‘The development and impact of global sociocultural structuration greatly intensified with the creation of a central world organizational frame at the end of World War II’’ (Meyer 1980: 163). The organizations that developed at this point play a central role in legitimating actors. The UN, for example, defines what counts as various actors (such as

NGOs). The end result is that actors tend to construct themselves in similar ways because, as WPT claims, all are drawing on the same models of thinking and legitimation. At the same time, the variety of actors and the ability to interpret shared models in different ways, by prioritizing different values, for example, means that there is still conflict, competition and conversation. For example, an NGO may interpret and champion protection of the environment in terms of progress and sustainability while a nation-state may argue for a particular dam in terms of economic progress and development.