By adhering to a state-centred approach, and placing such stringent conditions on the detection of transformation, these writers may be ignoring the emergence of a parallel arrangement of political interaction, one that does not take anarchy or self-help as central organising principles, but is focused on the self-conscious constructions of networks of knowledge and action, by decentred, local actors, that cross the reified boundaries of space as though they were not there. This arrangement, or * global civil society', is not new. Indeed, it is difficult to determine its origins, but it may already have done much to modify and dampen the conflictual nature of a socially constructed anarchy.5 Significant today, however, is the growing 'density' and visibility of global civil society and its impact on the socially constructed realm of international politics. A number of writers have raised the notion of global civil society, in one form or another. Hedley Bull speculated on a 'new mediaevalism';6 James N. Rosenau has written about 'sovereignty-free actors';7 and the terms 'international civil

that had not been captured or colonised by the totalitarian state.13 In what used to be called 'the West', the idea that one might even think about civil society in similar terms has always been a non-starter. Yet, in a sense, even societies in the West have been 'colonized' by their states. First, in the sense that the state has taken control of certain political realms, such as foreign policy. As a result, the notion that foreign policy could be conducted autonomously of a state's bureaucratic apparatus has little credence, either in terms of effectiveness or legitimacy.14 Indeed, the idea that the international state system is the place where politics across borders happens has delegitimised even the conceptual possibilities of political action outside of a state framework. Second, as a consequence of this statist monopoly, in liberal economies only the realm of consumption has been left to civil society: one's politics are what one consumes - thus to consume 'Green' products is to be a 'Green'.. However, as I will argue below, it is the very homogeneity and pervasiveness of this consumer culture - and its extension to institutionalised politics as an historical process — that has opened up a political space for the revival of civil society.15