To assume causation as a possible explanatory avenue is a cosy state of mind indeed, and it is in the interest of existing structures to maintain such cosiness. The variety of perspectives through which a situation can be observed leads one progressively to replace objective causation with other forms of connection. Thus, attribution, parallel distance, asymmetry etc are ways that currently float about, with the important feature of being uniquely incapable of replacing every other perspective and offer an adequate description of unity.
In such a draughty attributional format, where one observes causation without the possibility of conclusive proof, the one thing that international politics can do is abandon the theorisation of a hierarchical causal structure, its parts connected through direct control or even influence, and accept the multiplicity of differentiated realities. This can only mean that, however close one looks into causation, one can only come up with an attribution and this is all right. A reconceptualisation of distance, both in terms of causation and in terms of physicality, as the necessary enabler of development (in the evolutionary rather than the growth-targeting sense) is becoming increasingly more apparent in the international financial markets, where unpredictability (in the sense of perspectival cognitive isolation) is precisely the driving force behind the market itself.
What is more worrying is the public attribution of consequences to such a drive. In other words, and to put it in a slightly (certainly not radically) different parlance, does legitimacy need causation? And if so, is legitimacy a cosy state of mind too?