In political analysis, micro refers to action of individuals and face to face groups, while all more encompassing aggregation are regarded as located at the macro level.

According to James N. Rosenau, at the present time, we are living in a high-complexity, high-dynamism period. This turbulence is overwhelming the three basic parameters of world politics -- the micro, the macro, and the intervening micro/macro.

The micro level of politics is being transformed by a "skill revolution," in which the analytic and emotional skill levels of adult, healthy citizens all around the world are increasing. People everywhere are more able to construct scenarios of where they fit in the world than were their grandparents.

The macro level of governance is marked by a bifurcation of global structures -- between the state-centered world of "sovereignty-bound" actors (states), and the multi-centric world of "sovereignty-free" nongovernmental actors. The states are still in business, and still important, but the multi-centric world now interacts with, competes with, and cooperates with the state-centered world.

The intervening (micro/macro) levels -- between individuals and authority structures -- are transformed by the increasing willingness of people to engage in collective action, and by the eroding authority of states. We move from authority structures that are in place to authority structures that are in crisis.

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  • Rosenau, James, N. (1990): Turbulence in world politics: A theory of change and continuity. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Rosenau, James, N. (1999) Citizenship in a changing global order. In James N. Rosenau & Ernst-Otto Czempiel (Eds.): Governance without government: Order and change in world politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.