2. LEVELS of ANALYSIS

The notion of Images or levels of analysis so fundamental in international relations theory is an important element of lateral pressure theory, subject to major three departures from tradition. First is the introduction of a fourth level of analysis, namely the overarching global system encompassing the individual, the state, and the international levels. Second is the situation of the levels within three distinct but interconnected systems of interaction. And the third relates to the aggregation issue. The conventional practice is to point to the levels of analysis --beginning with the individual and moving up the level of aggregation -- a practice we shall follow in the remainder of this section in order to illustrate the logic of lateral pressure theory. However, feedback effects may generate “reversal effects”, that is, from the global system, to the international the state or the individual level.  While not fully articulated, the theory highlights the potentials and possibility of generativity, a feature that remains to be explored in international relations theory.