Social Mobility in the Global Order
Rising Powers and the Convertibility of Capitals
World politics is characterized by a multiplicity of competition over valued goods. We explore how and to what degree states are able to convert gains in one field of competition into gains in another. Drawing loosely on Bourdieu's theory of capital, we conceptualize the 'rise' of states as social mobility within a multi-dimensional stratification and zoom in on the degree of convertibility of capital across these dimensions. We argue that this degree is shaped by politics of capital conversion that set and institutionalize certain conversion rates. Using the BRICS states as empirical example, we highlight the centrality of institutions as both sites and means in the political struggles over the adaptation of global order to social mobility.