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Revolutions in Sovereignty : How Ideas Shaped Modern International Relations - Daniel Philpott

Revolutions in Sovereignty

How Ideas Shaped Modern International Relations

Paperback Published: 25th February 2001
ISBN: 9780691057477
Number Of Pages: 339

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How did the world come to be organized into sovereign states? Daniel Philpott argues that two historical revolutions in ideas are responsible. First, the Protestant Reformation ended medieval Christendom and brought a system of sovereign states in Europe, culminating at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Second, ideas of equality and colonial nationalism brought a sweeping end to colonial empires around 1960, spreading the sovereign states system to the rest of the globe. In both cases, revolutions in ideas about legitimate political authority profoundly altered the "constitution" that establishes basic authority in the international system.

Ideas exercised influence first by shaping popular identities, then by exercising social power upon the elites who could bring about new international constitutions. Swaths of early modern Europeans, for instance, arrived at Protestant beliefs, then fought against the temporal powers of the Church on behalf of the sovereignty of secular princes, who could overthrow the formidable remains of a unified medieval Christendom. In the second revolution, colonial nationalists, domestic opponents of empire, and rival superpowers pressured European cabinets to relinquish their colonies in the name of equality and nationalism, resulting in a global system of sovereign states. Bringing new theoretical and historical depth to the study of international relations, Philpott demonstrates that while shifts in military, economic, and other forms of material power cannot be overlooked, only ideas can explain how the world came to be organized into a system of sovereign states.

"This convincing portrait show how power and ideas together shape international relations."--John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs

Tables and Figuresp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Revolutions in Sovereigntyp. 1
Introduction: Revolutions in Sovereigntyp. 3
The Constitution of International Societyp. 11
A Brief History of Constitutions of International Society in the Westp. 28
How Revolutions in Ideas Bring Revolutions in Sovereigntyp. 46
The Founding of the Sovereign States System at Westphaliap. 73
Westphalia as Originp. 75
The Origin of Westphaliap. 97
The Power of Protestant Propositionsp. 123
The Revolution of Colonial Independence: the Global Expansion of Westphaliap. 151
Ideas and the End of Empirep. 153
The End of the British Empire: Cashing Out the Promise of Self-Governmentp. 168
Revolutionary Ideas in the British Coloniesp. 190
Britain's Burden of Empirep. 203
The Fall of Greater Francep. 220
The Revolutions Considered Togetherp. 251
Conclusion: Two Revolutions, One Movementp. 253
Notesp. 263
Bibliographyp. 309
Indexp. 331
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691057477
ISBN-10: 0691057478
Series: Princeton Studies in International History and Politics
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 339
Published: 25th February 2001
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.5