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Forum : In the beginning there was no word (For It): Terms, concepts, and early sovereignty

Lopez, Julia Costa ; De Carvalho, Benjamin ; Latham, Andrew A. ; Zarakol, Ayse ; Bartelson, Jens LU and Holm, Minda (2018) In International Studies Review 20(3). p.489-519
Abstract

It is difficult to overstate the importance of the concept sovereignty for international relations (IR). And yet, understanding the historical emergence of sovereignty in international relations has long been curtailed by the all-encompassing myth of the Peace of Westphalia. While criticism of this myth has opened space for further historical inquiry in recent years, it has also raised important questions of historical interpretation and methodology relevant to IR, as applying our current conceptual framework to distant historical cases is far from unproblematic. Central among these questions is the when, what, and how of sovereignty: from when can we use "sovereignty" to analyze international politics and for which polities? Can... (More)

It is difficult to overstate the importance of the concept sovereignty for international relations (IR). And yet, understanding the historical emergence of sovereignty in international relations has long been curtailed by the all-encompassing myth of the Peace of Westphalia. While criticism of this myth has opened space for further historical inquiry in recent years, it has also raised important questions of historical interpretation and methodology relevant to IR, as applying our current conceptual framework to distant historical cases is far from unproblematic. Central among these questions is the when, what, and how of sovereignty: from when can we use "sovereignty" to analyze international politics and for which polities? Can sovereignty be used when the actors themselves did not have recourse to the terminology? And what about polities that do not have recourse to the term at all? What are the theoretical implications of applying the concept of sovereignty to early polities? From different theoretical and methodological perspectives, the contributions in this forum shed light on these questions of sovereignty and how to treat the concept analytically when applied to a period or place when/where the term did not exist as such. In doing so, this forum makes the case for a sensitivity to the historical dimension of our arguments about sovereignty-and, by extension, international relations past and present-as this holds the key to the types of claims we can make about the polities of the world and their relations.

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author
; ; ; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Concepts, Historical international relations, Sovereignty
in
International Studies Review
volume
20
issue
3
pages
31 pages
publisher
Oxford University Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:85054846035
ISSN
1521-9488
DOI
10.1093/ISR/VIY053
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
65d1fcd4-abfa-48fd-b1db-4867bea557d6
date added to LUP
2018-11-13 14:55:38
date last changed
2021-10-06 05:23:06
@article{65d1fcd4-abfa-48fd-b1db-4867bea557d6,
  abstract     = {<p>It is difficult to overstate the importance of the concept sovereignty for international relations (IR). And yet, understanding the historical emergence of sovereignty in international relations has long been curtailed by the all-encompassing myth of the Peace of Westphalia. While criticism of this myth has opened space for further historical inquiry in recent years, it has also raised important questions of historical interpretation and methodology relevant to IR, as applying our current conceptual framework to distant historical cases is far from unproblematic. Central among these questions is the when, what, and how of sovereignty: from when can we use "sovereignty" to analyze international politics and for which polities? Can sovereignty be used when the actors themselves did not have recourse to the terminology? And what about polities that do not have recourse to the term at all? What are the theoretical implications of applying the concept of sovereignty to early polities? From different theoretical and methodological perspectives, the contributions in this forum shed light on these questions of sovereignty and how to treat the concept analytically when applied to a period or place when/where the term did not exist as such. In doing so, this forum makes the case for a sensitivity to the historical dimension of our arguments about sovereignty-and, by extension, international relations past and present-as this holds the key to the types of claims we can make about the polities of the world and their relations.</p>},
  author       = {Lopez, Julia Costa and De Carvalho, Benjamin and Latham, Andrew A. and Zarakol, Ayse and Bartelson, Jens and Holm, Minda},
  issn         = {1521-9488},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {489--519},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {International Studies Review},
  title        = {Forum : In the beginning there was no word (For It): Terms, concepts, and early sovereignty},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ISR/VIY053},
  doi          = {10.1093/ISR/VIY053},
  volume       = {20},
  year         = {2018},
}