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Violence and Civilization in the Western States-Systems


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  • Date Published: January 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316608333

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About the Authors
  • Andrew Linklater's The Problem of Harm in World Politics (Cambridge, 2011) created a new agenda for the sociology of states-systems. Violence and Civilization in the Western States-Systems builds on the author's attempts to combine the process-sociological investigation of civilizing processes and the English School analysis of international society in a higher synthesis. Adopting Martin Wight's comparative approach to states-systems and drawing on the sociological work of Norbert Elias, Linklater asks how modern Europeans came to believe themselves to be more 'civilized' than their medieval forebears. He investigates novel combinations of violence and civilization through a broad historical scope from classical antiquity, Latin Christendom and Renaissance Italy to the post-Second World War era. This book will interest all students with an interdisciplinary commitment to investigating long-term patterns of change in world politics.

    • Develops a new perspective on world politics by analyzing the relationship between imperatives to increase and control the power to harm
    • Analyzes the relationship between violence and civilization from classical antiquity to the contemporary era
    • Promotes new linkages between process sociology and international relations which will appeal to those in support of closer ties between international relations as well as greater interdisciplinarity
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    • Winner, 2017 International Ethics Section Book Award, International Studies Association

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Using a masterful synthesis of Elias's process sociology and Wight's comparative states-systems, Linklater gives us an eye-opening history lesson on how the civilizing process worked at both the domestic and international levels to embed restraints on violence. In this long anticipated second volume of his trilogy on harm, he surveys nothing less than the history of Western civilization to provide the empirical evidence for his case that we have made progress.' Barry Buzan, Emeritus Professor of International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science

    'In one monumental, breath-taking volume Andrew Linklater has synthesised Eliasian historical sociology with English School IR theory and has created something of epic proportions that I doubt Norbert Elias or Martin Wight could have achieved. This book is not simply a worthy heir to Elias's 2-volume masterpiece, The Civilizing Process, but its brilliance is such that it should take its rightful place alongside Michael Mann's first volume of The Sources of Social Power and Immanuel Wallerstein's first volume of The Modern-World System.' John M. Hobson, University of Sheffield

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316608333
    • length: 576 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.92kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The Hellenic city-states system
    2. New territorial concentrations of power in antiquity
    3. The international relations of Latin Christendom
    4. The Renaissance city-state system
    5. The European states-system and the idea of civilization
    6. Cruelty and compassion in the Age of Empire
    7. Enlightenment thought and global civilization
    8. Total warfare and decivilizing processes
    9. Modernity, civilization and the Holocaust
    10. Sovereignty, citizenship and humanity in the global civilizing process
    11. Process sociology, civilization and international society

  • Author

    Andrew Linklater, Aberystwyth University
    Andrew Linklater is Woodrow Wilson Professor of International Politics at Aberystwyth University, a Fellow of the British Academy and a member of the Academy of Social Science and the Learned Society of Wales. He has published extensively on theories of international relations and on the importance of process sociology for the study of international society. His previous books include Men and Citizens in the Theory of International Relations (1982), Beyond Realism and Marxism (1990), The Transformation of Political Community (1998), The English School of International Relations, co-authored with Hidemi Suganami (Cambridge, 2010) and The Problem of Harm in World Politics (Cambridge, 2011).


    • Winner, 2017 International Ethics Section Book Award, International Studies Association

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