International Society Before the State


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Essay #: 055049
Total text length is 8,676 characters (approximately 6.0 pages).

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The beginning:
International Society Before the State
Part I: Annotation
Van Creveld’s fascinating project can be described in many ways, but one particularly fruitful approach is to situate it as an alternate history of sovereignty. After all, in the tradition of political philosophy begun by Hobbes, the story of sovereignty begins with the state (although there are precursors to particular formations of sovereignty in the covenants between God and ancient Israel, which Hobbes does not explicitly recognize as a state).
Along these lines, Van Creveld has a twofold interest: to give a historical account of sovereignty that sometimes predates the formation of states and at other times is a sort of parallel history (e.g. of modern-day chiefdoms that have...
The end:
.....tral Asia; however, none of these readings provided a theory of the regression of the state back into its atavistic components, which I would truly have enjoyed reading. Some recent work in law, such as that of Gerard Kreijen, is more informative about state failure.
Koprulu, Mehmet Fuat. The Origins of the Ottoman Empire.
Binghamton, NY: SUNY Press, 1992.
Kreijen, Gerard. State Failure, Sovereignty and Effectiveness.
Amsterdam: Martinus Nijhoff, 2004.
Spruyt, Hendrik. The Sovereign State and its Competitors.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996.
Van Creveld, Martin. The Rise and Decline of the State.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Watson, Adam. The Evolution of International Society. London:
Routledge, 1992.