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A non-sovereign modernity: Attempts to engineer stability in the Balkans 1820-1890
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2013 (English)In: Review of International Studies, ISSN 0260-2105, E-ISSN 1469-9044, Vol. 39, no 2, 337-359 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Social theory almost invariably equates modernity with the sovereign state. This equation must be nuanced because the modern era and modern strategies of international stability have contained non-sovereign units. In the nineteenth century, the Great Powers tried to create international stability by engineering forms of rule in Europe. These strategies built on distinctively modern ideas: the possibility of radically breaking with the past, redesigning political organisations, and actively controlling political events through rational planning. Throughout the century the Great Powers alternated between creating non-sovereign units and creating sovereign units as instruments in these stabilising strategies. The degree of trust between the Great Powers accounts for the shift between the two strategies: they tended to create non-sovereign units when mutual trust was high and sovereign ones when trust was low. This article analyses Great Power strategies of designing forms of rule in the Balkans between 1820 and 1878. Like in previous centuries, nineteenth-century Europe actually consisted of two parallel but connected systems: the egalitarian system of sovereign states and a system of non-sovereign entities. Non-sovereign units disappeared only late in the century and this process was affected by the increasing rivalry and mistrust between the sovereign states.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 39, no 2, 337-359 p.
Keyword [en]
Anarchy, concert of Europe, international relations theory, modernity, system of states
National Category
Political Science Sociology History
Research subject
Political Science; Sociology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-191590DOI: 10.1017/S0260210512000101ISI: 000316917700006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-191590DiVA: diva2:585896
Swedish Research Council, 435-2008-613
Available from: 2013-01-10 Created: 2013-01-10 Last updated: 2013-05-13Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8599484&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S0260210512000101

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