Friday, November 6, 2020 10:00 AM
Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs
Sovereignty, Order and Conflict presents
The World Imagined: Collective Beliefs and Political Order in the Sinocentric, Islamic and Southeast Asian International Societies.
Taking an inter-disciplinary approach, Spruyt
explains the political organization of three non-European international
societies from early modernity to the late nineteenth century. The Ottoman,
Safavid and Mughal empires; the Sinocentric tributary system; and the Southeast
Asian galactic empires, all which differed in key respects from the modern
Westphalian state system. In each of these societies, collective beliefs were
critical in structuring domestic orders and relations with other polities.
These multi-ethnic empires allowed for greater accommodation and heterogeneity
in comparison to the homogeneity that is demanded by the modern nation-state.
Furthermore, Spruyt examines the encounter between these non-European systems
and the West. Contrary to unidirectional descriptions of the encounter, these
non-Westphalian polities creatively adapted to Western principles of
organization and international conduct. By illuminating the encounter of the
West and these Eurasian polities, this book serves to question the popular
wisdom of modernity, wherein the Western nation-state is perceived as the
desired norm, to be replicated in other polities.
Professor, Northwestern University
is the Norman Dwight Harris Professor of International Relations in the
department of Political Science at Northwestern University.
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