Mercenaries, Pirates, and Sovereigns: State-Building and Extraterritorial Violence in Early Modern Europe

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Overview

The contemporary organization of global violence is neither timeless nor natural, argues Janice Thomson. It is distinctively modern. In this book she examines how the present arrangement of the world into violence-monopolizing sovereign states evolved over the six preceding centuries.

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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement - Geoffrey Best
All may . . . welcome [Thomson] as a fellow-grappler with that protean problem that confronts historians and . . . social scientists alike: the shortcomings of international society [today], and the degree to which those shortcomings are attributable to the idea that 'sovereign states' have of themselves, and the self-interested ways they tend to behave within it.
Mershon International Studies Review - Michael C. Desch
Thomson's book is well worth reading. It is historically rich and theoretically erudite.
Time Magazines Literary Supplement
Janice E. Thomson's title may mislead. She is a political scientist, [but] ... there is much in Mercenaries, Pirates, and Sovereigns for historians too; for the many with an interest in state-formation and the not-so-many interested in the development of the interstate-system or, as some of us prefer to call it, international society. The common factor in the discussion of the two processes is the question of the legitimate uses of armed force.
From the Publisher

"All may . . . welcome [Thomson] as a fellow-grappler with that protean problem that confronts historians and . . . social scientists alike: the shortcomings of international society [today], and the degree to which those shortcomings are attributable to the idea that 'sovereign states' have of themselves, and the self-interested ways they tend to behave within it."--Geoffrey Best, Times Literary Supplement

"Thomson's book is well worth reading. It is historically rich and theoretically erudite."--Michael C. Desch, Mershon International Studies Review

"Janice E. Thomson's title may mislead. She is a political scientist, [but] ... there is much in Mercenaries, Pirates, and Sovereigns for historians too; for the many with an interest in state-formation and the not-so-many interested in the development of the interstate-system or, as some of us prefer to call it, international society. The common factor in the discussion of the two processes is the question of the legitimate uses of armed force."--Times Literary Supplement

Times Literary Supplement
Janice E. Thomson's title may mislead. She is a political scientist, [but] ... there is much in Mercenaries, Pirates, and Sovereigns for historians too; for the many with an interest in state-formation and the not-so-many interested in the development of the interstate-system or, as some of us prefer to call it, international society. The common factor in the discussion of the two processes is the question of the legitimate uses of armed force.
Mershon International Studies Review
Thomson's book is well worth reading. It is historically rich and theoretically erudite.
— Michael C. Desch
Times Literary Supplement
Janice E. Thomson's title may mislead. She is a political scientist, [but] ... there is much in Mercenaries, Pirates, and Sovereigns for historians too; for the many with an interest in state-formation and the not-so-many interested in the development of the interstate-system or, as some of us prefer to call it, international society. The common factor in the discussion of the two processes is the question of the legitimate uses of armed force.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
List of Tables
Introduction 3
Ch. 1 The State, Violence, and Sovereignty 7
The State and Violence in Theory 7
The State and Violence in History 10
Sovereignty in Theory 11
The Institution of Sovereignty 14
The Argument 18
Ch. 2 Nonstate Violence Unleashed 21
Privateering 22
Mercenaries 26
Mercantile Companies 32
Ch. 3 Unintended Consequences 43
The Mediterranean Corsairs 44
Organized Piracy 45
Problems with Mercenarism 54
Problems with Mercantile Companies 59
Ch. 4 Delegitimating State-Authorized Nonstate Violence 69
The Abolition of Privateering 69
The Delegitimation of Mercenarism 77
The Demise of the Mercantile Companies 97
Ch. 5 Suppressing Unauthorized Nonstate Violence 107
Piracy 107
The Rise and Decline of Filibustering 118
Ch. 6 Conclusion 143
Explaining the Transition 146
The State, Sovereignty, and World Politics 149
The Future 152
Notes 155
Bibliography 201
Index 215
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