State Formation II: Rethinking Sovereignty

Course Outline, Commentary and Reading List

Lloyd I. Rudolph


Pick 222, T. Th, 9:00-10:20 am                                                               email:

Office Hours: T, Th 10:30-12:00 noon                                                       Phone 702-8056



University of Chicago 
Department of Political Science






I.      Locating Sovereignty Discourse in Modernity's Historical Career

II.     Modern Sovereignty Discourse Critiqued and Problematized

III.    Ritual and Imperial Sovereignty [omitted SQ 98]

IV.   Premodern Sovereignty: Sharing and Contesting Dispersed Sovereignty in Medieval Europe 

V.    Modern Sovereignty Discourses I: International State System, Reason of State, Absolutism and Nation-State Popular Sovereignty

        A. The Historical Context

        B. Texts: Machiavelli, Hobbes, Bodin, Locke, Montesquieu; Rousseau

VI. Modern Sovereignty Discourses II: 

        A. Anarchism

        B. Dividing and Sharing Sovereignty in America

VII.  Past as Prologue: Sharing and Contesting Sovereignty in an             Interdependent World of Diminished States











I want to begin with a few thoughts that will locate and frame the course. Why rethink sovereignty? Because a certain conception of sovereignty informs nation-state and international relations theory and practice. In an increasingly interdependent and multicultural post cold war, postmodern world that conception of sovereignty is under siege. 

One of the marks of post modernity may be the theoretical, practical and moral failure of sovereignty as practiced "inside" and "outside" by modern nation states. This course attempts to account for the rise and subsequent crisis of modern sovereignty doctrine and to work toward a fresh conceptualization of sovereignty that addresses global interdependence and the representation of difference and locality. 

Arguments that support the view that our thinking about sovereignty and the modern state has become obsolescent or anachronistic can be found in a wide variety of works some of which I want to mention in a suggestive way [these works should be on reserve at JRL]: Vaclav Havel, "The End of the Modern Era," New York Times, March 1, 1992; John Dunn, "Introduction: Crisis of the Nation State?" and Istvan Hont, "The Permanent Crisis of a Divided Mankind: 'Contemporary Crisis of the Nation State' in Historica Perspective," in John Dunn, ed. Contemporary Crisis of the Nation State?, Oxford, UK and Cambridge, MA, Blackwell, 1995; Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, "Introduction: Religion, States and Transnational Civil Society," in Susanne Hoeber Rudolph and James Piscatori, eds. Transnational Religion and Fading State, Boulder, CO, Westview Press, 1997; David Held, "The Decline of the Nation State," in Geoff Eley and Ronald Grigor Suny, eds. Becoming National; A Reader, New York, Oxford University Press, 1996; Gidon Gotlieb, Nation Against State; A New Approach to Ethnic Conflicts and the Decline of Sovereignty, New York, Council on Foreign Relations, 1993; Wolgang Danspeckgruber with Arthur Watts, Self-Determination and Self-Administration, Boulder and London, Lynne Reiner Publishers, 1997; Kenichi Ohmae, The End of the Nation State; The Rise of Regional Economies, New York, the Free Press, 1995.[1]

Alarmed by the consequences for economic development of failing states and state collapse, The World Bank devoted its 1997 World Development Report to The State in a Changing World, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997.

Monopoly sovereignty - i.e. sovereignty as indivisible and unlimited - takes opposite forms inside and outside the sovereign nation state, absolutism inside and "anarchy" outside. The modern paradigm treats as axiomatic that sovereignty inside the nation state is unitary and unlimited and  that sovereignty outside is non-existent, i.e. a condition of "Hobbesian" anarchy prevails. In the absence of Leviathan, survival, in any case, security, depends it is said, on self-help as practiced through the balance of power aided and abetted by deterrence and alliances.

The paradigm posits an either/or reality; inside [monopoly] sovereignty is said to equal 100, outside  sovereignty [anarchy] equals 0. We will listen to voices [read texts], examine conditions and circumstances [structure] and analyze actions, events and processes [agency] to try to find out where the 100 inside, 0 outside views of sovereignty came from and how and why they were "naturalized" in philosophic, scientific, historical and moral discourse. We will examine alternative discourses and practices with a view to "denaturalizing" and historicizing the 100 inside, 0 outside reading of sovereignty and suggesting alternatives to it, e.g. sovereignty in its contested, shared and limited modes.

Alternative views, e.g. those that characterized medieval or divided and federal concepts of sovereignty or those found in empires or other forms of indirect rule, treated sovereignty as dispersed and hierarchical and its practice as limited, shared and often contested. Several or many sovereigns might share in forms and norms of ritual or symbolic sovereignty. The allegedly empty spaces within between subjects/citizens and rulers/states and the putatively empty space "outside" where wary states shifted for themselves were often populated by domains of transcendent meaning, common purpose or shared interests and identities.

We attempt to denaturalize and historicize sovereignty discourse by critiquing its universalistic, axiomatic and ahistorical rhetoric and epistemology. We will approach sovereignty discourse through historical analyses of when, why and how concepts were constructed and contestated, what might be called the politics of categories. [2]





I. Locating Sovereignty Discourse in Modernity's Historical Career




Stephen Toulmin, Cosmopolis; The Hidden Agenda of Modernity, New York, The Free Press/Macmillan, 1990; University of Chicago Press, 1992pb. 1-105


Modernity according to Toulmin has had an historical career of about 300 years. He argues that modernity's three principal components have been Newtonian science [there is a law governed world out there], Cartesian philosophy [axiomatic deductive, i.e.  it is self-evident that I think and that I have a body - and formal reasoning - if its logical it must be true] and reason of state - if its serves the interests and needs of the prince, the absolute monarch or the nation state it must be good for subjects or citizens. These pillars of modernity are sources of truth,  bases for knowledge and grounds of morality. We are most concerned with the last, reason of state and monopoly sovereignty. [3]



03. APRIL 7, TUESDAY [Modernity's career continued.]


Toulmin, Cosmopolis, 105-209


II. Modern Sovereignty Discourse Critiqued and Problematized                    



I have had a lot of trouble deciding on the reading to introduce modern sovereignty discourse. In previous years I have used Harold Laski, "The Foundations of Sovereignty" in The Foundation of Sovereignty and Other Essays, London, George Allen and Unwin, 1921, 1931 [JC327.L332] and  Stephen Krasner, "Sovereignty: An Institutional Perspective," in James A. Caporaso, The Elusive State; International and Comparative Perspectives, Newbury Park, CA, London, New Delhi, Sage Publications, 1989 to introduce discourse on and about modern sovereignty. This year I have decided on a different course.

Perhaps the most convenient single book on sovereignty is F. H. Hinsley's Sovereignty [Second Edition], Cambridge and New York, Cambridge University Press, 1986. I suggest that you use Hinsley as background reading for the course. The trouble with Hinsley as I see it is that he naturalizes rather than problematizes the theory and practice of sovereignty. Even though we will read some of the texts he analyzes I would urge you to read these chapters in order to get up to speed for what is to come. [4]

The two readings we will discuss in class are: Robert A. Nisbet, The Quest for Community, London and Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1953, 1970 and re-issued as a reprint by ?, Chapters 5 [The State as Revolution], 6 [Sovereignty and Association], and 7 [The Political Community], pp. 98-188, and  Michel Foucault, "Lecture Two: 14 January 1976" in Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews & Other Writings, 1972-1977, NY, Pantheon, 1980pbk, pp. 92-108. 

The virtue of these readings of sovereignty from the perspective of this course is that their sovereignty narrative treats modern state sovereignty as more of a problem for than as a solution to security and the public good. [5]

            After Rousseau claimed sovereignty for the "general will" and the French Revolution displaced absolutist with popular sovereignty, the people's sovereignty embedded in the concept of the nation has dominated sovereignty theory and practice. With the French revolution the modern world entered an era that naturalized and universalized the nation-state. [6]

There is of course a vast literature on nationalism, the nation and the nation-state. For our purposes, a useful book to read is: E.J. Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism since 1780, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 1990, particularly Introduction, Ch. 1. "The nation as novelty: from revolution to liberalism"; Ch. 3. "The government perspective" [i.e. states make nations]; Ch. 6. "Nationalism in the late twentieth century". A recent anthology of nationalism texts introduced by an interpretative account of nationalism can be found in  Geoff Eley and Ronald Suny, eds. Becoming National; A Reader, New York, Oxford University Press, 1996.



III. Ritual and Imperial Sovereignty [Omitted SQ 1998] [7]


IV. Premodern Sovereignty: Sharing and Contesting Layered Sovereignty in Medieval Europe


Medieval Europe's sovereignty discourse and practice offers "lost" [overlaid, latent] but suggestive models of sovereignty for our postmodern era of "failed" [and failing] states oriented to monopoly sovereignty at home and anarchy abroad.





Marc Bloch, Feudal Society, Volumes 1 and 2, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1961. Vol. 1, Part IV, Chs. XI-XVII, 145-238; Part V, Ch, XVIII, 241-54. Recommended: Vol 2, Part VII, Traditional Powers, Chs. XXVIII and XXIX, The  Kingdom and Empire and From Territorial Principalities to Castellanies, 375-407.






Kenneth Pennington, The Prince and the Law 1200-1600; Sovereignty and Rights in the Western Legal Tradition, Berekeley, University of California Press, 1993. First read "Introduction" and "Epilogue: The Sixteenth Century and Beyond", pp. 1-7, 269-290, then Ch. 1: "The Emperor Is Lord of the World; The Bolognese Lawyers and Imperial Ideology," pp. 8-37  ; Ch. 3,in part: "The Power of the Prince in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries," pp. 76-93; 103-118; Ch. 4, first para only, p. 119; Ch. 5, in part: "Henry VII and Robert of Naples," pp. 165-185; Ch. 6. "The Authority of the Prince in the Late Middle Ages," pp. 202-237; Ch. 7. "The Pazzi Conspiracy and the Jurists," pp. 238-268.  


Recommended: In prior versions this course, before Pennington's book became available, I used Charles Howard McIlwain's, The Growth of Political Thought in the West, New York, Macmillan, 1932, to present medieval discourse and practice about shared, limited and contested sovereignty. Pennington covers much of the  ground traversed by McIlwain but features the term "shared sovereignty" to characterize medieval thinking and then relates shared sovereignty to the formation in our time of the European Union. Alan S. Milward in his The European Rescue of the Nation-State, Berkeley, CA, University of California Press, 1992, helps to connect pre-modern to post-modern thinking about sovereignty in "Europe"; see his chapters on "History and theory"; "The post-war nation-state" and "The lives and teachings of the European saints".

Ernest Cassirer's The Myth of the State, [particularly Ch. VII. The Religious and Metaphysical Background of the Medieval Theory of the State; Ch. VIII. The Theory of the Legal State in Medieval Philosophy; Ch. IX. Nature and Grace in Medieval Philosophy] is another strong alternative to the Pennington reading on medieval sovereignty discourse. [8]



F.W. Maitland, Domesday Book and Beyond. Three Essays in the Early History of England, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1988. pb edition. Essay I. Domesday Book, sub-sections 1,2,3 [through "Domesday a geld book"], pp. 1-3; # 1. Plan of the Survey  from "The classification of men" to end of # 1; section # 2. The Serfs, through "Predial elements in serfage,", pp. 23-29; section # 9. The Boroughs, from "the oldest burh" through "the borough community and its lord," pp. 183-204; "Classification of boroughs," pp. 217-19; Essay II. England before the Conquest. From "Feudalism as a normal stage" through "Feudalism as progress and as retrogression," pp. 223-24; from "The book purports to order ownership" through "Book-land and testament," pp. 230-244; section # 2. Book-land and Folk-land. "What is folk-land," p. 244; from "Confirmation and attestation" through "Kind of land and kinds of right," pp. 250-258; section # 3. Sake and Soke. From "Importance of seignorial justice" through "Difference between book and writ," pp. 258-264; 6. The Village Community. From "Evolution of Sovereignty and Ownership" though "Communal ownership as a stage," pp. 343-345; "Development of kingly power," pp. 351-52. 07. 



V.    Modern Sovereignty Discourses I; International State System, Reason of State, Absolutism and Nation-State Popular Sovereignty

A. The Historical Context



Eugene F. Rice, Jr. and Anthony Grafton, The Foundations of Early Modern Europe, 1460-1559, New York, Norton, 1994pb  Second Edition. Ch. 1 [in part]. Science, Technology, and Discovery. "The Inventing of Printing" and "The New Warfare"; Ch. 4. The Formation of the Early Modern State, entire; Ch. 5 [in part]. Revolution and Reformation in the Church: The Problem of Authority, "Martin Luther," "The Fragmentation of Classical Protestanism," "The City of the Saints," :Catholic Reformation and Counter-Reformation"; Ch. 6 [in part], Revolution and Reformation in the Church: The Problem of Conversion, "The Religious Preference of the German Princes," "The Triumph of the Territorial Church," and "The English Reformation."  pp. 1-18; 110-45; 146-57, 167-77; 191-202.Total - 84


B. Texts: Machiavelli, Hobbes, Bodin [9]





Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Edited by Quentin Skinner and Russell Price, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1988.

Introduction, Chs. I-XXII, XXV-XXVI. pp. ix-xxxi, 5-79, 84-91. 

Reading Machiavelli is a major industry these days. Strauss, Pocock [below], Mansfield, Pitkin, De Grazia, A. Parel, Hirschman [in The Passions and the Interests] all provide important perspectives. We are interested here as much in Machiavellianism, readers' Machiavelli, as we are in Machiavelli the author. The most systematic rationalization of reason of state can be found in Friedrich Meinecke, Machiavellism; The Doctrine of Raison D'Etat and Its Place in History, Boulder, Westview Press, 1984. For our purposes Ernst Cassirer's reading is the best guide. [10]



10. April 30, THURSDAY


Ernest Cassirer, The Myth of the State [New Haven, Yale Univ Press, 1946pb], chapters X, XI and XII, "Machiavelli's New Science of Politics," "The Triumph of Machiavellianism and Its Consequences," and "Implications of the New Theory of the State," 116-162.

Peter S. Donaldson, Machiavelli and Mystery of State, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1988, 1992 pbk. Preface, pp. vii-xiii; Ch. 4. "Machiavelli and the arcana imperii"; Ch. 5. "Gabriel Naude: magic and Machiavelli", [in part] pp. 111-40; 154-60.



11. MAY 5, TUESDAY  


Jean Bodin, On Sovereignty, Edited and Translated by Julian H. Franklin, Cambridge, Cambridge’s University Press, 1992. Introduction,  ix-xxviii, Book I, chapter 8 On sovereignty, Book I, chapter 10 On the true marks of sovereignty, 1-88. [11]





Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Edited by Richard Tucker, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991, Introduction, Principal events in Hobbes's Life, ix-xxvi, xxxvii-xl, The Second Part, Of Commonwealth, 117- 254.  


Recommended: Stephen Holmes, Introduction, Thomas Hobbes, Behemoth or the Long Parliament, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1991, vii-l.




Richard Tuck, Philosophy and Government 1572-1651, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 1993. Preface; Ch. 5. Hugo Grotius [in part]; Ch. 7. Thomas  Hobbes [in part]; Conclusion. pp. xi-xvii; 154-69; 190-201; 279-314, 319-48.

Recommended: Norbetto Bobbio, Thomas Hobbes and the Natural Law Tradition, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1993, Preface, Two. Hobbes's Political Theory; Six. Hobbes and Partial Societies; By Way of Conclusion, Appendix, vii-xiii, 26-73, 172-220; Julian H. Franklin, John Locke and the Theory of Sovereignty, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1978, Preface; Ch.1. The Background of the problem; Ch. 4. Locke and the Whigs, pp. ix-xi, 1-21, 87-126, By defending disobedience against Hobbes's obedience imperative, Locke anticipates both the shared and popular sovereignty discourses that follows. 



VI. Challenges to The Modern State's Monopoly Claim

A. Anarchism - The Revolt Against Monopoly Sovereignty





Michael Bakunin, Statism and Anarchy, Translated and Edited by Stephen Shatz, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 1990. Introduction, I, IV [in part], V, VII [in part]. pp. ix-xxxvii; 8-14; 103-06; 133-38; 189-97.


Recommended: Pierre-Josheph Proudhon, What is Property? or An inquiry into the principle of right and government, Edited and Translated by Donald R.Kelly and Bonnie G. Smith. Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 1994. The introduction, pp. xi-xxxiii, provides a good overview of this under attended to theorist.            Although Proudhon answered his own question by declaring that property was "theft" he also argued that the passion for property could be used to check the autonomous and greater evil of state repression and violence. Richard Adamiak in "The 'Withering Away' of the State; A Reconsideration," The Journal of Politics, Vol 32, Number l, February 1970, 3-18, argues inter alia that Marx's deceptive slogan, "the withering away of the state", was introduced to counter the powerful political appeal of Proudhon's anarchism. 

Marx's war with the anarchists starts in 1847 with the publication of his effort to destroy and go beyond Proudhon's Philosophy of Poverty in The Poverty of Philosophy, Moscow, Foreign Languages Press, nd. Little of Proudhon's work is available in English. [12]


  B. America Shares Sovereignty by Dividing and Limiting It





Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1992, Ch. V. Transformation, 3. Sovereignty, 198-229; The Federalist, [Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison], Edited by Isaac Kramnick, New York, Viking/Penguin, 1994. Nos. 9, 15, 20, 31, 32, 39, 40, 44, 45, 47, 51, 62, 81.

Suggested: Suggested J.G.A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment; Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1975, Ch. XV.The Americanization of Virtue, pp.506-52



VII. Past as Prologue: Sharing and Contesting Sovereignty in an Interdependent World of Diminished States. The Rise of International Society and Transnational Civil Society




Hendrik Spruyt, The Sovereign State and Its Competitors. Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 1994. Introduction, Chs. 1, 2. 3[ in part], 6 [in part], 7 [in part], 9. pp. 3-36; 55-7; 109-111; 128-134; 149-50; 183-194 = 57


Recommended: Headley Bull, The Anarchical Society; A Study of International Politics, New York, Columbia University Press, 1977, where we learn about the Grotian [from Hugo Grotius] idea of an international society constituted by states cooperating under conditions of increasing global interdendence in organizations and regimes and through treaties and agreements. An international society of states is increasingly constrained and directed by actors in a transnational civil society. See Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, "Introduction: Religion, States and Transnational Civil Society," in Susanne Hoeber Rudolph James Piscatori, eds. Transnational Religion and Fading States, Boulder, CO, Westview Press, 1997. pp. 1-24.




R.B.J. Walker, Inside/outside: international relations as political theory, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1993, Chs. 1-2, 6, 8. pp. 1-49; 125-40; 159-83 = 87.

Recommended: Cynthia Weber, Simulating Sovereignty; Intervention, the State and Symbolic Exchange, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 1995, particularly chapter 1-3 and 7.





Alexander Wendt, "Anarchy Is What States Make of It; The Social Construction of Power Politics," International Organization, v. 46, 1992, pp. 395-421; Wendt, "Collective Identity Formation and the International State," American Political Science Review, v. 88, n. 2, June 1994, pp. 384-396 and Wendt, "Constructing International Politics: A Response to Mearsheimer," International Security, 20 [1] Summer 1995. pp. 71-81.

Recommended: In support of the constructivist position see Janice E. Thompson, Mercenaries, Pirates and Sovereigns; State-Building and Extraterritorial Violence in Early Modern Europe, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 1994, particularly Chs One and Six. 




I intend to conduct the class as a discussion seminar. We will discuss the eighteen assigned readings in class on the dates indicated. You should come to class with ideas, comments and questions about that day's reading.

Each of you will be choose [and/or be assigned via teacher sovereignty] one of the readings on which you will make a 10 minute presentation in class. The idea is to highlight, comment on and/or critique two or three main ideas/concepts/arguments in the reading. Avoid descriptive accounts; assume your classmates have read and understood the assignment. Raise issues for discussion. This can include stating particular questions for class discussion. Within a week of your presentation, you should hand in a 5 page double spaced paper based on your presentation.

There will be a take home final to be handed out on Thursday, May 28. Completed exams should be returned on Friday, June 5 by 4 pm at Pick 422.

The exam will have two parts, one a ten double space page essay on one of several questions, the second 5 "identifications" from ten or more choices [e.g. persons, events, concepts] about whose significance you will write not more than one [1] double space page for each of five. [You will be penalized if you write more than one double spaced page.]

If you have ideas for questions, please let me have a look at them. I will try to use a version on the final. 




     [1]  Other titles include: Gerald B. Helman and Steven R. Ratner, "Saving Failed States," Foreign Policy, No. 89, Winter 1992-93, pp. 3-20; Amatai Etzioni, "The Evils of Self-Determination," Ibid, pp. 21-35; Paul Kennedy, Preparing for the Twenty-First Century, New York, Random House, 1993, Ch. 7. The Future of the Nation-State, 122-134; Aristide R. Zolberg, "The Specter of Anarchy; African States Verging on Dissolution," Dissent. Summer 1992, 303-11.

   The closest approximation to the approach being pursued in this course can be found Melvin Richter, The History of Political and Social Concepts; A Critical Introduction, New York, Oxford University Press, 1995. For more on the "politics of categories" see the Introductin" to Lloyd I. Rudolph and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph. The Modernity of Tradition Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1967, 1984.

  Recommended For a postmodern construction of intellectual history [previously the sociology of knowledge] see Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge & The Discourse on Language, NY, Pantheon, 1972; Foucault, The Order of Things; An Archaeology of the Human Sciences, NY, Vintage, 1973; and Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1991. John McGovern, Postmodernism and Its Critics, Ithaca, Cornell U Pr.pb, 1991 provides an inside and outside critique of postmodern intellectual history. Progenitors that historicze and relativize intellectual history as it relates inter alia to sovereignty include Arthur O. Lovejoy, The Great Chain of Being; A Study of the History of a Idea, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1936, 1964. Ch. I. Introduction: the Study of the History of Ideas, 3-23, and  Collingwood R,G. The Idea of History, New York, Oxford Galaxy, 1956,1946. 

  See particularly Ch. I. Sovereignty and the State [pp. 1-26]; Ch. III. The Emergence of the Modern Theory of Sovereignty [pp. 45-125 covering "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Concept"; "The Absence of the Concept of Sovereignty in the Seperate Communities of Medieval Europe"; "The Prehistory of the Concept"; "The Emergence of the Concept of Theory of the Sovereignty of the Ruler"]; Ch. IV. The Modern History of the Concept Sovereignty Within the Community [pp. 126-157 covering "From Bodin to Hobbes"; "After Hobbes"].

  Recommended: Bertrand de Jouvenal, On Power; Its Nature and the History of Its Growth, Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 1981; republished as a paperback by Liberty and available for purchase. See particularly Preface by D.W. Brogan; The Minotaur Presented; Book I. Metaphysics of Power; Book II. Origins of Power [Ch. IV. The Magical Origins of Power and Ch. V. The Coming of the Warrior] and Book III.Of the Nature of Power. De Jouvenal's account of sovereignty theory is written from a negative perspective; from the modern solution to medieval problematics it becomes a leading problemtic of modernity. 

Ernst Cassirer, The Myth of the State, New Haven, CT, Yale University Press, 1946, parts of which we read later on, adopts a similar stance but from a different epistomoligical perspective.

For a more positivist and positive view of contemporary state/sovereignty discourse see Theda Skocpol "Bringing the State Back In: Strategies of Analysis in Current Research" and Peter Evans, Dietrich Rueschmeyer and Theda Skocpol, "On the Road toward a More Adequate Understanding of the State" in Bringing the State Back In, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1985. The canonical [naturalized, objective truth and positivist] view of can be found in  W. Jethro Brown, ed., The Austinian Theory of Law Being an Edition of Lectures I, V, and VI of Austin's "Jurisprudence," and of Austin's  "Essay on the Uses of the Study of Jurisprudence" ..., London, John Murray, 1920, particularly Part I. Ch. III. Sovereignty, Ch. V. The Limits of Sovereign Power, Part II. Excursus A. The State, Excursus B. Sovereignty.


  Actually Locke, in justifying England's civil war, preceeds Rousseau when, in his Second Treatise, he presents his theory of the dissolution of government with sovereignty in the form of the constituent power reverting to the political community. See Julian H. Franklin, John Locke and the Theory of Sovereignty; Mixed Monarchy and the Right of Resistance in the Political Thought of the English Revolution, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 1978.

  This section builds on some of the reading in PS517. State Formation I: Historical Comparisons. Clifford Geertz's Negara; The Theatre State in Nineteenth-Century Bali, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1980, shows how ritual sovereignty makes the invisible visible - and powerful. [See particularly Conclusion, "Bali and Political Theory, pp. 121-136]. Imperial sovereignty usually engages a ritual, symbolic cosmology and forms of "indirect" rule, e.g. tributary relations between an exemplary center and the "replications" found in what Stanley Tambiah calls a "galatic polity. 

The reading below in Rizvi introduces you to the cultural constuction of sovereignty, i.e. ritual sovereignty, by Akbar, the "greatest" of India's Mughal emperors and that by Wink to the contestation and bargaining in Mughal/Maratha India of what he falls "fitna" - resistance and rebellion by lesser sovereigns



Saiyid Athar Abbas Rizvi, Religious and Intellectual History of the Muslims in Akbar's Reign...1556-1605, New Delhi,            Munshiram Manoharlal, 1975, Ch.10. The Din Ilahi, 374-417. Packet

Andre Wink, Land and Sovereignty in India, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 1886. Ch. I. "Sovereignty and universal dominiom," pp. 9-55; Ch. IV. Conclusion and summary, pp. 153-55. Packet.

Recommended: Kelly D. Alley, "Gandhiji on the Central Vista; A Postcolonial Refiguring" Packet. Whether and/or how to represent Gandhi in the imperial space at the center of New Delhi. Packet


  Additional suggestions Gerd Tellenbach [translated by R.F. Bennett], Church, State and Christian Society at the Time of the Investiture Contest, Totonto, University of Toronto Press/Medieval Academy of America, 1991; Brian Tierney, The Crisis of Church and State 1050-1300, Toronto, University of Toronto Press/Medieval Academy of America, [1964] 1988, which covers some of the same ground as Pennington but "starts" earlier, e.g. Ch.1. "The Church & the Roman State", an account of the pivotal arrangements worked out between Augustine and Constantine; Arthur O. Lovejoy, The Great Chain of Being; A Study of the History of an Idea, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1936,1964, particularly Ch. III. The Chain of Being and Some Internal Conflicts in Medieval Thought, 24-66; Friedrich Heer, The Medieval World, Mentor/Penguin, 1961, a quality inexpensive [$5.95] survey that deals inter alia with sovereignty discourse; Bernard Guenee, States and Rulers in Later Medieval Europe, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1988, an account by one of France's leading medieval scholars. See particularly Part II, The Power of the State. 

Norman F. Cantor's Inventing the Middle Ages; The Lives, Works, and Ideas of the Great Medievalists of the Twentieth Century, New York, Morrow, 1991, presents a rather polemical and often ad homimen account of his colleagues and intellectual forebearers. By confining the "invention" of the middle ages to the twentieth century, Cantor ignores Henry Hallam who, as early as 1819, published a two volume work that challenged the Enlightenment's "dark ages" view, and other prominent nineteenth century medievalists, including R.W. and A.J. Carlyle whose A History of Mediaeval Theory in the West, 6 vols., Edinburgh and London, 1962, remains the definitive account of medieval political ideas. 

Two important accounts of the historical construction of  Europe place the medieval era at the center of their narratives, Norman Davies, Europe, a History, New York, Oxford Univeristy Press, 1996, and Robert Bartlett, The Making of Europe, Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change, 950-1350, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 1993.     

                Time permitting, other sovereignty texts are those by Locke, Montesquieu and Rosseau. 

   The "other" Machiavelli is well represented in Gisela Bock, Quentin Skinner and Maurizio Viroli, eds. Machiavelli and Republicanism, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 1990.

   Julian Franklin is the author of several works on Bodin including Jean Bodin and the Rise of Absolutist Theory, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 1973.

  The only biography in English is George Woodcock's Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1956. K. Steven Vincent's Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and the Rise of French Republican Socialism, New York, Oxford University Press, 1984, features Proudhon's "associational socialism" and "federalism," the inspiration for inter alia for the bottom up, decentralized sovereignty of  "syndicalist" socialism. 

Edmund Wilson, To The Finland Station; A Study in the Writing and Acting of History, New York, The Noonday Press/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1972, "II, Ch. 14. Historical Actors: Bakunin," for the story of Marx contest with Bakunin over the state. E.H. Carr's  Michael Bakunin [1937] may be the only biography in English. Daniel Guerin, From Theory to Practise, Mary Klopper, Translator, New York, Monthly Review Press, 1992, summarizes the work of Proudhon, Bakunin and Kropotkin and relates it to anarchist politics in Spain and contemporary settings. J. Hamden Jackson, Marx, Proudhon and European Socialism, London, The English University Press, 1957, contextualizes Marx's relation to and struggle with Proudhon just as Edmund Wilson's chapter on Bakunin contextualizes Marx struggle with Proudhon's anarchist successor, Bakunin.

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