The need to control violent and non-violent harm has been central to human existence since societies first emerged. This book analyses the problem of harm in world politics which stems from the fact that societies require the power to harm in order to defend themselves from internal and external threats, but must also control the capacity to harm so that people cannot kill, injure, humiliate or exploit others as they please. Andrew Linklater analyses writings in moral and legal philosophy that (...) define and classify forms of harm, and discusses the ways in which different theories of international relations suggest the power to harm can be controlled so that societies can co-exist with the minimum of violent and non-violent harm. Linklater argues for new connections between the English School study of international society and Norbert Elias' analysis of civilizing processes in order to advance the study of harm in world politics. (shrink)
A wide-ranging introduction to the main theoretical approaches to the study of international relations, this work examines nine theoretical traditions, beginning with the established orthodoxies of liberal internationalism and realism.
Reprinting more than 80 essential papers published in the 20th century, this set is the most comprehensive collection to appear to date. The papers include "classics" in the field as well as ones placing International Relations in a wider context, from the late 1940s to the present day. An invaluable resource for all students of this field.
Norbert Elias's The Civilizing Process, which was published in German in 1939 and first translated into English in two volumes in 1978 and 1982, is now widely regarded as one of the great works of twentieth-century sociology. This work attempted to explain how Europeans came to think of themselves as more “civilized” than their forebears and neighboring societies. By analyzing books about manners that had been published between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries, Elias observed changing conceptions of shame and embarrassment (...) with respect to, among other things, bodily propriety and violence. To explain those developments, Elias examined the interplay among the rise of state monopolies of power, increasing levels of economic interconnectedness among people, and pressures to become attuned to others over greater distances that led to advances in identifying with others in the same society irrespective of social origins. Elias's analysis of the civilizing process was not confined, however, to explaining changing social bonds within separate societies. The investigation also focused on the division of Europe into sovereign states that were embroiled in struggles for power and security.This article provides an overview and analysis of Elias's principal claims in the light of growing interest in this seminal work in sociology. The analysis shows how Elias defended higher levels of synthesis in the social sciences to explain relations between “domestic” and “international” developments, and changes in social structure and in the emotional lives of modern people. Elias's investigation, which explained long-term processes of development over several centuries, pointed to the limitations of inquiries that concentrate on short-term intervals. Only by placing short-term trends in long-term perspective could sociologists understand contemporary developments. This article maintains that Elias's analysis of the civilizing process remains an exemplary study of long-term developments in Western societies over the last five centuries. (shrink)
Many sociologists have drawn attention to the puzzling absence of a detailed discussion of religion in Elias’s investigation of the European civilizing process. Elias did not develop a sociology of religion, but he did not overlook the importance of beliefs in the ‘spirit world’ in the history of human societies. In his writings such convictions were described as fantasy images that could be contrasted with ‘reality-congruent’ knowledge claims. Elias placed fantasy–reality balances, whether religious or secular, at the centre of the (...) analysis of how societies have dealt with collective fears that arise in response to largely uncontrolled conditions. He located religious orientations within a broader framework of analysis regarding fantasy–reality balances in the first human groups and in current state-organized societies. Elias stressed how balances changed in ‘civilized’ societies with the rise of the natural sciences. But his writings emphasized the continuing influence of fantasy images in technologically sophisticated societies, particularly in the context of national and international power struggles. His analysis of how fantasy images acquired considerable influence under conditions of fear is important for studies of social responses to global challenges including climate change. Connections with Weber’s sociology of religion point the way to theoretically informed empirical research on balances between fantasy and reality-congruence in a tumultuous and unpredictable era. (shrink)