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

Thomson, Janice E.

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ISBN 10: 0691086583 / ISBN 13: 9780691086583
Published by Princeton Univ Pr, Ewing, New Jersey, U.S.A., 1994
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From michael diesman (Fresh Meadows, NY, U.S.A.)

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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. Tracing the activities of mercenaries, pirates, mercantile companies, and sovereigns from the Mediterranean to the Northwest Territories, the author addresses compelling questions: Why do we have centralized bureaucracies-- states--which claim a monopoly on violence? Why is this monopoly based on territorial boundaries? Why is coercion not an international market commodity? Thomson maintains that the contemporary monopolization of violence by sovereign states results from the collective practices of rulers, all seeking power and wealth for their states and themselves, and all competing to exploit extraterritorial nonstate violence to achieve those ends. She examines the unintended consequences of such acts, and shows how individual states eventually fell victim to nonstate violence. As rulers became increasingly aware of the problems created by nonstate coercive tactics abroad, they worked together to curtail this violence, only to find it intertwined with nonstate violence on the national state level. Exploring the blurred boundaries between the domestic and international, the economic and political, and the state and nonstate realms of authority, this book addresses practical and theoretical issues underlying the reconciliation of violence with political legitimacy. From the Back Cover "Strike[s] at the heart of [the] assumption that a monopoly on violence is the hallmark of the state, . [Thomson] is correct when she advises us that `state' and `sovereignty' are more mutable concepts than we might acknowledge or even admit. [A] major contribution to our understanding of international affairs and to the history of state-building."--Francis X. Hartigan, Terrorism and Political Violence --. Bookseller Inventory # 037401

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Mercenaries, Pirates, and Sovereigns: ...

Publisher: Princeton Univ Pr, Ewing, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine +

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:


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.


From the Back Cover:


"Strike[s] at the heart of [the] assumption that a monopoly on violence is the hallmark of the state, ... [Thomson] is correct when she advises us that `state' and `sovereignty' are more mutable concepts than we might acknowledge or even admit. [A] major contribution to our understanding of international affairs and to the history of state-building."--Francis X. Hartigan, Terrorism and Political Violence


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