International Legitimacy and World Society (Hardback)
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International Legitimacy and World Society (Hardback)

(author)
£107.50
Hardback 244 Pages
Published: 26/04/2007
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The conventional view of international society is that it is interested only in co-existence and order amongst states. This creates a puzzle. When the historical record is examined, we discover that international society has repeatedly signed up to normative principles that go well beyond this purpose. When it has done so, it has built new normative constraints into international legitimacy, and this is most conspicuously so when it has espoused broadly humanitarian principles. This suggests that the norms adopted by international society might be encouraged from the distinct constituency of world society. The book traces a series of historical case studies which issued in international affirmation of such principles: slave-trade abolition in 1815; the public conscience in 1899; social justice (but not racial equality) in 1919; human rights in 1945; and democracy as the only acceptable form of state in 1990. In each case, evidence is presented of world-society actors (transnational movements, advocacy networks, and INGOs) making the political running in support of a new principle, often in alliance with a leading state. At the same time, world society has mounted a normative case, and this can be seen as a degree of normative integration between international and world society. Each of the cases tells a fascinating story in its own right. Collectively, they contribute to the growing IR literature on the role of norms, and especially that written from a broadly English School or constructivist perspective. The book thereby puts some real historical flesh on the concept of world society, while forcing us to reconsider traditional views about the 'essential' nature of international society.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199297009
Number of pages: 244
Weight: 518 g
Dimensions: 240 x 163 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

I found Ian Clarks International Legitimacy and World Society a terrific book ... Clarks book, which draws on history, theory, his extensive practical of international relations, and excellent research, is a pleasure to read. - American Journal of International Law

Clark demonstrates an extraordinary capacity to consider a wide range of contrasting perspectives and draw nuanced conclusions... His examination of the often contested importance of various state and non-stae actors in these cases is at times quite spectacular - International Affairs

'Clark expands understanding of international legitimacy, explains the role and significance of international norms, and clarifies understanding of the historical evolution of international legitimacy. Throughout the book, Clark raises important historical questions about how principled ideas such as ending the slave trade, addressing the issue of racial equality, establishing social justice, promoting human rights, and spreading democracy around the world came to be established within international society.' - Choice

'In its historical sensitivity and detailed recovery of political processes, Clarks work exhibits the finest aspects of the English School.' - Ethics and International Affairs

Clarks is a powerful account and serves as a blueprint on how IR theorists might study World Society in future investigations. It is an impressive work. - Journal of Politics

Clarks important and interesting study of historical cases adds to a long-standing debate within English School scholarship about the nature and role of world society and its relationship to international society - Review of Politics

All will certainly profit from Clarks fascinating book Clark has long worked across the boundary between History and International Relations. Throughout his book he carefully evaluates the secondary literature and is scrupulous in identifying the faultlines of historiographical debates - International Studies Review

Clarks ILWS is clearly written and argued, informed and fascinating in its historical details. - Law and Politics Book Review

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