The Empire of Civil Society: Critique of the Realist Theory of International Relations (Paperback)Justin Rosenberg
Paperback Published: 25/03/1994
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The Empire of Civil Society mounts a compelling critique of the orthodox ""realist"" theory of International Relations and provides a historical-materialist approach to the international system. Opening with an interrogation of a number of classic realist works, the book rejects outright the goal of theorizing geopolitical systems in isolation from wider social structures. In a series of case studies - including classical Greece, Renaissance Italy, and the Portuguese and Spanish Empires - Justin Rosenberg shows how the historical-materialist analysis of societies is a surer guide to understanding geopolitical systems than the technical theories of realist IR. In each case, he draws attention to the correspondence between the form of the gropolitical system and the character of the societies composing it. In the last third of the book, the tools forged in these explorations are turned onto the contemporary international system with striking results. Realism emerges as incapable of understanding what it has itself always insisted is the central feature of the international system - namely, the balance of power. And Marx's social theory of value, conventionally regarded as an account of hierarchical class domination, is shown to provide the deepest understanding of the core International Relations theme of ""anarchy."" Provocative and unconventional, The Empire of Civil Society brilliantly turns orthodox International Relations theory on its head.
Publisher: Verso Books