The Ideal River: How Control of Nature Shaped the International Order (Paperback)
  • The Ideal River: How Control of Nature Shaped the International Order (Paperback)

The Ideal River: How Control of Nature Shaped the International Order (Paperback)

Paperback 264 Pages
Published: 09/04/2024
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The environment has traditionally been a marginal concern in international relations, but the climate crisis has highlighted the importance of the relationship between society and the natural world.

In The ideal river, Joanne Yao offers a remarkable account of how nineteenth-century efforts to tame nature shaped our modern international order. Examining historic attempts to establish international commissions on three transboundary rivers – the Rhine, the Danube and the Congo – she reveals how the Enlightenment ambition to master the natural world has informed our geographical imagination of the international.

This idea of domination over nature shaped three concepts central to the emergence of early international order: the territorial sovereign state, imperial hierarchies and international organisations. As The ideal river shows, the relationship between society and nature is at the heart of international politics.

Publisher: Manchester University Press
ISBN: 9781526178701
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 373 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 14 mm


Winner of the ISA 2024 Harold and Margaret Sprout AwardWinner of the BISA 2023 L.H.M. Ling Outstanding First Book Prize2023 Sussex International Theory Book Prize (Honourable Mention) 'This is a brilliant book: erudite, thoughtful, beautifully written, richly analysed and theoretically sophisticated. It makes us look again at the way control of rivers – as nature, as resource, as colonial or territorial space – has shaped so many international doctrines, institutions and contestations.'Laleh Khalili, author of Sinews of War and Trade'The book persuasively demonstrates how environmental politics can enrich our understanding of international organisations more generally.'Stefan Döring, International Affairs - .

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