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States of War: Enlightenment Origins of the Political (Columbia Studies in Political Thought / Political History)

Bates, David William

Editore: Columbia University Press
ISBN 10: 0231158041 / ISBN 13: 9780231158046
Usato / Hardcover / Quantità: 9
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Titolo: States of War: Enlightenment Origins of the ...

Casa editrice: Columbia University Press

Legatura: Hardcover

Condizione libro: Very Good

Condizione sovraccoperta: Dust Jacket Included


0231158041 Crisp, clean, unread hardcover with light shelfwear, missing dust jacket and a publisher's mark to one edge - Nice!. Codice inventario libreria Z0231158041Z2

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We fear that the growing threat of violent attack has upset the balance between existential concepts of political power, which emphasize security, and traditional notions of constitutional limits meant to protect civil liberties. We worry that constitutional states cannot, during a time of war, terror, and extreme crisis, maintain legality and preserve civil rights and freedoms. David Williams Bates allays these concerns by revisiting the theoretical origins of the modern constitutional state, which, he argues, recognized and made room for tensions among law, war, and the social order.

We traditionally associate the Enlightenment with the taming of absolutist sovereign power through the establishment of a legal state based on the rights of individuals. In his critical rereading, Bates shows instead that Enlightenment thinkers conceived of political autonomy in a systematic, theoretical way. Focusing on the nature of foundational violence, war, and existential crises, eighteenth-century thinkers understood law and constitutional order not as constraints on political power but as the logical implication of that primordial force. Returning to the origin stories that informed the beginnings of political community, Bates reclaims the idea of law, warfare, and the social order as intertwining elements subject to complex historical development. Following an analysis of seminal works by seventeenth-century natural-law theorists, Bates reviews the major canonical thinkers of constitutional theory (Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau) from the perspective of existential security and sovereign power. Countering Carl Schmitt's influential notion of the autonomy of the political, Bates demonstrates that Enlightenment thinkers understood the autonomous political sphere as a space of law protecting individuals according to their political status, not as mere members of a historically contingent social order.


David William Bates is professor of rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of the Berkeley Center for New Media. He is the author of Enlightenment Aberrations: Error and Revolution in France, and, alongside his work on the history of political and legal thought, his research focuses on the intersections between technology and cognition since the Scientific Revolution.

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Libreria: Midtown Scholar Bookstore
Indirizzo: Harrisburg, PA, U.S.A.

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Valutazione libreria: 4 stelle

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