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The Sovereign State and Its Competitors


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Table of Contents

List of Maps and TablesPrefaceIntroduction3Pt. IContingency, Choice, and Constraint9Ch. 1Structural Change in International Relations11Ch. 2Organizational Variation and Selection in the International System22Ch. 3Modes of Nonterritorial Organization: Feudalism, the Church, and the Holy Roman Empire34Pt. IIThe Emergence of New Modes of Organization59Ch. 4The Economic Renaissance of the Late Middle Ages61Ch. 5The Rise of the Sovereign, Territorial State in Capetian France77Ch. 6The Fragmentation of the German Empire and the Rise of the Hanseatic League109Ch. 7The Development of the Italian City-states130Pt. IIICompetition, Mutual Empowerment, and Choice: The Advantages of Sovereign Territoriality151Ch. 8The Victory of the Sovereign State153Pt. IVConclusion181Ch. 9Character, Tempo, and Prospects for Change in the International System183Notes195Bibliography265Index285

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Spruyt takes on a theme that is ... of central import to political science... A convincing demonstration that there was nothing inevitable about the triumph of the [present] form of the state. -- John A. Hall, McGill University

About the Author

Hendrik Spruyt is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Columbia University.


Winner of the 1996 J. David Greenstone Book Prize, American Political Science Association "Hendrik Spruyt's book provides new and interesting analytical framework for examining--from an international perspective--the emergence of new international political systems...The book advances a bold and intriguing hypothesis...[It is] a powerful and provocative essay; the examination of its details will probably provide much work in years to come. Any economic historian who considers the state system as fundamental to European growth should read this work."--Avner Greif, Journal of Economic History "This intriguing book argues that nation-states and territorially sovereign powers were not the only possible form of organization, and that the end of the Middle Ages saw the flowering of a variety of alternatives."--Foreign Affairs "Spruyt ... shows that sovereign states of Europe emerged from the decline of feudalism as urban units gained freedom and formed leagues... He also puts into perspective the European Union that today's nation-states are attempting to put together... A significant contribution to political science and to European history."--Bibliotheque Humanisme et Renaissance

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