The myth of 1648: class, geopolitics and the making of modern international relations

Teschke, Benno (2003) The myth of 1648: class, geopolitics and the making of modern international relations. Verso. ISBN 9781859846933

Full text not available from this repository.


This book rejects a commonplace of European history: that the treaties of Westphalia not only closed the Thirty Years’ War but also inaugurated a new international order driven by the interaction of territorial sovereign states. Benno Teschke, through this thorough and incisive critique, argues that this is not the case. Domestic ‘social property relations’ shaped international relations in continental Europe down to 1789 and even beyond. The dynastic monarchies that ruled during this time differed from their medieval predecessors in degree and form of personalization, but not in underlying dynamic. 1648, therefore, is a false caesura in the history of international relations. For real change we must wait until relatively recent times and the development of modern states and true capitalism. In effect, it’s not until governments are run impersonally, with no function other than the exercise of its monopoly on violence, that modern international relations are born.

Item Type: Book
Additional Information: Winner of the 2003 Isaac Deutscher Memorial Prize; translated into German (Mythos 1648: Klassen, Geopolitik und die Entstehung des europäischen Staatensystems) (2007), Japanese (Kindai kokka taikei no keisei: uesutofaria no shinwa (2008), and Russian (МИФ О 1648 ГОДЕ: класс, геополитика и создание современных международных отношений) (2011)
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Depositing User: Benno Teschke
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:28
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2013 12:48
📧 Request an update