World of Warcraft™ and the State of Territory in International Relations

Jeppe Strandsbjerg

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    According to conventional knowledge, the realist tradition in International Relations has maintained the world of International Politics in a perpetual state of ‘warcraft’ between sovereign territorial states. Since the early 1990s arguments associated with Historical Sociology have sought to counter such a timeless image of states and politics. Yet, while this has done much to historicise state institutions and the international system, one of the fundamental features of the modern state remains poorly understood: that of territory. This is because, I argue, that the concept of space remains absent from the historical analyses. Historical Sociology proper usually treat territory as an unproblematic transhistorical concept and Constructivist approaches tend to focus on how perceptions of space interrelate with historical
    developments of institutions. Both tend to leave space as unhistorically accepted, conceptually assumed and philosophically unexamined. The solution I propose in this paper is to expand what we do historical sociology about; that is a historical sociology of space formation which investigates how space historically has been established as real, and hereby, had a conditioning and transformative effect on the political role of territory. This is key to understand to spatial nature of the modern state and thus, also, the transformative possibilities within international relations
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2011
    Number of pages21
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    Event52nd ISA Annual Convention: International Studies Association Conference 2011 - Montreal, Canada
    Duration: 16 Mar 201119 Mar 2011
    Conference number: 52


    Conference52nd ISA Annual Convention
    SponsorThe International Studies Association
    Internet address

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