The Emergence of Sovereignty in the Wake of the Reformations


The elusiveness of the emergence of sovereignty represents a challenge to IR, as it leaves us with many possible beginnings. And as any new beginning marks an end, settling the question of sovereignty begs the question of how the world was without it. Did sovereignty mark the end of an era that would make little sense to IR and its sovereignty prism? In the present contribution I will take issue with such clear delimitations and make the case for a broad understanding of change grounded in the practical challenges of international politics rather than canonical statements about them. My argument is rooted in a dissatisfaction with extant accounts seeking to redraw the temporal limits of international politics in the wake of the fall of the foundational myth of 1648 and the Peace of Westphalia