Book cover

Sovereignty and the Denial of International Equality: Writing Civilisational Difference in Early Modern International Relations

4:00pm - 5:30pm / Friday 28th January 2022
Type: Other / Category: Research / Series: Europe and the World Centre
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This book asks whether sovereignty can guarantee international equality by exploring the discourses of sovereignty and their reliance on the notions of civilisation and savagery in two historical colonial encounters: the French explorations of Canada in the 16th century and the domestic troubles linked to the Wars of Religion.

Based on extensive archival research, this book provides an in-depth intellectual picture of ‘civilised sovereignty’ in colonial and domestic contexts. Mathieu reveals the interplay between the domestic and external claims to sovereignty and the way the domestic and international constructions of sovereignty feed into one another. Overall, the book questions the ‘myth of sovereignty as equality’ and reflects on the persistence of this association despite the overwhelming empirical evidence that sovereignty contributes to international hierarchies and inequalities.

Representing a major intervention in the existing IR debates about sovereignty, this book will be a valuable resource for researchers working on sovereignty, interventions, (international) equality and emancipation.

Dr. Xavier Mathieu is Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Liverpool. Prior to joining Liverpool, he worked at the University of Sheffield, Aston University, the University of Leeds and the Centre for Global Cooperation Research. His research focuses on sovereignty, international interventions, civilisation and Eurocentrism, and the role of identity/difference in (post)colonial encounters. His research has been published in International Relations, Third World Quarterly, the Journal of International Political Theory, among others. In addition, he co-edited a Special Issue for the Journal of Intervention and Peacebuilding - later published as a book entitled The Politics of Peacebuilding in a Diverse World: Difference Exposed (Routledge, 2019).