Revolution and World Order: The Revolutionary State in International Society

Revolution and World Order: The Revolutionary State in International Society

Revolution and World Order: The Revolutionary State in International Society

Revolution and World Order: The Revolutionary State in International Society

Synopsis

In this important study David Armstrong examines the impact of revolutionary states on the international system. These states have always posed major problems for the achievement of world order: revolution is often accompanied by international as well as civil conflict, while revolutionarydoctrines have proven to be highly disruptive of the existing structure of international politics. Dr Armstrong asks whether revolutionary states are 'socialized' into adopting acceptable patterns of international behaviour or whether it is international society that is forced to change when these new states appear. He looks in detail at the French, American, and Russian revolutions and at several post-1945 revolutionary states; he also examines the relationship between revolutionary states and the principal ordering devices of international society: international law, diplomacy, and the balance of power. Hisbook is a major contribution to international relations and an important development and application of the 'international society' concept.

Excerpt

This book, in its current form, has its origins in a conversation with Hedley Bull as long ago as 1975. I had just completed a Ph.D. in his Department at the Australian National University on the role of ideology in Chinese foreign policy. in this thesis, subsequently published by California University Press, I had developed the concept of China's 'socialization' within international society and I informed Professor Bull of my intention to elaborate upon this idea in a much more ambitious study of the impact of international society upon the international relations of revolutionary states. He suggested that a two-way interaction was involved in this context, since revolutions had also affected the evolution of international society, and I have attempted to incorporate this insight into this book. Bull's influence is to be found throughout this study, as in the work of so many of his former students and I share their regret that he did not live to witness the extent to which his ideas came virtually to dominate an entire school of thought within International Relations (a development he would have regarded with amused detachment). I also deeply regret that my friend and fellow graduate student at the anu, John Vincent, never saw the publication of a book which he did so much to encourage me to complete.

After 1975 numerous professional and personal distractions cropped up to prevent me from doing more than the bare minimum of work on this book until 1987, when the generosity of the Nuffield Foundation enabled me to spend most of a year at Oxford, researching the French and American revolutions. While at St Antony's College, I met Mark Zacher of the University of British Columbia and Mark's subsequent invitation to spend two summers teaching at ubc gave me another opportunity to concentrate on the book in the extremely congenial setting of Vancouver. I am far from being the first academic to experience Mark's extraordinary generosity, collegiality, and hospitality, but I am glad to have this opportunity to thank him. I should also like to thank others at the ubc who made my stay there so enjoyable and contributed valuable suggestions for this book, especially Paul Marantz and Kal Holsti.

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