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Unity and Difference: J. R. Seeley and the Political Theology of International Relations

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Abstract:

This article explores the international political thought of one of the most prominent late Victorian public intellectuals, John Robert Seeley (1834-95), the Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge, and author of the best-selling The Expansion of England (1883). Challenging conventional readings of Seeley, I argue that his vision of global politics must be located within the wider frame of his views on the sacred, and that he is seen best as articulating an interesting political theology of international relations. In particular, I argue that instead of interpreting him as a realist, as has traditionally been the case, his position is characterised most accurately as ‘cosmopolitan nationalism.’ Only by situating him in the intellectual context(s) of his time is it possible to provide an adequate account of the identity of his political thought.

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seeley (242), polit (119), nation (86), p (84), religion (84), state (70), see (70), univers (62), pp (59), cambridg (51), thought (48), natur (46), church (45), also (45), histori (39), london (36), moral (36), press (35), victorian (33), intern (33), war (32),
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Name: International Studies Association
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MLA Citation:

Bell, Duncan. "Unity and Difference: J. R. Seeley and the Political Theology of International Relations" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii, Mar 05, 2005 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p69343_index.html>

APA Citation:

Bell, D. S. , 2005-03-05 "Unity and Difference: J. R. Seeley and the Political Theology of International Relations" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p69343_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This article explores the international political thought of one of the most prominent late Victorian public intellectuals, John Robert Seeley (1834-95), the Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge, and author of the best-selling The Expansion of England (1883). Challenging conventional readings of Seeley, I argue that his vision of global politics must be located within the wider frame of his views on the sacred, and that he is seen best as articulating an interesting political theology of international relations. In particular, I argue that instead of interpreting him as a realist, as has traditionally been the case, his position is characterised most accurately as ‘cosmopolitan nationalism.’ Only by situating him in the intellectual context(s) of his time is it possible to provide an adequate account of the identity of his political thought.

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Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 24
Word count: 12701
Text sample:
Paper Prepared for ISA 2005 Please do not cite or quote without permission Unity and Difference: John Robert Seeley and the Political Theology of International Relations Duncan S. A. Bell University of Cambridge Abstract: This article explores the international political thought of one of the most prominent late Victorian public intellectuals John Robert Seeley (1834-95) the Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge and author of the best-selling The Expansion of England (1883). Challenging conventional readings of Seeley I
to reconcile with our often anachronistic and homogenising accounts of the manifold varieties of political thought. Seeley's intellectual persona was as multi-faceted (and at times as opaque) as any late nineteenth-century figure. And his intellectual trajectory the vocabularies he inherited and adapted as well as his comprehension of the real and ideal worlds of global politics escapes the clutches of the reductive `traditions' so popular with historians of international relations. Greater caution is required in characterising historical agents all


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