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War, Revolution, and the Transformation of European Politics

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Abstract:

The remarkable period of interstate peace following war in post-Napoleonic Europe has rightly attracted considerable scholarly attention. I contend that the recent emphasis in prominent works on institutional explanations for the peace, that the forum of the concert of Europe itself was responsible for the peace due to communicative or informational mechanisms, is overplayed. I argue that an older explanation, dismissed by leading scholars, undergirds what one scholar has dubbed the transformation of European politics: the fear of revolution. I examine cases of cooperation and show that the concert played a peripheral role in great power restraint. The threat of domestic upheaval better explains these instances of missed exploitation as well as the general policy of restraint. This corrective not only has important implications for theories of international institutions, but also the predominant focus in the literature on how internal instability leads to external conflict. In this case, internal instability sustained interstate peace.
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Association:
Name: American Political Science Association Annual Meeting
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http://www.apsanet.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1129497_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Nelson, Chad. "War, Revolution, and the Transformation of European Politics" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, TBA, Philadelphia, PA, Sep 01, 2016 <Not Available>. 2017-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1129497_index.html>

APA Citation:

Nelson, C. , 2016-09-01 "War, Revolution, and the Transformation of European Politics" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, TBA, Philadelphia, PA <Not Available>. 2017-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1129497_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The remarkable period of interstate peace following war in post-Napoleonic Europe has rightly attracted considerable scholarly attention. I contend that the recent emphasis in prominent works on institutional explanations for the peace, that the forum of the concert of Europe itself was responsible for the peace due to communicative or informational mechanisms, is overplayed. I argue that an older explanation, dismissed by leading scholars, undergirds what one scholar has dubbed the transformation of European politics: the fear of revolution. I examine cases of cooperation and show that the concert played a peripheral role in great power restraint. The threat of domestic upheaval better explains these instances of missed exploitation as well as the general policy of restraint. This corrective not only has important implications for theories of international institutions, but also the predominant focus in the literature on how internal instability leads to external conflict. In this case, internal instability sustained interstate peace.


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