The years 1650 to 1750 - sandwiched between an age of 'wars of religion' and an age of 'revolutionary wars' - have often been characterized as a 'de-ideologized' period. However, the essays in this collection contend that this is a mistaken assumption. For whilst international relations during this time may lack the obvious polarization between Catholic and Protestant visible in the proceeding hundred years, or the highly charged contest between monarchies and republics of the late eighteenth century, it is forcibly argued that ideology had a fundamental part to play in this crucial transformative stage of European history. Many early modernists have paid little attention to international relations theory, often taking a 'Realist' approach that emphasizes the anarchism, materialism and power-political nature of international relations. In contrast, this volume provides alternative perspectives, viewing international relations as socially constructed and influenced by ideas, ideology and identities. Building on such theoretical developments, allows international relations after 1648 to be fundamentally reconsidered, by putting political and economic ideology firmly back into the picture. By engaging with, and building upon, recent theoretical developments, this collection treads new terrain. Not only does it integrate cultural history with high politics and foreign policy, it also engages directly with themes discussed by political scientists and international relations theorists. As such it offers a fresh, and genuinely interdisciplinary approach to this complex and fundamental period in Europe's development.
David Onnekink, Universiteit Utrecht, NL; and Gijs Rommelse, The Netherlands Institute of Military History, The Hague, NL.
'This collection is a successful analysis of the close connection between ideology and foreign policy in Europe between 1650 and 1750.' Sixteenth Century Journal 'Overall, this is a collection which should find a place in university libraries: the general standard of essays is higher than in many such compilations, and several are of real importance.' English Historical Review '... one of this volume’s strengths is the coherent dialogue it engenders between contributions. It succeeds in this by inviting contributions from not only established historians, but also from early-career scholars whose densely-argued, source-driven articles suggest new avenues of research... the volume emanates from and contributes to the lively discussion on the nature and conduct of Williamite foreign policy and its legacies.' Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis ’...[A] remarkable volume...’ The Seventeenth Century