War, Survival Units, and Citizenship : A Neo-Eliasian Processual-Relational Perspective book cover
1st Edition

War, Survival Units, and Citizenship
A Neo-Eliasian Processual-Relational Perspective

ISBN 9780754649526
Published October 16, 2020 by Routledge
290 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In this ground-breaking book, the author proposes a new theory of state formation based upon a rethinking of the nexus war, state, and citizenship. He seeks to move beyond explanations provided by traditional approaches by discussing and presenting alternative state-society and state theories, arguing that a relational-processual understanding of the states has been neglected in existing literature. The book begins with a critical discussion of the concept of the state and society in social and political theory. The author suggests an alternative theoretical-methodological framework based upon German relational theory (such as Hegel, Clausewitz, Carl Schmitt, and, in particular Norbert Elias). Drawing upon the concepts of survival unit and figuration the book provides a political, historical and sociological comparative analysis of the relation between war, state, and citizenship in France, England and Germany from the Middle Ages to the mid-17th century, with emphasis on the 16th and 17th centuries. In addition, the book addresses two puzzles in social theory. First, the author addresses the question: why is the world divided into a multiple number of units? Will it remain like this or can we expect one unit – one world state – in the future? Second, the author looks into why and how this divided world is maintained: what makes the demarcation between states and how is this demarcation upheld? The issues discussed in the book are central to political and historical sociology and will be of interest to scholars and students working in both these fields, as well as to those working in political science and IR, social theory and history.

Table of Contents


Part 1: War, Survival Units, and Structures of Privileges, Right, Obligations, and Citizenship: Theoretical and Methodological Considerations

1. Historical Sociology and Research on State Formation: The German Tradition Revisited

2. Towards a Theoretical Framework: Rereading Norbert Elias

Part 2: Western Europe: From Medieval Survival Units to the Rise and Consolidation of the Stände-Staat


3. The Decline of the Carolingian Empire and the Disintegration of Europe. The Figuration of Feudal Survival Units, 800–1050

4.The Resurgence of Centripetal Forces: 1050-1300

5. Centripetal Forces. Two Steps Forward, One Step Back, 1300–1500

Summarizing Part 2: War, Survival Units, and Citizenship. A Review of the Medieval Figurations of Survival Units, 800-1500

Part 3: France, England, and Germany: New Survival Units - New Structures of Privileges, Rights and Obligations 1500-1660


6. The European Figuration of Survival Units 1494-1659: From Local to Continental Wars - The Survival Units in France, England, and Germany

7. The "Military Revolution"

8. The Rise of Civil Society and a Monetary Economy

9. Sovereignty: From Universality to Particularity and from Fragmentation to Territorialization

10. France: From Stände-Staat to Territorial State

11.England: A Territorial Centralized Stände-Staat - 1500-1660

12. Germany - The Competing Survival Units

13. The Struggle for Recognition - Winners and Losers

14. Some Concluding Remarks

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Lars Bo Kaspersen is Professor of Political Sociology at the Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.