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The hierarchical society: the politics of self-determination and the constitution of new states after 1919

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Abstract

International Relations scholarship disconnects the history of the so-called expansion of international society from the presence of hierarchies within it. In contrast, this article argues that these developments may in fact be premised on hierarchical arrangements whereby new states are subject to international tutelage as the price of acceptance to international society. It shows that hierarchies within international society are deeply entrenched with the politics of self-determination as international society expands. I substantiate this argument with primary and secondary material on the Minority Treaty provisions imposed on the new states in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe admitted to the League of Nations after World War I. The implications of this claim for International Relations scholarship are twofold. First, my argument contributes to debates on the making of the international system of states by showing that the process of expansion of international society is premised on hierarchy, among and within states. Second, it speaks to the growing body of scholarship on hierarchy in world politics by historicising where hierarchies come from, examining how diverse hierarchies are nested and intersect, and revealing how different actors navigate these hierarchies.

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APA

Spanu, M. (2020). The hierarchical society: the politics of self-determination and the constitution of new states after 1919. European Journal of International Relations, 26(2), 372–396. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354066119866496

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