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Exploring Westphalia's Blind Spots: Exceptionalism Meets the English School

Schouenborg, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-2660-3403 (2012). Exploring Westphalia's Blind Spots: Exceptionalism Meets the English School. Geopolitics, 17(1), pp. 130-152. doi: 10.1080/14650045.2010.523096


The point of departure for this article is the realisation that the regional dimensions of international society have not been conceptualised adequately by International Relations scholars. One consequence of this, I argue, is that what could have been understood as regionally led change has been framed as revolutionary exceptions or imperialist drives for power aggregation. I attempt to develop this point by demonstrating how, for example, the EU and international fascism (in this article mainly associated with Germany, Italy and Japan during World War II) might instead be considered as cases of regional differentiation within international society. Two things are accomplished via this analysis. First, the cases are ‘normalised’, making a more accurate historical description of their respective developments possible. Second, by taking these regionally led developments seriously, the potential for fundamental change to the core institutions of international society becomes a distinct possibility and thus unsettles our whole Westphalian imagination.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Geopolitics on 5 Jan 2012, available online:
Publisher Keywords: English School; regional international societies; EU; fascism; communism; French revolution; American revolution
Subjects: J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
Text - Accepted Version
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