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States of War – Enlightenment Origins of the Political - Columbia Scholarship Online
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States of War: Enlightenment Origins of the Political

David Bates


We fear that the growing threat of violent attack has upset the balance between existential concepts of political power, which emphasize security, and traditional notions of constitutional limits meant to protect civil liberties. We worry that constitutional states cannot, during a time of war, terror, and extreme crisis, maintain legality and preserve civil rights and freedoms. This book allays these concerns by revisiting the theoretical origins of the modern constitutional state, which, it argues, recognized and made room for tensions among law, war, and the social order. We traditionally a ... More

Keywords: modern constitutional state, Enlightenment thinkers, absolutist sovereign power, political autonomy, constitutional theory, existential security, sovereign power

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780231158053
Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015 DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231158053.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David Bates, author