Power in Concert: The Nineteenth-Century Origins of Global Governance

Barry Buzan and George Lawson, London School of Economics

Jennifer Mitzen’s primary goal in this book is to show how states “concert” their power in order to “steer” political outcomes (p. 61). For Mitzen, the Concert of Europe provides the first modern illustration of states purposefully “grouping” in order to construct a legitimate “international public power” (p. 98). Public commitments made through “forums” (face-to-face meetings between sovereigns and their principal advisors accompanied by midlevel diplomatic meetings and the establishing of committees on a variety of issue-areas) encouraged practices of self-restraint and the emergence of generalized interests. For Mitzen, the forums that sustained the Concert served as participatory mechanisms that generated a thin social bond that, in turn, fostered a sense of collective solidarity and shared purpose. The Concert was the result of the collective intentions of states to jointly share in the management of European international politics.

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Perspectives on Politics / Volume 14 / Issue 01 / March 2016, pp 184-186
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2016