Subtitle: War, Peace and the
Course of History - Alfred Knopf, NY., 2002, 919 pgs., index, bibliography,
This is one of the most important books on the history of our age, how the
'State' began, its principle role - that of conducting war, how it developed,
how it was legitimized by contemporary writers, its constitution and strategy,
the constitution of the society of states, what is happening to it now and some
thoughts on where it is going. The author combines excellent descriptions of
the ephocal wars, including their tactics and technologies, that transformed it
with much less well known discussion and analysis of the theories created to
legitimize it. It is a perfect companion to Dr. Bobbitt's later book Terror
and Consent, in which he focuses on the role of terror during each of
the epochs described here. Both books are essential studies for understanding
current events and future possibilities.
So what is this 'State' and when and how was it created and for what purpose?
The "State' is an abstract concept that was developed during the
Renaissance to replace the concept of the 'Great Chain of Being" which had
served as the source of legitimacy for rulers, justified their power to
establish law, and defined the relative places and roles of the members of
society, during the European Middle Ages. It stands outside of and above
society and rulers. It developed when rulers (both individuals and republican
governments) were still prevented from marshaling all the resources of their
polities by medieval custom and law from raising sufficient enough to wage war.
The 'State' is a child of war - that is the wieldier of violence, both
domestically via its constitution and externally via its strategy.
In the list of references below I include the histories in the "Rise of
Modern Europe" series that contain more details on the periods of
transformation which Dr. Bobbitt discusses here.
Forward By Sir Michael
"There have been many studies of the development of warfare even more of
the history of international relations, while those on international and
constitutional law are literally innumerable. But I know of none that has dealt
with all three of these together, analyzed their interactions throughout
European history and used that analysis to describe the world in which we live
and the manner in which it is likely to develop.
Bobbitt goes back to an older and bleaker tradition: that associated with the
name of Niccolo Machiavelli..."
Prologue The End of the
Long War and the Transformation of the Modern State
In the prologue Professor Bobbitt writes a summary of the entire book while
describing how it is organized.
"This book is about the modern state - how it came into being, how it has
developed, and in what directions we can expect it to change. Epochal wars,
those great coalitional conflicts that often extend over decades, have been
critical to the birth and development of the State, and therefore much of this
book is concerned with the history of warfare. Equally determinative of the
State has been its legal order, and so this is a book about law, especially
constitutional and international law as these subjects relate to statecraft.
This book, however, is neither a history of war nor a work of jurisprudence.
Rather it is principally concerned with the relationship between
strategy, and the legal order as this relationship has shaped and transformed
the modern state and the society composed of these states. A new form of the
State - the market state - is emerging from this relationship in much the same
way that earlier forms since the fifteenth century have emerged as a
consequence of war."
"As a result of the Long War, the State is being transformed and this
transformation is constitutional in nature, by which I mean we will change our
views as to the basic reason d'etre of the State the legitimating
purpose that animates the State and sets the terms of the State's strategic
"The nation-state's model of statecraft links the sovereignty of a state
to its territorial borders."
"Because the international order of nation-states is constructed on the
foundation of this model of state sovereignty, developments that cast doubt on
that sovereignty call the entire system into question."
"Five such developments do so:
(1) the recognition of human rights as norms that require adherence within all
states, regardless of their internal laws:
(2) the widespread deployment of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass
destruction that render the defense of state borders ineffectual for protection
of the society within;
(3) the proliferation of global and transnational threats that transcend state
borders, such as those that damage the environment, or threaten states through
migration, population expansion, disease, or famine;
(4) the growth of a world economic regime that ignores borders in the movement
of capital investment to a degree that effectively curtails states in the
management of their economic affairs;
(5) the creation of a global communications network that penetrates borders
electronically and threatens national languages, customs, and cultures."
The Relationship between Military Innovation and Change in the Constitutional
"A revolution in miliary affairs brought forth the modern state by
requiring an organized system of finance and administration in order for
societies to defend themselves."
But if we see, on the contrary, that each of the important revolutions in
military affairs enabled a political revolution in the fundamental
constitutional order of the State, then we will be able not only to better
frame the scholarly debate but also to appreciate that the death of the
nation-state by no means presages the end of the State."
The Relationship between the Constitutional order and the International Order
"Every society has a constitution. Every society does not require a state,
But every society has a constitution because to be a society is to be
constituted in some particular way."
"Each great peace conference that ended an epochal war wrote a
constitution for the society of states"
Yet, all constitutions also carry within themselves the seeds of future
How to Understand the Emerging World order of Market-states
"This book offers and answer: that we are at one of the half dozen turning
points that have fundamentally changed the way societies are organized for
"The modern state came into existence when it proved necessary to organize
a constitutional order that could wage war more effectively that the feudal and
mercantile orders it replaced."
"Each new form of the State is distinguished by its unique basis for
legitimacy - the historical claim it makes that entitles the State to
"The emergence of the market-state will produce conflict in every society
as the old ways of the superseded nation-state fall away."
The Future of the State
"A new constitutional order - the market-state- is about to emerge."
"Whatever course is decided upon will be both constitutional and strategic
in nature because these are the two faces of the modern state - the face the
state turns toward its own citizens, and the face it turns toward the outside
world of its competitors and collaborators."
The Structure of this Book
"The Shield of Achilles treats the relationship between strategy
and law. The first part deals with the State, and the second takes up the
society of states; whereas the first is largely devoted to war and its
interplay with the constitutional order of the State, the second concentrates
on peace settlements and their structuring of the international order."
"At the beginning of each of the six parts of this combined work, a
general thesis is set forth as a kind of overture to the narrative argument
that is then provided."
Book I of this work, focuses on the individual state; it is divided into three
parts, which correspond to three general arguments."
Part I "The Long War of the Nation State" argues that the war that
began in 1914 did not end until 1990."
Part II provides "A Brief History of the Modern State and the
Constitutional Order" beginning with the origin of the State in Italy at
the end of the fifteenth century and ending with the events that began the Long
War. These chapters assert the thesis that epochal wars have brought about
profound changes in the constitutional order of states through a process of
innovation and mimicry as some states are compelled to innovate, strategically
and constitutionally, in order to survive, and as other states copy these
innovations when they prove decisive in resolving the epochal conflict of an
Part III of Book I "The Historic Consequences of the Long War" argues
that the Long War of the twentieth century was another such epochal war, and
that it has brought about the emergence of a new form of the State, the
While Book I treats of the individual state, Book II, "States of
Peace," deals with the subject of the society of states. The state system
is a formal entity that is composed of states alone and defined by their formal
treaties and agreements. The society of states, on the other hand, is composed
of the formal and informal customs, rules, practices, and habits of states and
encompasses many entities - like the Red Cross and CNN - that are not states at
Part I of Book II, "The Society of Nation-States", deals with the
society of states in which we currently live."
Part II of Book II "A Brief History of the Society of States and the
International Order" revisits the historic conflicts that have given the
modern state its shape and which were the subject of Part II of Book I.
"In Book II, however, the perspective has changed. Here I am less
concerned with epochal wars than I am with the peace agreements that ended
those wars. Part II makes the claim that the society of modern states has had a
series of constitutions, and that these constitutions were the outcome of the
great peace congresses that ended epochal wars."
"Part III "The Society of Market-States" depicts the future of
the society of states." Professor Bobbitt then describes the reason he
titled this book "Shield of Achilles" and discusses Hephaestus's
mirror and the shield he created for Achilles.
He comments, "war is a product as well as shaper of
Book I: State of War
Strategy, and History
"Law, Strategy, History - these ancient ideas whose interrelationship was
perhaps far clearer to the ancients than it is to us, for we are inclined to
treat these subjects as separate modern disciplines."
"War is won and international law changes..." "Or a war is lost,
with the consequence that a new constitutional structure is imposed..."
"Thus does strategy change law - and we call it history." or
"Law changes strategy, and this too we call history." or
"History itself brings new elements into play - .... - an empire falls and
with its strategic collapse die also its laws."
"We scarcely see that the perception of cause and effect itself - history
- is the distinctive element in the ceaseless, restless dynamic by means of
which strategy and law live out their necessary relationship to each
"History, strategy, and law make possible legitimate governing
"The State exists by virtue of its purposes, and among these are a drive
for survival and freedom of action, which is strategy; for authority and
legitimacy, which is law; for identity, which is history."
"There is no state without strategy, law and history, and, to complicate
matters, these three are not merely interrelated elements, they are elements
each composed at least partly of the others."
"The legal and strategic choices a society confronts are often only
recombinations of choices confronted and resolved in the past, now remade in a
present condition of necessity and uncertainty. Law cannot come into being
until the state achieves a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence,
Similarly, a society must have a single legitimate government for its strategic
designs to be laid; otherwise, the distinction between war and civil war
collapses, and strategy degenerates into banditry."
"Today, all major states confront the apparently bewildering task of
determining a new set of rules for the use of military force."
"The reason the traditional strategic calculus no longer functions is that
it depends on certain assumptions about the relationship between the State and
its objectives that the end of this long conflict has cast into doubt."
Professor Bobbitt writes that the major states no longer face the danger of
serious 'state-centered threats against which they can organize the kind of
defenses used in the past. but rather "The parliamentary state manifests
vulnerabilities that arise from a weakening of its own legitimacy."
He also comments on several widespread preconceptions that are now wrong. Among
these is that wars are started by aggressors. NO, he writes, wars come about
when defenders decide to resist.. "Rather, it is the state against whom
the aggression has been mounted, typically, that makes the move to war."
Another misconception is that wars arise due to miscalculation. A third
preconception arrises from presentism. - it is that "future states of
affairs must be evaluated in comparison with the present, rather than with the
unknowable future. In other words it is a mistake to evaluate a choice between
different options on the basis of what the choices would result in now. Rather,
one must evaluate the choices in terms of what the result of each selection
would be in the future.
The State is future oriented.
"It asks; will the state be better or worse off, in the future, if in the
present the state resorts to force to get its way?"
Professor Bobbitt then examines several current theories - deterrence,
compellance, and reassurance. He describes the origin of each and some of the
major authors. He also comments on several other books about the 'end of the
nation-state' and notes that they confuse this end with the end of the state
itself, which he disputes.
Part I: The Long War of
the Nation - State
"Thesis: The war that began in 1914 will come to be seen as having lasted
Chapter 1 - Thucydides
and the Epochal War
Professor Bobbitt starts out with Thucydides and the epochal Peloponnesian War,
then the Thirty Years' War. This is a brief 3 pages to set the scene.
Chapter 2 - The Struggle
Begun: Fascism, Communism, Parliamentarianism, 1914-1919
All the wars from WWI to Cold War were part of one war over one issue.
"The Long war ..... was fought to determine what kind of state would
supersede the imperial states of Europe that emerged in the nineteenth century
after the end of the wars of the French Revolution..."
"The Long War was fought to determine which of three new constitutional
forms would replace that system: parliamentary democracy, communism, or
"As we shall see in Part I, the legitimacy of the constitutional order we
call the nation-state depended upon its claim to better the well-being of the
Professor Bobbitt then proceeds to lengthy discussion of the content and
purposes of Fascism, (which he sees originating in essence with Bismarck). And
he credits Bismarck as one of the founders of the 'nation-state' itself
"the first European nation-state". He then discusses Communism which
seized power in Russia from the weak, new parliamentary government. It
radically changed the 'boundary between state and society' as virtually all
citizens became employes of the state.
Chapter 3 - The Struggle
"The relation between law and strategy, between the inner and the outer
faces of the State, is maintained by history - the account given of the
stewardship of the State."
Professor Bobbitt continues his narrative history with analysis of the
development of Fascism in Germany (and Italy) and Communism in Russia (plus
something also about Japan).
Chapter 4 - The Struggle
"The Long War now continued because it had not truly been ended. " He
discusses the Cold War at length including the Korean War, and, briefly, the
war in VietNam. He dates the end of the Long War "to November 1990 when
the thirty-four members of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe
met at Paris and signed an agreement providing for parliamentary institutions
in all the participating states". - the Charter of Paris. But this is not
the end of either the State nor of war. So, he asks, "what are the
strategic consequences of that peace?' "What will the new world look
Part II: A Brief History
of the Modern State and it's Constitutional Orders
"Thesis: The interplay between strategic and constitutional innovation
changes the constitutional order of the state."
This is the section I find most interesting as excellent analysis of military
Chapter 5 - Strategy and
Professor Bobbitt discusses in detail the several concepts about a 'military
revolution' first advanced by Michael Roberts in 1955. This was accepted by Sir
George Clark in 1958. It was then criticized by Geoffrey Parker, and then in a
different argument by Jeremy Black and even more by David Parrott. Professor
Bobbitt describes all these theories and concludes they were all partially
right but wrong in their basic conception that there would be one such
revolution (each example favored by its author). He writes that, "In the
chapters that follow, I will trace developments in strategy, from roughly the
end of the fifteenth century onward and relate these developments to changes in
the constitutional structures of the states of Europe." The issues on
which these authors based their ideas are minor. His conception is much deeper
and widespread. He continues,
"I propose, in the brief historical narrative that follows, to treat the
relationship between state formation and strategic change as that of a
field, as contrasted with those causal relations that are usually
characterized along a line."
Chapter 6 - From Princes
to Princely States: 1494-1648
The "fall" of Rome created a new society with 'two parallel
structures- the Universal Church and the fragmented feudal system. "The
legal relations of these two entities were in principle separate."
"The defining legal characteristic of medieval society was its horizontal
nature, reflected across these two pervasive dimensions of ecclesiastical and
"Medieval society, however, was not divided into separate states, with
each prince a sovereign within his own territory, ruling hierarchically all
within that territory and no persons our territories remaining outside the
domain of some prince."
Professor Bobbitt gives and excellent description of the characteristics of
medieval society - its culture and political structure. He does not, however,
mention the underlying ideological basis of legitimacy in medieval society -
the 'Great Chain of Being'- the concept that God was at the top of this chain
and every person from emperor, pope, and king down to the lowest peasant was an
integral link in this chain. It was the collapse of this ideological source of
legitimacy and resulting vacuum that necessitated the creation of the abstract
concept of 'State' which Bobbitt then describes so well.
He notes, "the universal scope of the Christian community imposed
restraints on a prince's reasons for going to war." And I add serious
fiscal restraints as well.
"the princes of this period were not territorial in the sense of having a
fixed settlement and identification with that locality and its people..."
Professor Bobbitt writes 15 pages of excellent detailed discussion of the
transition from princes to princely states including military technological
changes, political and economic changes and philosophical changes. He writes
that "This change was begun by the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by
the Ottoman Turks. One does not often see this mentioned instead of French King
Charles VIII invasion of Italy in 1494, which Bobbitt lists second.
"Faced with such a strategic challenge (from artillery) Italian cities
could no longer simply rely on their high walls and fortified towns to protect
"Thus, the modern state originated in the transition from the rule of
princes to that of princely states that necessity wrought on the Italian
peninsula at the end of the fifteenth century." Now, Bobbitt by 'prince'
and 'princely' does not limit the subject to literal princes but includes the
oligarchical and semi-democratic Italian city republics as well.
Bobbitt correctly notes the abstract conceptual nature of this new 'state'.
Prior governments and societies had no similar 'state' "the State is never
a 'thing' it has no 'legal personality' in past history.
He stresses about the previous eras:
"The State was always an irreducible community of human beings and never
characterized as an abstraction with certain legal attributes apart from the
"The modern state, however, is an entity quite detachable from the society
that it governs as well as from the leaders who exercise power."
"All the significant legal characteristics of the State - legitimacy,
personality, continuity, integrity, and most importantly , sovereignty - date
from the moment at which these human traits, the constituents of human
identity, were transposed to the State itself."
There is much more in this chapter.
Chapter 7 - From Kingly
States to Territorial States: 1648-1776
"From early in the sixteenth century until the middle of the seventeenth
two conflicts intertwined: the religious struggle that began with the
reformation and which; provoked horrific civil wars throughout Europe: and the
efforts of the Hapsburg dynasty to establish a true imperial realm in
"These two interacting dramas culminated in the Peace of Westphalia in
1648, which ratified the role of the kingly state as the dominant legitimate
form of government in western Europe."
The Kingly States
In a compact 48 pages Bobbitt describes not only the character of the kingly
state and its rise and fall, but also the advent of the territorial state and
the significant differences between these two forms.
"The princely state in Italy had been developed by families who wished to
re-enforce their legitimacy to govern, and who required a more efficient means
of marshaling wealth in order to defend their claims by means of innovation -
fundamentally, the objectification of the state - and united this with dynastic
"The strategic innovations of ever more expensive fortress design and
complex infantry fire crushed those constitutional forms that could not adapt
in order to exploit those innovations: first princely states, with their modest
revenue bases; then the discontinuous Hapsburg empire of princely states that
risked decisive battles in so many theaters that it was bled dry by the new,
more dynamic and lethal warfare."
"The chief advantage of the kingly state over the princely states it
dominated was sheer scale. Yet this advantage was not enjoyed by the Hapsburg
empire, which assembled a vast collection of princely states into a single
constitutional unit. It is important to see how, despite enormous wealth and
experienced forces, who were, as at Nordlingen, capable of devastating
victories, the Hapsburg imperial constitutional form was nevertheless
vulnerable to the escalating possibilities of violence posed by the revolution
"The sheer quantitative advantage that imperial and kingly forms shared
should not blind us to the constitutional qualitative difference between the
kingly state and the princely state."
But it was more than a revolution in tactics. Babbitt discusses the ideas of
Machiavelli, Bodin and Hobbes in the transition of theory from princely to
kingly state. He describes the efforts of Cardinal Richelieu to use the
'epochal' Thirty Years' War to complete the victory of the kingly state. But he
writes that it was Gustavus Adolphus who "more than other leaders used the
potentiality of the kingly state to exploit the military revolution begun by
gunpowder." "(Gustavus) realized that constitutional as well as
strategic reform was necessary."
"Whereas for the princely state the great leap is from the prince as
person to the prince plus an administrative structure - the prince and the Sate
- the transformation to the kingly state (the state already having been
objectified) reverses this move and makes the monarch the apotheosis of the
"Princely states persisted in Italy and Germany because of powerful
competing cities in both places and owing to the presence of the papal states
in the former and irreconcilable religious division in the latter. These
thwarted the consolidation necessary for the creation of a kingly state in both
"To put it differently: the princely state severed the person of the
prince from his bureaucratic and military structure, thereby creating a state
with attributes hitherto reserved to a human being; the kingly state reunites,
these two elements, monarch and state, and makes of the king the State itself:
(I am the state)".
"But the kingly state did not truly triumph as a stable and powerful
entity until constitutional centralization became a reality". "The
victory of the kingly state was accompanied by the broad introduction of
rationalism into European thought".
"Six institutional structures typified the kingly state; a standing army
(or navy),... a centralized bureaucracy; a regularized statewide system of
taxation, permanent diplomatic representation abroad; systematic state policies
to promote economic wealth and commerce; the placement of the king as the head
of the church."
But these were different from the conditions of the coming 'territorial state'.
Bobbitt describes the evolution subsequent to Peace of Westphalia of the now
supreme kingly state and the already beginning territorial state (such as
Netherlands - United Provinces of the Dutch was the first).
"The territorial state had special concerns that contrasted with those of
the kingly state. Whereas a kingly state was organized around a person, the
territorial state was defined by its contiguity and therefore fretted
constantly about its borders."
Bobbitt continues with a lengthy history of the kingly state (especially
France) and then of its conflict in the War of the Spanish Succession with the
new territorial states to which it ultimately succumbed at the Treaty of
"The territorial state was characterized by a shift from the monarch as
embodiment of sovereignty to the monarch as minister of
Chapter 8 - From
State-Nations to Nation-States: 1776-1914
In another lengthy chapter Professor Bobbitt traces the continued development
of the state nation out of the territorial state and then its shift to the
nation-state. Again, he notes that at a given time some states might be, for
instance, still kingly while the majority were now territorial but leading
states were already becoming state nations. In fact some virtually leaped from
the rear to the front in the process of change. He points out that nations such
as France that remained 'kingly states' and didn't shift to the territorial
basis eventually lost the support of critical interest groups and were
destroyed in a direct change to the state-nation form. At the same time, these
states were then the first to become state-nations - France - and the rest were
then forced to follow along.
"What is a "state-nation," this curious phrase that seems no
more than a typographer's inversion of the familiar term in political science?
A state-nation is a state that mobilizes a nation - a national, ethnocultural
group - to act on behalf of the State. It can thus call on the revenues of all
society, and on the human talent of all persons. But such a state does not
exist to serve or take direction from the nation, as does a nation-state.
"By contrast the nation-state, a later phenomenon, creates a state in
order to benefit the nation it governs. "
Professor Bobbitt narrates and describes in detail the course of the Wars of
the French Revolution and Napoleon to show how the strength of the new
state-nation defeated the opposing territorial states and how these eventually
were forced to change their constitutions as well. Except that Germany and
Italy were so broken by religious and political divisions that they could not
convert at that time. As in the preceding chapters, the historical summary of
the wars is closely tied to the constitutional changes.
"But only when each of Napoleon's victim states had become persuaded that
it must change in order to save itself, did a society come into being that can
properly be called a society of state-nations."
"It is important to understand precisely what strategic innovations
Napoleon relied upon, and then to briefly chronicle his experience with them.
That will lead us to an understanding of the state-nation form he
"And how it differed from the state-nation model created by Washington,
Hamilton and Madison."
An interesting conclusion Bobbitt reaches is that but for Napoleon's full scale
revolutionary strategy France more likely would have adapted from its
kingly-state form to the territorial-state form of its opponents, joining their
society rather than supplanting it. He explains: "And this speculation is
important for our wider study, because it suggests that a revolution in
military affairs is not sufficient, without further human agency, to bring a
new constitutional order into being."
In this chapter Bobbitt continues to describe the evolution of the State in the
19th century from state-nation to nation-state. His exposition begins with a
detailed analysis of the Congress of Vienna and the objectives and rolls of the
principal participants. In this he expounds a vital role for history.
"Every change in the constitutional arrangements of the State will have
strategic consequences and also the other way around, so that innovation in
either sphere will be reflected in the degree of legitimacy achieved by the
Sate, because legitimation is the reason for which a constitution exists, for
which the State makes war."
"Because history provides the way in which legitimation is conferred on
the State, history is the manifestation of the interactions of law and strategy
as history affords the means by which the State's objectives are rationalized.
History determines the basis for legitimacy. "
"Every era asks, "What is the State supposed to be doing?" The
answer to this question provides us with an indication of the grounds of the
State's legitimacy, for only when we know the purpose of the State can we say
whether it is succeeding. The nation-state is supposed to be doing something
unique in the history of the modern state: maintaining, nurturing, and
improving the conditions of its citizens."
"The transition from state-nation to the nation-state brought a change in
Chapter 9 - The Study of
the Modern State
"Open any textbook on constitutional law and you will find discussions of
the regulation of commerce and the power of taxation, religious and racial
accommodation, class and wealth conflicts, labor turmoil, and free speech, but
little or nothing on war". "Open any textbook on war and you will
find chapters on strategy, the causes of wars, limited war, nuclear weapons,
even the ethics of war, but nothing on the constitutions of societies that make
war - nothing, that is, on what people are fighting to protect, to assart, to
"The state has two primary functions: to distribute questions
appropriately among the various allocation methods internal to the society, and
the determining what sorts of problems will be decided by asserting its
territorial and temporal jurisdictions vis-a-vis other states. These two tasks
are, respectively the work of constitutional law and strategy". "In
the preceding chapters it has been argued that there is a mutually affecting
relationship; between strategy and constitutional law such that some strategic
challenges are of so great a magnitude that, rather than merely requiring more
taxes, or more bureaucrats, or longer periods of war service, they encourage
and even demand constitutional adaptations: and that some constitutional
changes are of such magnitude that they enable and sometimes require strategic
"Over the long run, it is the constitutional order of the State that tends
to confer military advantage by achieving cohesion, continuity, and, above all,
legitimacy for its strategic operations".
Part III: The Historical
Consequences of the Long War
"Thesis: The Market State is Superseding the Nation-State as a Consequence
of the End of the Long War".
Chapter 10 - The
"Different constitutional orders are responsive to different demands for
legitimacy. Legitimating characteristics, such as dynastic rights, that are
sufficient for one constitutional order are inadequate for another".
The Crisis of the Nation State"
"As we saw in the historical narratives of Part II, the nation-state is a
relatively recent structure. Indeed, the modern State itself is of fairly
recent vintage in the life of civilized mankind, dating as it does from roughly
the end of the fifteenth century".
Dr. Bobbitt describes the crisis and its causes. Fundamentally they lie in the
"nature of the Long War and the strategic innovations by which that was
was won by the liberal democracies". He notes that each of the forms of
state described above inherited responsibilities and legitimizing
characteristics from its predecessors and added new ones. The strategic
innovations of the Long War "make it increasingly difficult for the
nation-state to fulfill its responsibilities".
"The new constitutional order that will supersede the nation-state will be
one that copes better with these new demands of legitimation , by redefining
the fundamental compact on which the assumption of legitimate power is
"Three strategic innovations won the Long War: nuclear weapons,
international communications, and the technology of rapid mathematical
computation". "Each has wrought a dramatic change in the military,
cultural, and economic challenges that face the nation-state. In each of these
spheres, the nation-state faces ever increasing difficulty in maintaining the
credibility of its claim to provide public goods for the nation".
"The State exists to master violence: it came into being in order to
establish a monopoly on domestic violence, which is a necessary condition for
law, and to protect its jurisdiction from foreign violence".
Professor Bobbitt explains how and why the innovations of the Long War have
created conditions that reduce the capacity of the State to perform those
Modern communications helped create the nation-state, were critical in waging
the Long War and now create the problems for the nation-state.
"The price these states were compelled to pay is the world market that is
no longer structured along national lines but rather in a way that is
transnational and thus in many ways operates independently of states". For
example: "Approximately four trillion dollars - a figure greater than the
entire annual GDP of the United States - is traded every day in currency
He describes other examples including some related to military vulnerabilities.
" The third promise of the nation-state was that it would protect the
cultural integrity of the nation". "Here too the strategic
innovations of the Long War played a transformative role".
One outcome: "We will inevitably get a multicultural state when the
nation-state loses its legitimacy as the provider and guarantor of
Again, he continues with much more detail.
The Emergence of the Market-State:
Under this heading he explains why this is happening.
Chapter 11 - Strategic
"The end of the Long War has also brought an end to the usefulness of the
strategic paradigm that structures so much of American policy during the more
than three score and ten years of U.S. involvement in the larger world, from
the reversal of his own isolationist policies by President Woodrow Wilson in
1917, to the proclamation of the Wilsonian "New World Order' by President
George Bush in 1990".
Chapter 12 - Strategy and
Market-States: Mercantile, Entrepreneurial, Managerial
In this chapter the author describes his concept on how the nation-state will
change into a market-state and the three versions of the latter that will
compete for dominance.
"The fundamental choice for every market-state is whether to be (1) a
mercantile state - i.e. one that endeavors to improve its relative
position vis-a-vis all other states by competitive means, or (2) an
entrepreneurial state, one that attempts to improve its absolute
position while mitigating the competitive values of the market through
cooperative means, or (3) a managerial market-state one that tries to maximize
its position both absolutely and relatively by regional formal means .
This choice will have both constitutional and strategic implications". In
this 49 pages Professor Bobbitt concentrates a huge amount of ideas.
Chapter 13 - The Wars of
the Market-State: Conclusion to Book I
"The Long War was an epochal war. Such wars are distinguished from other
types not simply by their duration - which often spans lengthy periods of
armistice - but mainly by their constitutional significance". "Let me
reiterate that the reasons epochal wars are begun are no different from those
of any wars: they arise from clashing claims to power, from competing
ideologies and religions, insistent ambition, the gamble for greater wealth,
sympathy for kinsmen or hostility to foreigners, and so on".
"The reason epochal wars achieve, in retrospect, an historic importance is
because however they may arise, they challenge and ultimately change the basic
structure of the State, which is, after all, a war-making institution".
"Because the very nature of the State is at stake in epochal wars, the
consequence of such wars is the transformation of the State itself to cope with
the Strategic innovations that determine the outcome of the conflict".
"Legitimacy is what unites the problems of strategy and law at the heart
of epochal war just as history supplies the answers to those problems".
"The State is born in violence: only when it has achieved a legitimate
monopoly on violence can it promulgate law: only when it is free of the
coercive violence of other states can it pursue strategy".
"In the preceding chapters I have argued that the constitutional order of
the State is undergoing a dramatic change". "This change is taking
place all across the society of states". "The market-state manifests
itself in three forms vis-a-vis the larger society of states: the mercantile,
managerial, and the entrepreneurial state". "The great powers will
repeatedly face five questions regarding the use of force in the twenty-first
century, and none of them are usefully characterized in the zero-sum,
conflictual way of strategic warfare. These questions are whether to intervene,
when to do so, with what allies, with what military and nonmilitary tools, and
for what goals".
Dr. Bobbitt writes more on this issue, the central one facing us today. He
includes quotations from Presidents Bush and Clinton who apparently recognized
that the change in the world economic-political structure requires change in
governments. The change is to recognize that the new form of a 'State' will be
a variation of the 'market-state'.
The following are five graphical representations of the six successive
constitutional conventions of the international society of states.
Plate I - The Consitutional
There have been six distinct constitutional orders of the State since it first
emerged during the Renaissance
Plate II: The Epochal Wars
Each epochal war brought a particular constitutional order to primacy
Plate III: The International
The peace treaties that end epochal wars ratify a particular constitutional
order for the society of states
Plate IV: Bases for Legitimacy
Each constitutional order asserts a unique basis for legitimacy
Plate V: Historic, Strategic, and
A constitutional order achieves dominance by best exploiting the strategic and
constitutional innovations of its era
Book II: States of Peace:
Introduction: The Origin of International Law in the Constitutional
Professor Bobbitt notes that the Peace of 1990 (with demise of the Soviet
Union) was unexpected and not prepared for. Political leaders are still
thinking in the modes appropriate for the Long War. "This way of thinking
treats states and their interests in much the same way that welfare economics
treats the consumer: the decisions of states are, axiomatically, choices that
define the interests of states, and beginning from the positions of power in
which they find themselves, states have the sole objective of maximizing that
power." "In war strategy takes priority.." But now we must deal
with peace. "Thus the first strategic consequence of the new peace is that
strategy alone must be augmented with law.".. ."Complicating this
resort to law, however, is the fact that international law is itself in flux.
Changes in the strategic environment inevitably produce changes in law, not
simply because law tends to reflect the positions of power in a society -
international society in this instance - but because law itself is composed of
the practices of parties who will necessarily adjust their ambition, their
actions, and their doctrines to take account of changes in the strategic
Dr. Bobbitt elaborates on this theme - that the current institutions for
international law are inadequate. Then he outlines the content of the coming
Part I is devoted to description and analysis of the society of nation-states
and the concepts and programs developed by Colonel House and President Wilson.
"In part II of Book II I will present the origins and development of
international law according to the periods of the constitutional development of
the State described in Part II of Book I."
"In Part II I will argue that the great peace conferences that settled the
epochal wars created the constitutions for the society of states."
"In Part III I will take up the emerging constitution of the new society
of market-states. I will suggest that American principles of limited
sovereignty better serve such a society than the European concepts that
currently structure international law. I will imagine various constitutional
orders of the society of market-states and conclude by arguing that, by varying
the degree of sovereignty retained by the people, states will develop different
forms of the market-state, yielding a more pluralistic constitution for
international society." .
Part I: The Society of
"Thesis: The Society of Nation-States developed a Constitution that
attempted to treat states as if they were individuals in a political society of
equal, autonomous, rights-bearing citizens" "In the society of
nation-states, the most important right of a nation was the right of
self-determination". But this posed problems when the population of a
'state' was not one nation. "Given that one purpose of the nation-state
order was to use law in furtherance of the cultural and moral values of the
dominant national group".
"The confusion was seen in the Third Yugoslav War in Bosnia, which finally
discredited the legitimacy of a society of states built on this constitutional
We have seen this even more violently in the current wars in the Middle East
and in civil conflicts inside many other states now. Fundamentally, the problem
is that one cannot have 'nation-states', that is polities whose legitimacy in
the society of states is based on a 'nation' when the population of that polity
is NOT a nation.
Chapter 14 - Colonel
House and a World Made of Law
This chapter of 43 pages includes a brief biographical background on Colonel
House and on Woodrow Wilson and how the two came to work together in pursuit of
their conception of what the 'new world order' should look like. This new order
was to be embodied in the League of Nations.
But they misunderstood the dominant view in the U.S. Congress - the Senate -
which insisted that the U S. Constitution demanded that U.S. participation in a
war required a declaration of war by Congress. So agrement to an international
Treaty that would include participation by the U.S. without such declaration
was unconstitutional and not to be agreed to. Of course we have overthrown this
concept since World War II and that is one of the problems we have
Chapter 15 - The Kitty
Genovese Incident and the War in Bosnia
This is one of the longer chapters and in it the author expounds on several
subjects. He begins with a detailed description of the tragedy of Kitty
Genovese, who was murdered in Queens while numerous witnesses (or individuals
who simply heard her) failed to act. He takes this as a case study in the
psychology of those who fail to act when they well know a tragedy is taking
place. Two psychologists "found that the crowd behavior in the Kitty
Genovese case was very much like that of crowds in other emergency
"To summarize, we can say that there are five distinct stages through
which the bystander must successively pass before effective action can be
"So it was with the horrifying events of the three years 1991-1994 in the
former state of Yugoslavia: fascinated, frightened, appalled, the civilized
world was anything but apathetic."
Dr. Bobbitt takes the Genovese incident as a metaphor for the American response
to the Yugoslav war. "When President Clinton said, mistakenly, that the
current conflict in Bosnia-Herogovinia goes back to the eleventh century, he
exposed more than a careless speechwriter of dubious erudition, rather he
showed that he was unable to appreciate just what had happened".
Bobbitt links the psychology of the individual case with that of
the collective case. He then discusses the historical background and the events
and failures in Bosnia. He devotes much space to this study because he
considers it representative of the failure of the nation-state and its society
"The society of nation-states decides, either in peace conferences like
those at Versailies and San Francisco, or in the ongoing institutions set up by
these peace congresses - like the U.N. - what elements are required for
self-determination."... "By contrast, recognition of statehood on the
basis of the criterion of nationality alone puts the ball in the court of the
"Some international lawyers and diplomats behave as though there is a
world order of nation-states that is analogous to the civil order of a society,
and they argue that the international community must respond in the way that a
domestic government responds to criminal behavior. This makes armed
intervention into a kind of police work. If anyone still believed in this
vision of world order in 1992, I don't see how that person could maintain such
a view after Yugoslavia."
Chapter 16 - The Death of
the Society of Nation-States
Here we come to a critical issue. As the title indicates, Professor Bobbitt
expounds a rather negative view of the future of the nation-state and its
society here. And, of course, he is writing in 2002, before the events of the
past 15 years have exposed his predictions repeatedly.
"The legitimacy of the society of nation-states will not long outlast the
delegitimating acts of its leading members. Serbrenica represents the final
discrediting of that society, because there the great powers showed that
without the presence of the Long War, they were unable to organize timely
resistance even against so minor a state as Serbia when Serbia threatened the
rules and legitimacy of that society. By contrast, in Kosovo, a U.S. led
coalition attacked Serbia to vindicate market-state concepts of sovereignty -
specifically, the novel conviction that a state's refusal to grant rights to an
internal minority renders that state liable to outside intervention."
"As the nation-state increasingly loses its definition, the sharp cultural
borders that, for example, made the Danes different from the Dutch, are losing
legal and strategic significance.... Nation states are too rigid, have too many
rules for behavior including economic behavior, have been captured by special
interests whose welfare demands higher taxes with larger loopholes and more
officious regulations (not limited to economic regulation but including also
for example, hate-speech laws, smoking bans, and the whole panoply of political
correctness, as well as prohibitions against a wide variety of personal
"The State has always depended on getting people to risk their lives for
it. Each constitutional order found a way to do this. The nation-state
persuaded people that a state whose mission was the improvement of their own
welfare provided a valid justification for enduring personal jeopardy. If such
a state is no longer able to enforce and sustain national cultural values .....
its claim on the sacrifice of its citizens weakens".
"The shift to the market-state does not mean that states simply fade away,
"In the face of such an historic shift in the constitutional order of
states, the society of states also had to change".
The author then discusses the many failures of the United Nations to fulfill a
role in support of a constitution of a society of nation-states. Moreover the
entire project as seen by President Wilson and Colonel House has
Part II: A Brief History
of the Society of States and the International Order
"Thesis: much as epochal wars have shaped the constitutional order of
individual states, the great peace settlements of these wars have shaped the
constitutional order of the society of states."
"The international congresses that concluded peace treaties ending epochal
wars produced the constitutions of the society of states for their respective
Chapter 17 - Peace and
the International Order
This is a five page introduction to the following section. Professor Bobbitt
refers again to Colonel House and Kitty Genovese. He remarks that. "The
massacre at Srebrenica will also mark an unexpungable point in modern history,
for it is one of the crucial events in the Yugoslavian Wars that signify the
end of the era of the nation-state."
He reminds the readers,
"In Book I, we have dealt with the relationship between constitutional
change and strategic change, as this relationship affected the individual
state." But what about the society of states? "What provided
legitimacy, however, for the society of states?"
"It is my premise that there is a constitution of the society of states as
a whole; that it is proposed and ratified by the peace conferences that settle
the epochal wars previously described, and amended in various peace settlements
of lesser scope, and that its function is to institutionalize an international
order derived from the triumphant constitutional order of the war-winning
state. Thus while violence and war initiate the process of change in the
constitutional order, peace and law ratify the ultimate result."
"If we take this idea - the creation of a constitution for the society of
states from the settlement of an epochal war - in light of the relation between
such wars and the constitutional order of states, then we can infer that
international law arises from constitutional law."
"This society of states (today) has a constitution, indeed, it has had at
least five previous constitutions. As I have emphasized, every society has a
constitution; to be a society is to be constituted in a particular way."
"Each new period in the constitutional life of the State commenced with a
revolution against an established domestic, constitutional order, though it is
only with hindsight that one may say that a particular revolt led to the
dominance of a particular constitutional form, because many such revolts have
withered, or the forms to which they gave birth have contended with and been
defeated by other forms that became dominant."
"What are the characteristics of a constitution for the society of states?
Like other constitutions, this one sets up a structure for rule following;
allocates the jurisdiction, duties, and rights of the institutions it
recognizes; determines a method for its own amendment and revision; specifies
procedures for coping with disputes arising from its implementation; and above
all, legitimates those acts appropriately taken under its authority."
Further, Bobbitt writes that he will discuss some of the leading interpreters
of international law in each era not because they may have had influence but in
order to understand what international law is.
Chapter 18 - The Treaty
Bobbitt begins: "The change in attitude on the part of monarchs and their
counselors reflected the constitutional changes underway at the end of the
"The Constitution of 1555: The Peace of Augsburg"
These changes involved the outcome of the Hundred Years' War and the Valois-
Hapsburg wars. It was the French intervention in Italy that created the
struggle which ended with the Peace of Augsburg. This Peace set the
constitutional terms of the new society of states that emerged from this
epochal war. And this was a result not so much from French victories as from
the newly powerful princely states.
"Medieval Christendom had known no society of politically distinct states.
After princely states first appeared in Italy, they gradually spread throughout
Europe, replacing the universal, overlapping structures of ecclesiastical,
feudal society with a discrete, territorial pattern of states." "This
doctrine of the essential separateness of the new states into which Christendom
was now divided was indeed the result of the principle of Augsburg. This
principle, which enshrined the legitimacy of the state sovereignty and denied
the universal order of the Respublica Christiana, replaced that order
with the society of princely states whose horizontal relationship indicated
their mutual sovereignty."
"Consitutional Interpretation: The First International Lawyers"
Bobbitt identifies and discusses four main international lawyers whose
interpretation of the new constitutional order he discusses.
These are Francisco de Vitoria, Francisco Suarez, Balthazar Ayala, and Alberico
Dr. Bobbitt's interpolation of sections on the leading theories proposed to
legitimize the constitutional basis of each new international arrangements with
the excellent descriptions of both the tactical-technological conduct of war
and the changes in state strategy and constitution is a remarkable contribution
to our understanding of military as well as social- political history
Chapter 19 - The Peace of
Professor Bobbitt begins with description of the collapse of the settlement of
the Peace of Augsburg, which had established the legality of the constitution
of the princely states. This came about when Prince Maximilian of Bavaria in
1608 annexed and re-Catholicized the Lutheran city of Donauworth. Augsburg had
made no provision for the 'seizure' of a city, but had fixed frontiers as of
1552. Most histories set the beginning of the war as 1618 with the
Defenistration of Prague.
"Out of the anarchy that characterized the final stages of the Thirty
Years' War, there arose a stronger, more coherent society of states whole legal
structure was redefined by a new constitution for that society. This
constitution is the set of treaties known collectively as the Peace of
"The Constitution of 1648: The Peace of Westphalia"
The author recounts the events of the various meetings in Osnabruck and Munster
and the thoughts, policies and roles of the main actors. The results were three
separate treaties. The negotiations were continually influenced by the military
situation as the fighting continued during these meetings. The Swedes, French,
Spanish, Dutch, Italians, individual German principalities and cities, and the
Hapsburg emperor all had their desires (mostly incompatible) and Bobbitt
describes them all. The French and Swedes obtained most of the territories they
wanted. The French had hoped for the complete dissolution of the German empire
into its hundreds of individual polities but accepted the German desire to
remain inside an empire but become sovereign in practice. The Spanish lost
control of the Netherlands which, along with Switzerland gained status as a
state. Significantly, the pope denounced the entire results in a bull, but was
"War was recognized as a legitimate form of resolving conflicts. The
concept of just war was nowhere mentioned. It had become irrelevant. No state
was allowed to be destroyed, however, and compensation was to be awarded to
those states that gave up strategically advantageous possessions."
"This last rule is important to stress, as well as its corollary that mere
possession was not equated with legitimacy".
Bobbitt proceeds to discuss the concepts advanced by contemporary commentators.
"The idea of a juridical order without a higher political or
ecclesiastical authority is so novel, and so far-reaching, that it has given
immortality to the name with which it is mainly associated, that of the
seventeenth century lawyer Hugo Grotius."
"Constitutional Interpretation: The International Lawyers"
Professor Bobbitt describes Grotius' life and works. The main concept was that
the states should recognize that it was in their self-interest to conform to
the rules (constitution) set out for the society of states but recourse to war
was included. There was now no higher authority. Bobbitt remarks: "That is
to say, strategy had been severed from law by war."
The other leading lawyer on whom Bobbitt focuses is Samuel von Pufendorf, who
believed that the law of nature provided the only basis for international law.
And he also notes the influence of Pufendorf on Hobbes and Spinoza. But in
"However that may be, the political actors of the time confronted the
problem of post-Westphalian law and order - namely, that in the absence of a
universal sovereign every kingly state, which Westphalia had made the sole
preserver of the liberty, authority, and even the life of the political society
largely composed of such states, would attempt to aggrandize itself to the
limit of its power."
There is much more of both factual description and Dr. Bobbitt's analysis in
this important chapter.
Chapter 20 - The Treaty
In this short chapter Professor Bobbitt continues his analysis of the impact of
the settlement of an epochal war as seen in the peace treaty.
"The Westphalian Problem - that absent an absolute and universal
sovereign, every kingly state would attempt to aggrandize itself to the limit
of its power - found its most threatening expression in the campaigns of Louis
XIV that directly challenged the Westphalian settlement. The solution to this
Problem was ultimately expressed in a series of eight treaties known as the
Peace of Utrecht, which resolved the epochal war composed of Louis's
"The Constitution: The Peace of Utrecht"
The author briefly recounts the events of these wars and then moves to the
'constitution' that came out of the peace treaties.
"The Peace of Utrecht consists of eleven separate bilateral treaties. That
it represented a constitutional convention of the kind that had met at
Osnabruch and Munster was well recognized by the parties"... ."There
was a general distinction drawn by the statesmen at the congress between the
'private' interests of the states involved in the negotiations and the 'public'
interests of the society of the states of Europe as a whole."
"The language of the new consensus was reflected in four striking
contrasts with the idiom it superseded." "First, the language of
'interests' replaced that of 'rights." "Second, aggrandizement - so
integral to the stature of the kingly state - was replaced by the goal of
secure 'barriers' to such a degree that claims for new accessions were
universally clothed in the language of defensive barriers." "Third,
the word state underwent a change. A 'state' became the name of a
territory, not a people, as would occur later when state-nations began to
appear, not a dynastic house as was the case at Westphalia." "Fourth,
whereas the kingly states had seen a balance of power as little more than a
temptation for hegemonic ambition to upset, the territorial states viewed the
balance of power as the fundamental structure of the constitutional system
"At Utrecht, a new conception of the balance of power made its historic
debut. Its novelty arose from the change the states of Europe were undergoing
in their domestic constitutional orders. As the territorial state replaced the
kingly state, the idea of the 'balance of power' moved from providing the
occasions for sovereign action to animating a constitutional structure for
collective security itself."
As always, Bobbitt describes in detail the thoughts and actions of the leading
individuals who created the new system. He then moves on to discuss the
interpretations of this constitutional system by international jurists.
He notes first that:
"Territorial states are so named owing to their preoccupation with the
territory of the state." "The territorial state aggrandizes itself by
means of peace because peace is the most propitious climate for the growth of
commerce." "The new perspective, with its emphasis on human freedom
and the role of human perception, was crucially influential in the work of the
two writers who dominated international jurisprudence during the era of the
territorial state: Christian Wolff and Emmerich de Vattel."
"Consitutional Interpretation: The International Jurists"
"The balance of power was a constitutional concept for the society of
European states, and also, as we saw in Book I, played a similar role in
ordering the internal relationships of the states that composed that
society". "Territorial states are so named owing to their
preoccupation with the territory of the state".
"The territorial state aggrandizes itself by means of peace because peace
is the most propitious climate for the growth of commerce".
"Born in 1676, he ultimately became the principal apologist for the
territorial state and came to regard Frederick the Great as the model of a
"Emmerich de Vattel"
"He was born in the Swiss principality of Neuchael" "In this
work, (Le droit des gens; ou principes de la loi naturelle appliques a la
conduitet aux affaires des nations et des souverains), Vattel proposed to make
Wolff's ideas on the law of nations accessible to 'sovereigns and their
ministers'". "Following Wolff and Leibniz, Vattel wrote that the
duties of a state toward itself determine what its conduct should be toward the
larger society of states that nature has established. And what is that? Each
state must strive to develop as well as to protect, its existence,".
And there is much more to Vattel that Bobbitt explains.
Chapter 21 - The Congress
Professor Bobbitt begins by reminding readers that his view of the Wars of the
French Revolution and Napoleon as stated in Book I is different from the
standard establishment view.
"All the wars of France during this period were fought in order to
obligate the mass of persons to the French state." "The wars of
1792-1815 between France and various coalitions of other European powers were
united, strategically and constitutionally, by the political program of the
French Revolution. This program sought an end to the territorial-state
autocracies and the replacement of these regimes by government in the name of
the people, based on the people's political liberty and legal equality."
The other states sought as best they could to copy the French. The Prussian
reforms were designed for this as Clausewitz noted. The conclusion of the war
brought about the Congress of Vienna at which a new constitution of the society
of states was promulgated - a constitution for a society of state-nations. This
new form then would be the basis for determining the legitimacy of states.
"The Constitutional Convention: The Congress of Vienna"
"Vienna performed the constitutional functions for the nineteenth century
society of states that Augsburg, Westphalia, and Utrecht had performed in
"These principles awaited a constitutional convention to give them legal
status. Thus, once again, war and constitutional change were followed by a
peace settlement that took the form of a constitutional convention for the
society of states, including even states that were not parties to the
The author proceeds to examine the constitutional convention at Vienna in
detail, describing the motivations and actions of the principle participants.
"The demand for an institution that was purposefully designed to deal with
future conflicts arose in several ways. First it was apparent that the
Utrechtian system had failed. .. Second the mentality that arose with the
state-nation could not passively accept an international system that seemed to
depend upon etiquette for its operation. ... Third, state-nations claimed to
rule on the basis of the consent of the governed."
Bobbitt describes a 'need for a new politics' and a 'need for new principles' -
and the concept of 'balance of power' plus 'the general interest'.
]Dr. Bobbitt writes about two topics - "The Need for New Politics"
and "The Need for new Principles"
"The Constitution: The Final Act at Vienna"
"As we have seen, the Congress of Vienna was not the first such convention
to define the legitimate constitutional form of government for member states,
but it was by far the most intrusive."
He discusses the content of the final act in detail.
"Constitutional Interpretation: The Law Professors"
Again, Professor Bobbitt turns to discussion of the constitutional
interpretations of Vienna by law professors. The first of these is John Austin
and he is followed by Johann Bluntschli. And Bluntschil's ideas had influence
in the United States. However, his concept and that of the Concert of Europe
itself depended on there being a harmony amongst the actors (major powers).
With the creation by Bismarck of the German nation-state this harmony ended.
"The Concert, however, had ceased to function as an institution of
Chapter 22 - The
Professor Bobbitt begins this study of Versailies with a quotation from
Nietzsche denouncing the state-nation at the time Bismarck was creating the
nation-state. Bobbitt then recapitulates the description of the promises of the
nation-state - to provide social security and all the trappings of the welfare
state we know.
"The shadow of the nation-state is its ideology: by setting the standards
by which well-being is judged, ideology explains how the State is to better the
welfare of the nation. Whereas the state-nation had studiedly contrived to
legitimate itself through the creation of a certifying club of other
state-nations, admission to which stamped the state as the representative of
the nation in whose name it ruled, the nation-state could not resort to this
method. It tried this tactic, as we shall see. At Versailies in 1919, and still
later at San Francisco in 1945, the great powers tried to reproduce the
authorizing society that would legitimate their claim to rule, as their
predecessors had done at Vienna."
"Although Versailies agreement might have been a constitution for the
society of states in the way that the peace agreements at Westphalia and Vienna
may be said to be, it can be quickly shown that this was not quite the
case." It did not constitute a settlement consensually agreed to by the
great powers who fought the war.
"The nation-state pursued a new bargain with the nation: in exchange for
the release of enormous national energy, the State harnessed itself to the
nation, promising more than simply its own aggrandizement and glory, it
promised actual improvement in the material well-being of its citizens. Because
the lot of all the citizens of a state can seldom be simultaneously improved,
and because most governmental decisions produce losers as well as winners, such
a task inevitably brought divisive pressures to bear within the State."
Bobbitt proceeds to describe the specifics of the Versailies agreements and
notes the reaction in Germany. The victors lost sight of the purpose to create
a constitution for the society of states. The allies were themselves divided.
And Russia opted out completely. The author discusses Lord Keynes's commentary
He then discusses the Weimar Republic and notes that in contrast to Westphalia
and Vienna at Paris in 1919 no constitution was created for Germany. He
narrates the resulting political events leading up to the Nazi coup and
"Constitutional Interpretation: The Legal Philosophers"
Next, the author turns to the constitutional interpretations of legal
philosophers. Once again some of these names will be unfamiliar to even
well-informed students. He begins with Georg Jellinek. Then he turns to Hans
Kelsen. Next come Marxists, pragmatists, nationalists, neo-Kantians and then
Carl Schmitt, a full Nazi apologist. Bobbitt then turns to the Frankfurt School
and Otto Kirchheimer ( a Marxist group that included Herbert Marcuse and Felix
Adorno). During the later 1930's and WWII these folks became influential at
"The Weimar experience thus provides a national microcosm of an
international phenomenon, the unstable competition among ideological forms of
the nation-state that occurred in the aftermath of Versailies."
This section provides great enlightenment into the legalisms - the theories -
that claimed to justify Nazism and legitimate its government
Chapter 23 - The Peace of
The author continues with a detailed discussion, narrative of events and
results, and analysis of these.
"The Peace of Versailies did not bring closure to the epochal conflict
that had begun in August 1914. Like earlier international constitutional
conventions, Versailies enshrined a new constitutional order, which was the
nation-state. But the nature of this form of the state required a further
decision among ideologies, and with respect to this decision, Versailies was
Namely, there were three competing ideological conceptions about this form -
parliamentary democracy, fascism, and communism. But as a result of the Long
War fascism and communism were finally defeated. Professor Bobbitt describes in
detail his views on, 'What brought about the end of the Long War and the
adoption of the parliamentary nation-state.?' He believes both the 'standard'
accounts popular today are faulty or wrong.
"The End of the Long War"
"I propose, however, to offer a somewhat different account. The two
approaches I have thus far described are the consequence of separating strategy
and law. The former treats international relations as driven by the strategic
requirements of force and the relative comparison of capabilities
alone."... "The second approach treats constitutional developments as
causing, but not caused by, international change."
Professor Bobbitt's conception is very complex, involving interactions between
domestic and international political and economic events in both the Soviet
Union and the United States. As always he places great emphasis on individuals
and their personal choices when confronted with crises demanding decisions.
This analysis is especially focused on Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev. And
he also gives great credit to President George H. W. Bush and Secretary of
State James Baker. In the end, Bobbitt believes, Gorbachev chose to preserve
the Soviet State by joining the West society of states. But in so doing the
result was that 'legitimacy deserted the Soviet State.'
"This collaboration ended the Cold War. "
"A Consitutional Amendment: The Peace of Paris"
Professor Bobbitt goes on to discuss the Peace of Paris itself including
analysis of its several provisions.
Then he turns to the 'constitutional interpretation; the Legal Schools' This
section is about international law and theories about international law and
attitudes toward law itself. He discusses a few of the various schools of
thought that have addressed these issues. Two categories of thought he proposes
are formalism and naturalism. "Formalism focuses on the extent to which
legal truths are the result of following arbitrary rules that have no necessary
relation to any particular content." "By contrast the naturalist in
international law.... holds that the relationship between the content of legal
rules and the world accounts for their truth or falsity." The author names
names such as Austin, Leibnez, Suarez, Bluntschli, Grotius and Hume.
"Consitutional Interpretation: The Legal Schools"
Then there are also believers in Legal Realism and Legal Process with more
practitioners named. But in addition there are 'Consensualism' and
'nominalism'. Not to mention the 'New Haven School', 'Neorealism' and
He also notes that Islamic fundamentalists have an entirely different take on
all this. They condemn all Western values, especially international law.
But the point of his elaborate discussion is to show that the various schools
of thought on international law match the theories expounded for interpretation
of the U. S. Constitution and that this is so because of the powerful role of
the United States post World War II in formulating international law. In like
manner, Bobbitt claims, the international law of the coming society of
market-states will in some way conform to the constitutional structure of the
Part III: The Society of
"Thesis: A new Society of Market-States is being born"
"The challenges facing the society of states are a direct consequence of
the strategic innovations that won the Long War".
Chapter 24 - Challenges
to the New International Order
In this lengthy chapter the author describes in extensive detail the challenges
he considers most critical.
"The economic orthodoxy of the nation-states counseled state intervention
in the national economy as a necessary means of achieving growth and other
goals. Economic regulation was part of this orthodoxy and fitted the ethos of
nation-states that relied so heavily on law. Market-states will have their own
economic orthodoxy and their own distinctive tools."
He describes a set of views that basically mean much less state intervention on
the economy. However;
"The new orthodoxy of the market-state will surely play out in several
competing formulations." And he continues with his ideas about what they
might be. These are the basic premises of the three forms of market-state:
entrepreneurial, managerial and mercantile. His descriptions of these premises
are excellent. He then discusses the challenges.
- His sub-chapter sections are:
- The Entrepreneurial Market-state
- The Mercantile Market-state
- The Managerial Market-state
- Weapons of Mass Destruction - Chemical Weapons - Biological Weapons -
Immigration and Human Rights - Liberalization of Trade and Finance.
In the first three sections he describes each form of market-state and how it
differs from the other forms. In the following sections on challenges he
describes how each form of state might respond to the challenge according to
its basis premises and policies. He comments that: "Each of these three
versions of the market-state claims to be the unique and final expression of
the constitutional archtype of the market-state." And that if domestic
pressures on political leaders result in a crisis of legitimation the
difference may become international crises.
"The society of market-states will be dominated by three important actors,
much as the Cold War was dominated by two. Europe will be the world's largest
market and largest trader; Japan will be the world's largest creditor, as it is
now, with a GDP that approaches that of the United States; the United States
will remain the world's most powerful single economic state, the possessor of
the world's reserve currency, and the market with the largest GDP".
Well, we see that he is not an expert prophet as China has replaced Japan. Even
so, his description of the Japanese economy is largely correct. But he
continues with a prognosis for the future of a trade war that has some over all
relevance. He quotes various other analysts on the causes and results of this
"North-South Conflicts" This is a very different subjects because
most of these states are 'underdeveloped' to the point that they are not even
one or another of the three types of market-state. He terms them
"unassimilated states" that cannot participate effectively in the
multistate institutions and practices. Whatever the future, the states in
becoming 'market-states' will become one or another of the three types
depending on its history.
Chapter 25 - Possible
In this chapter Professor Bobbitt describes his ideas on how the society of
market-states might respond to the challenges described in the previous
chapter. But first he explains the concept of 'scenario building as a method
for planning for the future. He describes this approach as undertaken by Shell
Corp. It is important because, as he notes, planning within the assumption that
the past during the period of the nation-state could be based on relative
continuity. But with the radical shift to the yet unknown market-state such
reliance will fail.
He imagines future responses in terms of topics including: Population,
resources, energy, economic growth, technology, events, security, culture,
economics, and decisions.
Conventional expectations will not be sufficient. In this lengthy analysis
based on alternate possible scenarios he imagines in turn that one of the three
model market-states has become predominate. Then he posses very serious threats
or situations in each of three areas, security, cultural consequences, and
economic, financial, trade situations. Some of these imagined events are really
horrendous. The potential choices in response that the author conjures up for
each of the types of market-state are also often dire.
Scenario builders and gamers will want to study this chapter for its
methodology as well as for its content.
His purpose is to show that there is no 'best' model. "On the contrary,
these scenarios reveal instead that any choice burdens our values, for these
values are both contradictory and incommensurable ". Which ever of the
three types of market-state may predominate there will be pluses and minuses.
He builds rather elaborate stories around the three types of market-state -
which he labels "The Meadow", "The Park" and "The
Garden". And then he draws 'Conclusion: The Three Scenario Suites' as a
result of the possible outcomes.
Chapter 26 - The Coming
Age of War and Peace
The theme of this lengthy chapter is the author's view that there will be
necessary changes in law and constitutions resulting from the transformation of
the State from nation-state to market-state. But what might the wider results
of these changes be?
"Every market-state will make historical choices among the models
described in Chapter 24 and perhaps among other models that are yet to be
developed. These choices will do much to shape the constitution of the society
of states, and it may be that as described in Chapter 25, one model will
predominate. But suppose this does not happen? Suppose these three models - or
others - all seek an international order reflecting their priorities but none
Professor Bobbitt notes that the Peace of Paris did not resolve the tensions
among the alternative forms of the market-state.
"We will seek a new constitutional order for the society of states in
order to cope with the novel challenges presented in Chapter 24. "
He notes that the bureaucracies of the nation-states are increasingly incapable
of fulfilling their promises and therefore are loosing legitimacy. To regain
legitimacy the states are changing already - that is attempting to find a new
basis on which to claim legitimacy. This will result in a new constitutional
order of the society of states.
"But before we can create a new order however, we must establish a
consensus: that is to say, before we can have a new constitution for the
society of states, we must have a constitutional convention." (Meaning a
congress such as is represented by Augsburg, Westphalia, Utrecht and Vienna.)
Will this require a war?
"The three new forms of the market-state that are currently emerging are
marked by radically different views of sovereignty."
Entrepreneurial state believes in transparency - one state can intervene into
another that violates norms.
Managerial state believes sovereignty can only be violated after endorsement by
U.N. or another agency.
Mercantile state believes that sovereignty is 'opaque', cannot be breached for
The author then discusses the dangerous results from these differences and
believes that an 'epochal war' may result but might come 'in alternative forms'
including the war against terrorism. He continues:
"We must choose which sort of war we will fight, regardless of what are
its causes, to set the terms of the peace we want."
He believes that some sort of war or wars will come and describes various types
that are likely. Remember, this book was mostly written prior to September
"If we wish to avoid cataclysmic war and invisible, silent war, (two types
he describes) we shall have to learn how to wage wars like the ones in
Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, using the tactics of relentless airstrikes, special
forces teams, and indigenous allies."
There is much more in this chapter. The author discusses in a very interesting
section the new role of media. Also he noes environmental threats, control of
agricultural and industrial raw materials, conventional crime and corruption
and "critical infrastructure" and public health issues.
Finally he adds:
"The revolution in miliary affairs that won the Long War is currently
bringing us the market-state. The emergence of this new form of the
constitutional order will be accompanied by new forms of warfare..... What is
the next revolution in military affairs that is a consequence of the
market-state?" He guesses on biological warfare.
Chapter 27 - Peace in the
Society of Market-States: Conclusion to Book II
In this brief chapter the author summarizes his chapter structure in which he
divided the study of the State from the study of the society of States. He then
discusses the question of 'territoriality and concludes that its role for the
nation-state will be reduced when the market-state has non-territorial
interests and can be attacked in non-territorial ways. This must also change
the concept of sovereignty. He continues with discussion of the new society of
"Tentatively we may note these ten constitutional conditions for a society
1 - the maintenance of a force structure capable of defeating a challenge to
2 - the creation of security structures and alliances capable of dealing with
the problems of population control, migration, and ecological stability;
3 - a consensus among the great powers on the legitimacy of certain forms of
4 - a few clear, structural rules for any state's behavior that are enforced by
arms if necessary, analogous to the society of nation-states' bar against the
annexation of any territory without the consent of its inhabitants;
5 - provisions for the financial assistance to great powers when these powers
under take to intervene on behalf of the peace and security of the society of
states as a whole;
6 - prohibitions against arms trading in nuclear materials, weapons of mass
destruction and missile technology but that permit trade in some defensive
7 - practices for bribing states - by enhancing their security or their wealth
- in order to prevent WMD proliferation to any state but especially to major
8 - prohibitions against wholesale attacks by the state on its own populations;
9- some general prohibition on anti-competitive trade and financial practices;
10- a consensus on the rule that no state that meets the standards of the Peace
of Paris - free elections, market economy, human rights - ought to be the
subject of threats of force.
"For five centuries only a state could destroy another state. And for five
centuries, states have developed means of defeating other states. Entire worlds
of diplomacy, international law, alliances, and naval, air and land warfare are
all predicated upon conflicts among states."
"We are entering a period, however, when very small numbers of persons,
operating with the enormous power of modern computers, biogenetics, air
transport, and even small nuclear weapons can deal lethal blows to any society.
Because the origin of these attacks can be effectively disguised, fundamental
bases of the State will change."
"For the end of the Long War created a set of new challenges, and today a
question descended from this conflict confronts the constitutional order. It is
whether and how states can continue to exist with ever more ubiquitous and
powerful technologies that can alter or destroy our entire environment."
"When a disguised attack with these new weapons occurs, and its author is
not definitely identified, three deadly risks will arise:
1 - a state that is unwilling or unable to suppress the elements believed to be
responsible will forfeit its sovereignty and be subject to attack and even
2 - a state that is the subject of an attack will sacrifice its constitutional
institutions and turn on its own people - or a discrete minority within - with
violence and despotic police methods
3 - a state, though disavowing responsibility, will be deemed the author of the
attacks through unknown agents, and will become the target for retaliation.
All three of these scenarios fall along the seam of sovereignty that separates
law from strategy, and all three are laden with peril."
"Such attacks will not arrive with labels that tell us whether they are
the result of a terrorist's attack, or a strategic assault by another state, or
just the afternoon diversions of a teenager in California."
"There will be no final victory in such a war. Rather victory will consist
in having the resources and the ingenuity to avoid defeat."
"We are at the beginning of the sixth great revolution in strategic and
constitutional affairs. The revolution in military affairs and the market-state
are entering the twenty-first century together."
"Because the nation-state puts so much reliance on law, one might conclude
that in the coming era the market will replace law as the partner of strategy.
That conclusion would be a mistake. Law will change, and the use of law as
regulation so favored by the nation-state, will lessen. Nevertheless, the State
will continue to rely on law to shape its internal order, ..."
"Law and strategy will continue to be key instruments of the State."
"Now it happens that we are living in one of those relatively rare periods
in which the future is unlikely to be very much like the past. Indeed the three
certainties I just mentioned about national security - that it is national (not
international), that it is public (not private), and that it seeks victory (and
not stalemate) - these three lessons of the past are all about to be turned
upside down by the new age of indeterminacy into which we are plunging."
Postscript: The Indian
"War is not a pathology that, with proper hygiene and treatment can be
wholly prevented. War is a natural condition of the State, which was organized
in order to be an effective instrument of violence on behalf of society."
"The September attacks on the United States provide that country and its
allies with an historic opportunity, even while they have dealt America an
historic wound. "
"If a coalitional war against international terrorism prompts the United
States, the United Kingdom, and their allies to conduct cooperative operations
at the leading edge of modern technology, this was could forestall the
cataclysmic conflicts among great powers that modern technology makes
"The multinational mercenary terror network that Osama bin Laden and
others have assembled is a malignant and mutated version of the market state.
Like other emerging market-states, it is a reaction to the strategic
developments of the Long War that brought forth cultural penetration, the
liberalization of trade and finance, and weapons proliferation, on an
"Realizing that we are fighting a virtual sate and not just a stateless
gang helps clarify our strategy. "
"It clarifies the line between mere crime - which we use law, after the
fact, to prosecute - and warfare, which we use strategy, before the fact, to
"The United States is at war no less than when a conventional state
launched a surprise attack in 1941, and the assault this time has come for much
the same reason."
"The foregoing book was completed well before September 11, but the
terrible events of that day were not unexpected or even unprecedented, as the
text of this book discloses."
In the appendix Professor Bobbitt wants to counter the inevitable accusations
of 'Eurocentrism' He states: "The reason for this is the State is a
European political idea. The society of states first emerged in Europe at the
time of the Renaissance and only in the late twentieth century encompassed the
He then discusses 'causality' and 'periodicity'.
Some history reference books that
provide background and details
David Hackett Fischer - The
Edward Cheyney - The Dawn of a
New Era 1250 - 1453
Myron Gilmore - The World of
Humanism 1453 - 1517
Carl Friedrich - The Age of
the Baroque 1610 - 1660
Frederick Nussbaum - The
Triumph of Science and Reason 1660 - 1685
Penfield Roberts - The Quest
for Security 1715 - 1740
Walter Dorn - Competition for
Empire 1740 - 1763
Leo Gershoy - From Despotism
to Revolution 1763 - 1789
Crane Brinton - A Decade of
Revolution 1789 - 1799
Geoffrey Bruun - Europe and
the French Imperium 1799 - 1814
Frederick Artz - Reaction and
Revolution 1814 - 1832
Carlton J. Hayes - A
Generation of Materialism 1871 - 1900
Sir George Clark - The
Paul Mantoux - The Industrial
Revolution in the Eighteenth Century
Charles Breunig- The Age of
Revolution and Reaction - 1789 - 1850
Norman Rich - The Age of
Nationalism and Reform - 1850 - 1890
John W. Allen - A History of
Political Thought in the Sixteenth Century
Alan Ryan - On Politics -
A History of Political Thought from Herodotus to the Present
William and Alan Ebenstein -
Great Political Thinkers: Plato to the Present
Arthur Herman - The Cave and
the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western
Marcia L. Colish - Medieval
Foundations of the Western Intellectual Tradition 400 -1400
Harold J. Berman - Law and
Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition