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States of War: Enlightenment Origins of the Political (Columbia Studies in Political Thought / Political History) Paperback – November 1, 2011
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Bates's own position is supremely original and perfectly and clearly articulated. He shows that the political does not have to lead to fascism and violence and exclusion (clearly it has not prevented these things from taking place) but can have a more progressive, individualist, and anti-exclusionary form. (James Martel, San Francisco State University)
In this breakthrough rereading of early-modern thought, David William Bates discovers the origins of liberal norms in and through the creation of a fully autonomous political domain. As Bates shows, it was no accident that construction of internal constitutionalist restraints on the state occurred just as the modern state emerged to its full external potential for global violence. Bates's argument is at the cutting edge in the history of political thought, and his interpretations of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau renovate the study of each author. (Samuel Moyn, Columbia University)
[A] masterful study. (David Tkach The Review of Politics)
About the Author
David William Bates is professor of rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of the Berkeley Center for New Media. He is the author of Enlightenment Aberrations: Error and Revolution in France, and, alongside his work on the history of political and legal thought, his research focuses on the intersections between technology and cognition since the Scientific Revolution.
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