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Interrogating civilisational analysis in a global age

Contemporary civilisational analysis has emerged in the post-Cold War period as a forming but already controversial field of scholarship. This book focuses on the scholarship produced in this field since the 1970s. It begins with anthropological axioms posited by Ibn Khaldun, Simon Bolivar and George Pachymeres. Three conceptual images of civilisations are prominent in the field. First, civilisations are conceived as socio-cultural units, entities or blocs in an 'integrationist' image. They emerge out of long-term uneven historical processes. Finally, in a 'relational' image civilisations are believed to gain definition and institute developmental patterns through inter-societal and inter-cultural encounters. The book traces the history of semantic developments of the notions of 'civilisation' and 'civilisations' coextensive with the expansion of Europe's empires and consubstantial with colonialism. Early modernities are more important in the long formation of capitalism. Outlining the conceptual framework of inter-civilisational engagement, the book analytically plots the ties instituted by human imaginaries across four dimensions of inter-civilisational engagement. It also interrogates the relationship between oceans, seas and civilisations. Oceanian civilisation exhibits patterns of deep engagement and connection. Though damaged, Pacific cultures have invoked their own counter-imaginary in closer proximity to past islander experiences. Collective memory provides resources for coping with critical issues. The book also explores Latin American and Japanese experiences that shed light on the engagement of civilisations, applying the model of inter-civilisational engagement to modern perspectives in culture and the arts, politics, theology and political economy.

Peter H. Wilson

’ contracts 69 third category usually focuses narrowly on individual cases and views these from a variety of hostile perspectives, such as subaltern studies, often echoing early modern critiques of the ‘soldier trade’.3 This chapter argues that we need to set subsidies in their wider context as just one of many ways of transferring war-making resources across political jurisdictions. Subsidies belong to the contractual forms which emerged during early modernity and which this chapter will term Fiscal-Military Instruments. These were contractual forms and specific

in Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation in Europe, 1494–1789
Jeremy C.A. Smith

interact with the global plane to constrain processes of homogenisation or de-​localisation. The perspectives in Marxism I single out suggest that capitalism’s early modernity was more important than has been previously accepted. The coalescence of an imaginary of money and the creation of cultures disposed to accumulation were developments related to 55 Counterpoints, critiques, dialogues 55 the growing engagement of civilisations from the sixteenth century onwards as transatlantic colonialism linked the Western hemisphere to civilisations across Eurasia. Extending

in Debating civilisations
Jeremy C.A. Smith

Arnason at different points. Collaboration and debate have been watchwords in international relations also. A common scholarly public engaged through conferences, publications and personal communication has added to a larger ‘conversation’ around contemporary civilisational analysis. Researchers who foreground early modernities cooperated in a similar manner. That particular research path seems to have petered out after 2005, however, with a lack of consensus about ‘when’ early modernities coalesced. The field came to be dominated by problematics of multiple modernities

in Debating civilisations
Mark Robson

a modern notion of aesthetics on contemporary critical practices, it is worth giving further consideration both to the relationship between modernity and early modernity, and to the role of the aesthetic within modernity itself. It will then be possible to look to an early modern text on the role and functions of art, Sidney’s A Defence of Poetry, in order to begin to address more fully my opening question. Hugh Grady has been one of the most consistently interested critics of recent years in the modernity of the early modern, and in a series of books he has

in The new aestheticism
Open Access (free)
Seas, oceans and civilisations
Jeremy C.A. Smith

two world zones grew with the intensification of imperial and civilisational rivalries. Colonisation of the Pacific Ocean followed, slowly, beginning in the late eighteenth century. Perspectives and problematics brought up in Chapters 2 and 3 are relevant to the modernity of colonialism, as it might be considered within civilisational analysis. A focus on inter-​oceanic links could lead to a scaled-​up version of connected histories reconceptualised as connected oceanic regions. Early modernities can be reframed as processes of inter-​civilisational engagement

in Debating civilisations
Open Access (free)
Jeremy C.A. Smith

civilisational models. Seen from this angle, the diversification of forms of power is more evident. My three examples of China, the Sanskrit Empire of the first millennium and the Iberian world order of early modernity give a fraction of insight into the diversity of combinations. Such are the connections of civilisations. Chapters  4 and 5 also pay closer attention to Latin America and begin to touch on Oceania as an islander civilisation. With a focus on inter-​civilisational engagement, it becomes easier to see how the societies of the Americas and Oceania are

in Debating civilisations
Barbery, earwax and snip-snaps
Eleanor Decamp

for not keeping attentive to his subjects’ grievances. Morose tries to protect his ears in Epicoene. Truewit says that he has ‘a huge turban of nightcaps on his head’ (1.1.139–40). But total interference with ears’ openness is contrary practice to that circulated by Protestant sermons which prioritized auricular concentration over ritualized practice. If ‘faith cometh by hearing’, God wanted discerning hearers.40 The image of the blocked ear in early modernity is a troubled one because truth is also barred from it. Bloom highlights that the presiding lesson for

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660
Alex J. Bellamy

social organisations produced by modernity.35 Contrasting the nation-state with other polities, Giddens argued that the contemporary state attempts to construct a bordered homogeneity over its territory, which it is able to do by utilising the extensive bureaucratic power that came with the industrial advances of early modernity. He traced the emergence of the nation-state to three developments, each related to the military. These were the technological development of armaments, the amplification of military administrative power and the importance of naval power in

in The formation of Croatian national identity
Don Slater

relationships. At the same time, this is odd for a perspective which was otherwise so sensitive to industrial histories of innovation. The additional factor is that corn and cloth were, in early modernity, stabilised by considerably more than methodological strategies. Even where there was already considerable innovation in these goods, or the ways in which they were processed, sold and understood, they were held in place by a range of regulatory structures. To be clear: they were fixed by regulation, not by the cruder materiality or physicality of a temporally earlier, less

in Market relations and the competitive process