If moments of historical rupture create spaces for social change, what emerges to fill those gaps? This article approaches this question by exploring the creation of the “domestic” in 17th century Europe and Asia following the decline of the Spanish Habsburgs in the West and the Ming Dynasty in the East. Two events will serve as lenses through which that process will be explored. The first case centers on arguments for the legitimacy of the 1603 Dutch seizure of a Portuguese carrack in what would serve as the basis for Hugo Grotius’s defense of the free seas. The second debate focuses on the appropriate mourning ritual following the 1659 death of King Hyojong, the 17th ruler in Korea’s Choson dynasty. I argue that, in the process of responding to the crises they faced in their environments, social elites in both cases defined and articulated a conception of themselves as sovereign societies, creating a political space and corporate identity distinct from the extant institutional apparatus of the state and cultural framework of the nation.
Thurman, A. (2017), "The Sovereign Society: Historical Rupture and the Emergence of the “Domestic” in 17th Century Europe and East Asia", International Origins of Social and Political Theory (Political Power and Social Theory, Vol. 32), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 233-252. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0198-871920170000032009
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