The Myth of 1648

The Myth of 1648:Class, Geopolitics, and the Making of Modern International Relations

  • Paperback

    + free ebook

    Regular price $29.95 Sale price $23.96
    Page redirects on selection
    Add to cart
    20% off
  • Ebook

    Regular price $9.99 Sale price $8.00
    Page redirects on selection
    Add to cart
    20% off

Award-winning reinterpretation of the origins of modern international relations

Winner of the 2003 Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize
This book rejects a commonplace of European history: that the treaties of Westphalia not only closed the Thirty Years’ War but also inaugurated a new international order driven by the interaction of territorial sovereign states. Benno Teschke, through this thorough and incisive critique, argues that this is not the case. Domestic ‘social property relations’ shaped international relations in continental Europe down to 1789 and even beyond. The dynastic monarchies that ruled during this time differed from their medieval predecessors in degree and form of personalization, but not in underlying dynamic. 1648, therefore, is a false caesura in the history of international relations. For real change we must wait until relatively recent times and the development of modern states and true capitalism. In effect, it’s not until governments are run impersonally, with no function other than the exercise of its monopoly on violence, that modern international relations are born.


  • A seminal book which sets out to revolutionise the way we think about international relations ... an extraordinarily ambitious project carried through brilliantly to a triumphant success ... The book is destined to produce a new research programme in international theory.

    Peter Gowan
  • A truly first-rate piece of work ... he completely demolishes a reigning consensus.

    Robert Brenner
  • This is an important and extraordinarily ambitious book, which poses a fundamental challenge to all the major theoretical approaches to the study of International Relations, from realism to world-systems theory. It is a powerful thesis that demands to be read and addressed by theorists of all persuasions.

    International Affairs