Company-states and the creation of the global international system

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
File version

Version of Record (VoR)

Author(s)
Phillips, A
Sharman, JC
Griffith University Author(s)
Primary Supervisor
Other Supervisors
Editor(s)
Date
2020
Size
File type(s)
Location
Abstract

We investigate the nature and significance of the vital but neglected “company-states” in helping to facilitate the move from contained regional international systems to the first genuinely global international system. Historically, actors like the Dutch and English East India Companies were crucial in spearheading the first wave of European expansion in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Conceptually, company-states broaden our understanding of international actors. At a time when intra-European politics favored gradual institutional convergence on the sovereign state, the demands of extra-European expansion meanwhile gave rise to diverse competing institutions. Company-states succeeded in an era of weak sovereign states because of their relative efficiency in managing the transaction costs and principal-agent challenges of intercontinental trade and rule. Conversely, company-states later declined as they succumbed to the effects of sharpening worldwide geopolitical competition, and were displaced by increasingly powerful new European empire-building projects. This argument advances earlier work on the creation of the international system by eschewing Eurocentrism and state-centrism, and foregrounding diversity and hybridization.

Journal Title

European Journal of International Relations

Conference Title
Book Title
Edition
Volume
Issue
Thesis Type
Degree Program
School
Publisher link
Patent number
Funder(s)
Grant identifier(s)
Rights Statement
Rights Statement

© The Author(s) 2020. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, providing that the work is properly cited.

Item Access Status
Note
Access the data
Related item(s)
Subject

Policy and administration

Political science

Persistent link to this record
Citation

Phillips, A; Sharman, JC, Company-states and the creation of the global international system, European Journal of International Relations, 2020

Collections