ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

maandag 22 juli 2019

BOOK: Miroslav ŠEDÍVY, The Decline of the Congress System: Metternich, Italy and European Diplomacy (London/New York: I.B. Tauris, 2018), X + 351 p. ISBN 9781784538521

(image source: Bloomsbury)

Book abstract:
Following the Congress of Vienna in 1815 the 'Congress System' became the primary instrument of diplomacy in Europe. So central was the Austrian Chancellor Metternich to the political-legal Congress System that the period has often been referred to as the 'Age of Metternich'. In this book, Mirolsav Šedivý analyses Metternich's policy towards the pre-united Italian states from 1830 to 1848. With an emphasis on geopolitics and international law and drawing attention to the unsettled role of the Italian states within European diplomacy in the period, this book explains why the Italian peninsula never developed into the stable region that Metternich hoped to establish at the heart of the Congress System. Owing to the self-interested policies of some European Powers as well as the larger of the Italian states Metternich proved unable to bring about 'the transformation of European politics' in Italy. Using a thorough analysis of the role that Italy played in the Congress System and based on extensive research in eighteen European archives, this book explains why it was in Italy that the first war broke out after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, an event representing the first brutal blow to the Congress System.
Table of contents:
List of Illustrations;List of Abbreviations;Introduction;Part I: 1815–30;1. The Heritage of the Congress of Vienna;Part II: 1830–3;2. The Impact of the July Revolution;3. The Occupation of Ancona;4. The Non-Intervention Principle and Honour;Part III: 1840;5. The Sulphur War;6. The Rhine Crisis;7. The Weak Hegemony;Part IV: 1846–8;8. The Salt-Wine Affair;9. The Ferrara Affair;10. The War;Conclusion;Notes;Bibliography;Index 
Praise:
“This book is a readable, traditional diplomatic history in which scholars will learn something new about events both well and less known. Summing Up: Highly recommended.” –  G.R. Sharfman, Oglethorpe University, CHOICE;“'Miroslav Šedivý has convincingly demonstrated that he is an expert on European diplomacy and has skilfully and persuasively demonstrated his revisionist case that Metternich's Congress System was in decline as a result of self-seeking policies of Britain, France and the Italian city-states. I can hardly say enough in praise of the author's extensive multi-lingual research.'
” –  Robert D. Billinger, Jr, Emeritus Professor of History, Wingate University;“'A masterpiece on the subject of the search for greater security in a precarious world. Anyone interested in international politics in the period between the Congress of Vienna and World War I must read this critical revision of the mainstream view of history.'” –  Wolfram Siemann, Emeritus Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich;“This tour-de-force will become required reading for all students of nineteenth-century Europe.” –  Mark Jarrett, author of The Congress of Vienna and its Legacy;
(source: Bloomsbury)