The rise of democracy: Revolution, war and transformations in international politics since 1776

Christopher Edward Hobson*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Little over 200 years ago, a quarter of a century of warfare with an 'outlaw state' brought the great powers of Europe to their knees. That state was the revolutionary democracy of France. In the intervening period, there has been a remarkable transformation in the way democracy is understood and valued - today, it is the non-democractic states that are seen as rogue regimes. Christopher Hobson looks at the historical contrast between the strongly negative perceptions of democracy in the 18th century and the very high degree of acceptance and legitimacy in contemporary international politics. Building on this, Hobson looks at the role of democracy in international relations: in the past, its present role and the likely future challenges. Key Features. Tracks the emergence and development of popular sovereignty, democratic government, democratic peace theory and the international system. One of the first books to employ a conceptual history approach to international relations and international politics, allowing for a unique perspective for understanding the contemporary challenges and future uncertainties now facing democracy. Presents a more cautious approach that avoids the overconfidence of many liberals and the excessive pessimism of many realists.

    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherEdinburgh University Press
    Number of pages254
    ISBN (Print)9780748692828, 9780748692811
    Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct 31


    • Democracy
    • Democratic peace
    • Democratisation
    • Democratization
    • International relations
    • Legitimacy
    • Popular sovereignty

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences(all)


    Dive into the research topics of 'The rise of democracy: Revolution, war and transformations in international politics since 1776'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this