Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Westphalian Ideal State
Westphalian ideal state is the conceptualization of the modern state widely assumed to have derived from the Peace of Westphalia treaties of 1648. The Münster and Osnabrück treaties ended the Thirty Years' War and made sovereignty and territorial principles the cornerstones of the new international arena: They paved the way to the state as the main actor in international relations (IR) and are accepted by the scientific community as the symbol of the “interstate system,” which is still preeminent now, even if it is more and more contested. The modern state has been central to political science and IR since their consolidation as academic disciplines around the turn of the 20th century; in fact, both disciplines have long regarded it as axiomatic that the state is of primary importance, indeed indispensable to society. Even when, in the 20th century, it became fashionable to predict the obsolescence of the state as ...