Uniting States: Voluntary Union in World Politics

Paperback | October 9, 2011

byJoseph M. Parent

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What causes a state to unify voluntarily with another state? If realists are right, voluntary union should never happen. In their view, states value their sovereignty above all else and would never give it up without a fight. Yet the United States and Switzerland are glaring exceptions tothis paradigm. If liberals and constructivists are right, voluntary unions should be much more common and actually increasing in frequency. After all, classic determinants of integration such as international trade and communication are stronger than they have ever been. Yet the number of states inthe world continues to climb, and the most favorable arena for unification, the European Union, seems to be hitting a glass ceiling. In Uniting States, Joseph Parent argues that unions are the balancing coalitions of last resort. Elites can weld separate states into a lasting union only when facing particularly serious threats. Drawing on five major historical cases of union - the United States, Switzerland, Sweden - Norway, GranColombia, and the European Union - Uniting States sheds new light on political polarization, state dissolution, federalism, and the possibility of uniting without fighting.

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What causes a state to unify voluntarily with another state? If realists are right, voluntary union should never happen. In their view, states value their sovereignty above all else and would never give it up without a fight. Yet the United States and Switzerland are glaring exceptions tothis paradigm. If liberals and constructivists ...

Joseph M. Parent is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Miami.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 6.1 × 9.09 × 0.79 inPublished:October 9, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199782202

ISBN - 13:9780199782208

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Table of Contents

Contents1. Introduction2. Explaining Political Union3. Force, Fraud, and the Founding of the American Constitution4. America's necessity5. Switzerland, Staatenbund to Bundesstaat6. The Liminal Union of Sweden and Norway7. Bolivar's Dreams of Gran Colombia8. Europe's American Idol9. ConclusionAppendix: Machiavelli and the Missing RomulusNotesBibliography