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Social Practices of Rule-Making in World Politics$
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Mark Raymond

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190913113

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190913113.001.0001

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The Social Construction of Great Power Management, 1815–1822

The Social Construction of Great Power Management, 1815–1822

(p.44) Chapter 2 The Social Construction of Great Power Management, 1815–1822
Social Practices of Rule-Making in World Politics

Mark Raymond

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that secondary rules help to explain the emergence of active practices of great power management of the international system after the Napoleonic Wars. Actors were aware of themselves as joint participants in a practice of rule-making and interpretation. They presented proposals according to the rules of that practice, both criticizing and justifying proposals on procedural grounds. The chapter covers the initial creation of great power management in the Congress of Vienna, and its development in the initial conferences of the Concert of Europe at Aix-la-Chapelle, Troppau, Laibach, and Verona. Actors who more skillfully employed secondary rules were more successful in obtaining their goals. Talleyrand secured France’s readmission to the ranks of the great powers, and Metternich and Castlereagh consistently employed procedural rules to achieve their objectives. Procedural rules also help explain the failure of the Tsar’s proposed Holy Alliance in contrast to the substantively similar Quadruple Alliance.

Keywords:   IR theory, constructivism, rules, procedural rules, secondary rules, social practice, great powers, Congress of Vienna, Concert of Europe

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