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Human Migration and the Conceptualization of Pre-Modern World Politics

Rey Koslowski
International Studies Quarterly
Vol. 46, No. 3 (Sep., 2002), pp. 375-399
Published by: Wiley on behalf of The International Studies Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3096094
Page Count: 25
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Human Migration and the Conceptualization of Pre-Modern World Politics
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Abstract

The debate regarding historical continuity and transformation of international systems within International Relations (IR) theory has turned to conceptualizing world politics in terms of civilizations, particularly with respect to analysis of the pre-modern era. The political consequences of human migration have been overlooked in this debate. Migration shaped the demographic, social, and political dynamics within pre-modern civilizations and migration was a major medium of interaction between civilizations and their external environments, including other civilizations. This argument is elaborated in case studies of ancient Greece and Rome. Migration played a critical role in the development, relative power, and interaction of Greek city-states as well as the transformation of Athens into a polyethnic empire. Migration was central to the rise and decline of the Roman Empire, as particularly highlighted in the development of Roman citizenship, its role in the political incorporation of non-Romans, and the bearing of this process on the relationship between the Roman Empire and its environment.

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