The Rise of the Civilizational State
The Rise of the Civilizational State

In recent years culture has become the primary currency of politics – from the identity politics that characterized the 2016 American election to the pushback against Western universalism in much of the non-Western world. 

Much less noticed is the rise of a new political entity, the civilizational state. In this pioneering book, the renowned political philosopher Christopher Coker looks in depth at two countries that now claim this title: Xi Jinping’s China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. He also discusses the Islamic caliphate, a virtual and aspirational civilizational state that is unlikely to fade despite the recent setbacks suffered by ISIS. The civilizational state, he contends, is an idea whose time has come. For, while civilizations themselves may not clash, civilizational states appear to be set on challenging the rules of the international order that the West takes for granted. China seems anxious to revise them, Russia to break them, while Islamists would like to throw away the rule book altogether. Coker argues that, when seen in the round, these challenges could be enough to give birth to a new post-liberal international order.

Show More
Buy Now


Order Exam Copy

For Lecturers Only

More Info
  • February 2019
  • 224 pages
  • 160 x 232 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509534623
  • Paperback $26.95
  • 9781509534630
  • Open eBook $21.99
  • 9781509534647
Table of Contents
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1 - Liberal Civilization and its Discontents
  • Chapter 2 - Civilizational Myths
  • Chapter 3 - Imagining the West
  • Chapter 4 - Cultural Darwinism
  • Chapter 5 - The Civilizational-State
  • Chapter 6 - The Once and Future Caliphate
  • Chapter 7 - A Post-Liberal world
About the Author

Christopher Coker is Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Show More


‘Considerable erudition and inventiveness run through this analysis of Western and non-Western political forces which have exploited the language of civilization to promote nationalist or statist objectives. The Rise of the Civilizational State is highly recommended to all students of contemporary global transformations.’
Andrew Linklater, Aberystwyth University

‘“Civilization” is one of those words that is central to our lives but that often hides in plain sight. In this gem of a book, Christopher Coker explores multiple possible meanings of civilization both historically and in terms of its contemporary significance. It is, as always with Coker, brilliantly written and shines an impressive and illuminating light on one of the most pressing issues of our day: What is the future of civilization (and, indeed, of civilizations) in the world of today and tomorrow?’
Nick Rengger, St Andrew’s University

Show More