States and the international order
Throughout this book, I have insisted upon studying not the state in majestic isolation, but states varyingly placed in an international order of unequal and competing states. In this context, we should not suppose that, at first, states developed endogenously and that it was only at some later point in their development (when they started ‘bumping into each other’) that inter-state relationships developed. Rather, modern states have always been part of a wider states’ system. As Giddens insists,
the sovereignty of the modern state from its beginnings depends upon a reflexively monitored set of relations between states ‘International relations’ are not connections set up between pre-established states, which could maintain their sovereign power without them: they are the basis upon which the nation-state exists at all.