Sacred Mandates: Asian International Relations Since Chinggis Khan

Sacred Mandates: Asian International Relations Since Chinggis Khan Book

Contemporary discussions of international relations in Asia tend to be tethered in the present, unmoored from the historical contexts that give them meaning. Sacred Mandates, edited by Timothy Brook, Michael van Walt van Praag, and Miek Boltjes, redresses this oversight by examining the complex history of inter-polity relations in Inner and East Asia from the thirteenth century to the twentieth, in order to help us understand and develop policies to address challenges in the region today.

This book argues that understanding the diversity of past legal orders helps explain the forms of contemporary conflict, as well as the conflicting historical narratives that animate tensions. Rather than proceed sequentially by way of dynasties, the editors identify three “worlds”— Chinggisid Mongol, Tibetan Buddhist, and Confucian Sinic—that represent different forms of civilization authority and legal order. This novel framework enables us to escape the modern tendency to view the international system solely as the interaction of independent states, and instead detect the effects of the complicated history at play between and within regions. Contributors from a wide range of disciplines cover a host of topics: the development of international law, sovereignty, state formation, ruler legitimacy, and imperial expansion, as well as the role of spiritual authority on state behavior, the impact of modernization, and the challenges for peace processes. The culmination of five years of collaborative research, Sacred Mandates will be the definitive historical guide to international and intrastate relations in Asia, of interest to policymakers and scholars alike, for years to come.

Edited by: Timothy Brook, Michael van Walt van Praag, Miek Boltjes
Book Information: 288 Pages | 6 X 9 | © 2018


Chapter One: Three Worlds; Three Bodies of International Law

  • The past in Asia’s present
  • Beyond China
  • Marco Polo and the protection of emissaries
  • International law before “international law”
  • Sovereignty in Asia before the modern era
  • The straitjacket of the modern law of nations

Chapter Two: Chinggisid Rule and the Mongol Great State

  • The emergence of the Chinggisid state by Lhamsuren Munkh-Erdene
  • Imperial allocation of fiefs and the resilience of Chinggisid law by Koichi Matsuda
  • Imperial subjugation of polities and extension into Tibet by Koichi Matsuda
  • Mongol perceptions of “China” and the Yuan dynasty by Hodong Kim
  • Chinese legitimation of the Mongol regime and the legacy of “unification”

Chapter Three Interpolity Relations and the Tribute System of Ming China

  • Rituals of hierarchy
  • The tribute system and regime legitimacy
  • Power and the use of force by Yuan-kang Wang
  • Civilizational rhetoric and the obfuscation of power politics by Geoff Wade
  • Convergence and conflict: Dai Viet in the Sinic order by Liam Kelley
  • Reproduction of the tribute system

Chapter Four: The Tibetan Buddhist World

  • The symbiosis of spiritual and temporal authority
  • Rule by relationship
  • Mongol pilgrimages and the transfer of wealth to Tibet by Dalizhabu
  • State building in the Himalayas by John Ardussi
  • Tibetan-Manchu relations
  • Imperial directives in the language of chö-yön by Matthew Kapstein

Chapter Five: The Manchu Great State

  • State formation and legitimation by Nicola Di Cosmo
  • Relations with the Mongols
  • Extension of control over the Mongols by Hiroki Oka
  • Relations with Tibet
  • Etiquette and the communication of power relations by Nobuaki Murakami
  • Manchu positioning in relation to the Chinese civilizational world
  • Guest ritual and Qing international relations by Pamela Crossley

Chapter Six: Transitions to the Modern State System

  • The new paradigm of international relations
  • Japan’s quest for a place in the new world order by Shogo Suzuki
  • Korea’s transitions and the impotence of modern law by Kirk Larsen
  • From mandala to modernity: The breakdown of imperial orders by Alex McKay

Chapter Seven: The Presence of the Past

  • Conflicts and the deployment of history
  • The great reinterpretation
  • History in play today

Authors and Contributors