The Representation of External Threats

From the Middle Ages to the Modern World


In The Representation of External Threats, Eberhard Crailsheim and María Dolores Elizalde present a collection of articles that trace the phenomenon of external threats in a multitude of settings across Asia, America, and Europe. The scope ranges from military threats against the Byzantine rulers of the 7th century to the perception of cultural and economic threats in the late 19th century Atlantic, and includes conceptual threats to the construction of national histories.
Focussing on the different ways in which such threats were socially constructed, the articles offer a variety of perspectives and interdisciplinary methods to understand the development and representations of external threats, concentrating on the effect of 'threat communication' for societies and political actors.
Contributors are Anna Abalian, Vladimir Belous, Eberhard Crailsheim, María Dolores Elizalde, Rodrigo Escribano Roca, Simon C. Kemper, Irena Kozmanová, David Manzano Cosano, Federico Niglia, Derek Kane O’Leary, Alexandr Osipian, Pedro Ponte e Sousa, Theresia Raum, Jean-Noël Sanchez, Marie Schreier, Stephan Steiner, Srikanth Thaliyakkattil, Ionut Untea and Qiong Yu.

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Eberhard Crailsheim, Ph.D. (2008), is Marie-Curie fellow (IF) at the Institute of History, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). He is the author of The Spanish Connection (Böhlau 2016), and has published many articles on threats on the Philippines.
María Dolores Elizalde, Ph.D. (1988), is Scientific Researcher at the Institute of History, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). She is specialized in international history and in colonial and postcolonial processes in Asia and the Pacific, with a particular focus on the Philippines.
"...this reader could be recommended as a topic-specific introduction to global history. [...] To be sure, the volume is a valuable undertaking for interdisciplinary research, as it brings this very vocabulary and theoretical models into historical research – or to put it in idiosyncratic German: It has a high potential of “Anschlussfähigkeit”. [...] its authors offer new perspectives on how to bring concepts and theories from political science, sociology, and ‘constructivism’ into the study of history. That is the pioneering ambition and the great achievement of this book. It should inspire and stimulate future endeavours and theory-testing."
Thomas Kolnberger in: H-Soz-Kult, 10.11.2020, DOI:

"Der vorliegende Band mit seinen 19 Beiträgen aus 12 Ländern zwischen Spanien und Russland, zwischen Singapur und China, der seit 2016aus einem spanischen Marie-Curie-Projekt der EU zur Kolonialgeschichte der Philippinen hervorgegangen ist, zeichnet sich demgegenüber durch überzeugende Kohärenz aus. Denn er versteht es, den allgemeinen Befund, dass Identität durch Alterität oder durch Othering zustande kommt, im Sinne einer Kulturgeschichte des Politischen als Bedrohung zu konkretisieren und zu operationalisieren. [...] Im Gegensatz zu vergleichbaren Sammelbänden entwickelt dieser dank seiner gezielten Engführung durch Autoren und Herausgeber insgesamt ein differenziertes Instrumentarium zur Bearbeitung des historischen und politikwissenschaftlichen Problems der Wahrnehmung äußerer Bedrohung."
Wolfgang Reinhard in Zeitschrift für historische Forschung 47 (2020) 1, 79-80

List of Illustations
Notes on Contributors

Eberhard Crailsheim and María Dolores Elizalde

Part 1
Conceptual Approaches
 1 Representations of External Threats: Approaches and Concepts for Historical Research
Eberhard Crailsheim
 2 The Opposition of Own/Alien as a Source of the External Threat: Reflections on Supra-State Sovereignization Politics and 19th-Century Pan-Slavism
Vladimir Belous

Part 2: Threat Communication

 3 Deus Adiuta Romanis: Threat and Threat Communication in the Eastern Roman Empire
Theresia Raum
 4 Scottish Interlopers and Indigenous Resistance: Threats to the Spanish Empire in Late 17th-Century Panama
Marie Schreier
 5 The Umbilical Cord of Threats: the Securitization of Infidel Attacks on the Early Modern Banten Sultanate, Indonesia
Simon C. Kemper

Part 3: Representation of the Internal/External Other

 6 The Enemy Within: ‘Gypsies’ as EX/INternal Threat in the Habsburg Monarchy and in the Holy Roman Empire, 15th-18th Century
Stephan Steiner
 7 Performing the Ottoman Threat: Visual and Discursive Representations of Armenian Merchants in Early Modern Poland and Moldavia
Alexandr Osipian
 8 The ‘Pale of Settlement’: a Particular Form of Separation of the ‘Own’ and the ‘Alien’ in the Russian Empire
Anna Abalian

Part 4: The Creation of Threats in the Old World

 9 Back to the Huns: the German Threat in the European Collective Imagination, 1527-1914
Federico Niglia
 10 External Authority or External Threat? Thomas Hobbes and the Politically Troubled Times of Early Modern England
Ionut Untea
 11 Corruption as an External Threat? Anti-Corruption Legislation During the Dutch ‘Great Assembly’ (1651)
Irena Kozmanová

Part 5: Contested Conceptions in the Atlantic World

 12 Translatio Imperii: the ‘Enmification’ of the United States in the Historical Imagination of Spain and Great Britain, a Comparative View (1850-1898)
Rodrigo Escribano Roca
 13 Jared Sparks and Constructing the American Archive
Derek Kane O’Leary
 14 Portuguese Foreign Relations in the 19th Century: the Role of External Threats
Pedro Ponte e Sousa

Part 6: Threats in the Colonial Context of the Pacific World

 15 A Prismatic Glance at One Century of Threats on the Philippine Colony
Jean-Noël Sanchez
 16 Strategies Against External Threats to Spanish Sovereignty in a Colonial Territory: The Case of the Philippines in the 19th Century
María Dolores Elizalde
 17 The Imperial Enemies of Spain in Hispanic Oceania: the Case of Japan
David Manzano Cosano

Part 7: Perceptions of the Other: Chinese-European Encounters

 18 Securitization of Christianity during the Period of the Qing Dynasty
Srikanth Thaliyakkattil
 19 The Arrogant Chinese: Representation of the Chinese and Chinese Civilisation in Britain’s Travel Writings in the 19th Century
Qiong Yu
All interested in theory and pratice of communication; governance; the topic of threats in general and anyone concerned with the history of international relations and security studies.
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