Cosmopolitan Conservatisms

Countering Revolution in Transnational Networks, Ideas and Movements (c. 1700‒1930)


This volume presents a fresh picture of the historical development of “conservatism” from the late 17th to the early 20th century. The book explores the broader geographies and transnational dimensions of conservatism and counterrevolution. The contributions show how counterrevolutionary concepts did not emerge in isolation, but resulted from the interplay between ideas, media, networks, and institutions. Like 19th-century liberalism and socialism, conservatism was the product of traveling ideas and people. This study describes how exile, mobility, and international sociability shaped counterrevolutionary identities. The volume presents case studies on the intersection of political philosophy, scholarly practices, international politics, and governmental bureaucracies. Furthermore, Cosmopolitan Conservatisms offers new approaches to the study of conservatism, including the prisms of ecology, gender, and digital history.

Contributors are: Alicia Montoya, Carolina Armenteros, Simon Burrows,Wyger Velema, Michiel van Dam, Glauco Schettini, Nigel Aston, Brian Vick, Lien Verpoest, Beatrice de Graaf, Jean-Philippe Luis, Joep Leerssen, Amerigo Caruso, Joris van Eijnatten, Emily Jones, Aymeric Xu, and Axel Schneider.

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Matthijs Lok is a Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the European Studies Department of the University of Amsterdam. Recent publications include The Politics of Moderation in Modern European History (2019), Eurocentrism in European History and Memory(2019) and a themed IJCHM issue on the Global Counter-Enlightenment (2019).

Friedemann Pestel is Lecturer in Modern European History at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. In 2015 he published his book Kosmopoliten wider Willen: Die monarchiens als Revolutionsemigranten (Reluctant Cosmopolitans: The Monarchiens as Émigrés of the French Revolution), Oldenbourg-De Gruyter).

Juliette Reboul is a postdoctoral researcher Radboud University, The Netherlands. She has written and edited works on the French counterrevolutionary emigration in the late 18th century, including French Emigration to Great Britain (2017, Palgrave Macmillan).
“Les 17 contributions (plus l’introduction) de ce volume amorcent une relecture importante de l’histoire du conservatisme sous l’angle de sa genèse et de sa formation transnationale […] chaque chapitre met en évidence une facette particulière de ces conservatismes, ce qui explique l’utilisation du pluriel pour englober la diversité géographique (Grande-Bretagne, France, Espagne, Pays-Bas, Allemagne, Russie, Chine) et chronologique (du XVIIe au XXIe siècle).”

---- Miriam Franchina, in: Francia-Recensio, March 2023, pp.19–21

“An important contribution to the understanding of conservatism […] as in itself a method of opening up existing structures of thought to imaginative critique.”

---- David McGrogan, in: Global Intellectual History , October 2023
List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors

1 Cosmopolitan Conservatisms: Introduction
Matthijs Lok, Friedemann Pestel and Juliette Reboul

PART 1: Conservative Enlightenments

2 Popular Conservatisms and Ecological Consciousness: 18th-Century Traditions of Nature Writing (Noël-Antoine Pluche, Alexander Pope)
Alicia C. Montoya
3 Eclectic, Conservative, Cosmopolitan: The Linguistics and Anthropology of Lorenzo Hervás y Panduro (1753–1809)
Carolina Armenteros
4 Counter-revolution, Conservatism and Conspiracy in the Cosmopolitan Public Sphere from 1770s to 1790s: Mallet Du Pan, Barruel and the Philosophes
Simon Burrows
5 Enlightenment against Revolution: The Genesis of Dutch Conservatism
Wyger R.E. Velema
6 A Christian Cosmopolitanism: Pauline Universalism and Cynic Apostolicism during the Brabant Revolt (1787–1790)
Michiel Van Dam
7 18th-Century Crusaders: The War against France and the Catholic Counterrevolution, 1789–99
Glauco Schettini

PART 2: Transnational Networks and Institutions

8 Survival Strategies: Jacobite Adaptability, 1689–1789, and Counter-revolutionary Prototypes
Nigel Aston
9 Transnational Networks, Salon Sociability, and Multilateral Exchanges in the Study of Conservatism during and after the Revolutionary Era
Brian Vick
10 The Ancien Régime and the Jeune Premier: The Birth of Russian Conservatism in Vienna (1803–12)
Lien Verpoest
11 How Conservative Was the Holy Alliance Really? Tsar Alexander’s Offer of Radical Redemption to the Western World
Beatrice de Graaf
12 France and Spain: A Common Territory of Anti-Revolution (End of the 18th Century–1880)
Jean-Philippe Luis
13 Romancing the Monarchy: Romantic Queens and Soft Power
Joep Leerssen

PART 3: Conservative Modernisms

14 Conservative Women Writers: A Transnational History of Literary Bestsellers Opposing Liberalism and Early Feminism, c. 1850–1900
Amerigo Caruso
15 Muddling Through: The Rhetoric on Conservatism and Revolution in the London Times, 1789–2010
Joris van Eijnatten
16 Languages of Transnational Conservatism: The Emergence of “Left” and “Right” in Britain
Emily Jones
17 Western Conservative Ideas and Politics in China from the 1910s to the 1930s
Aymeric Xu
18 Modernity and the Question of Conservatism: Reflections Based on the Chinese Case
Axel Schneider

The volume is intended for academics and students in the field of intellectual, political, international, and social history. It also provides important insights for political theorists, philosophers, sociologists, and literary scholars. Due to the political relevance of the topic, the volume is also of interest to journalists, policy advisors, and other political analysts.
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