By Erik Ringmar
This booklet bargains an unique mix of cultural and narratological research with an empirical research of id and political motion. a robust critique of rational selection conception, it additionally offers an answer to the historiographical puzzle of why Sweden intervened within the Thirty Years' battle. Arguing that folks act for purposes of id, extra basic than purposes of curiosity, Erik Ringmar exhibits the Swedish intervention to were an test on behalf of Swedish leaders to realize acceptance for themselves and their nation.
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Extra resources for Identity, Interest and Action: A Cultural Explanation of Sweden’s Intervention in the Thirty Years War
One thing they do is to give causal explanations of the past, another thing they do is to evaluate past events in terms of narrative contexts, and as we saw, each task gives rise to its own reason for the rewriting of history. Yet the two tasks differ crucially in the ontological status which they accord to the past. When explaining something causally, the historical quality of this something is suspended. It no longer matters that a certain event happened in, say, 1630 and that it was preceded by events happening in 1629 and followed by whatever happened in 1631.
50 Although Sweden is not explicitly mentioned, the theory would lead us to believe that increasing demands - impossible to satisfy domestically - were a fundamental cause behind the intervention. An increased stake in overseas trade together with domestic economic growth led to a demand for foreign markets which in turn led to war. In Gilpin's view, the issue at stake in the seventeenth-century conflict was whether Europe was to be dominated by the imperial power of the Habsburgs or become a system of autonomous 32 A narrative theory of action nation-states.
From this position, these historians have argued, the emperor's armies could easily have 22 A narrative theory of action launched an invasion of Swedish territory. The Swedes pre-empted this invasion and went to war before the Austrians, but the action was nevertheless primarily of a defensive nature. During our own century this mode of explanation has been by far the most common one - often regarded as 'the final truth' about the war - yet it is striking how recent it in fact is. 1 x In Droysen's opinion, the conflict between Sweden and Austria concerned the military hegemony over the Baltic sea and nothing else.