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This chapter concretizes this book’s theoretical and analytical arguments by analyzing two transformations in the political history of the English East India Company (EIC). First, I show that key to the EIC’s success were public/private hybrid relations ranging from contractual, institutional, and shadow configurations. Contractual hybridity was visible through formal and frequent charter negotiations and public exchange of forced loans and other fiscal extractions. Institutional hybridity was evident through the EIC benefiting from insider rules and the rise of MP-Directors as well as more sophisticated informal lobbying. Shadow hybridity materialized through side payments and the presence of back channels through the Secret Committee. Second, the EIC’s self-understanding of sovereign authority shifted from a privilege understood within Idealized Sovereignty to a self-possessed right from extensive enactments of Lived Sovereignty. Meanwhile, the EIC’s sovereign awakening revealed problems with mutually inclusive and nonhierarchical early modern sovereignty that were thus far ignored.
This chapter introduces the main argument of this book that global sovereign power is constituted by public/private hybridity in Lived Sovereignty, while sovereign authority is recognized as indivisibly public in Idealized Sovereignty. Public/private hybridity takes on different characteristics of contractual, institutional, and shadow forms based on the formalization and publicization of relations. In relation to hybrid sovereignty, the lived realities of different types of public/private hybridity are in tension with the idealized imperatives of determining what is public versus private.
This chapter theorizes that sovereignty is the interplay of two contrasting modalities. In Idealized Sovereignty, sovereign authority is represented exclusively in “the state” per the doctrine of indivisibility developed by early modern theorists and reified in IR theory. In Lived Sovereignty, achieving sovereign competence involves divisible practices of state and nonstate actors in a variety of social relations. We would do a disservice to sovereignty’s complexity if only one of the two modes persevered in analyses of sovereignty. Instead, the chapter intervenes in major IR debates to argue that sovereignty should be hybridized. This overarching framework guides the ideal-types of public/private hybridity developed in the next chapter and the empirical analyses in the remainder of this book, where hybrid sovereignty is necessary to build a global empire, go to war, regulate global markets, and protect rights.
This chapter illustrates the forms and dynamics of contractual hybridity in American wars using the case of Blackwater. Blackwater’s contractual hybridity was visible in its formal contracts with public funding. Contractual relations created power payoffs by deploying a contractor force for American wars and raised Weberian legitimacy dilemmas from limited contractor oversight and distributed accountability. Security contractors also disturb civilmilitary relations by posing as “civilian combatants” or “unlawful combatants,” depending on the preferred definition under international law. The chapter also follows bureaucratic debates on defining "inherently governmental functions" given contracting, which reveal the effort it takes to balance Idealized and Lived Sovereignty. By being attentive to formalized and publicized hybrid relations, the chapter thus wrestles with unique problems in sovereign governance that challenge the legitimacy of a sovereign authority that contracts itself.
This chapter argues that Amnesty International’s chief sovereign accomplishment in Lived Sovereignty is organizing a global human rights polity from disparate transnational publics. However, shadow relations between Amnesty and governments related to funding, country access, and negotiating reforms in its first two decades threatened to derail the moral purity that undergirds the protection of human rights in Idealized Sovereignty. Successfully navigating shadow hybridity has thus been a central yet understudied feature of Amnesty. The historical analysis contextualizes the difficult choices Amnesty made to become the world’s leading INGO. Amnesty thus helps us see that hybrid relations endure even when the stakes are very high, exemplifying the pervasiveness of hybrid sovereignty in global politics.
This chapter develops the analytical dynamics of public/private hybridity in Lived Sovereignty. It first situates public/private hybridity in the global governance literature and then introduces three ideal-types. Contractual hybridity features formal and publicized performances where sovereign power is negotiated in public/private contractual exchanges. Institutional hybridity features informal and partly publicized performances where sovereign power is negotiated through public/private institutional linkages. Shadow hybridity features nonformalized and nonpublicized performances where sovereign power is negotiated in public/private shadowy bargains. Finally, the chapter presents a Weberian-inspired research design to show off the three ideal-types in the empirics that follow.
This chapter examines institutional hybridity in the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) regulatory prowess as the primary organized business interlocutor for intergovernmental bodies in global commerce. The empirics follow various ways in which the ICC embeds itself in global institutions through issue-definition, agenda-setting, and rulemaking. Institutional linkages allow the ICC to organize international markets while boosting the privilege of global corporate elites to reap the benefits of trade and investment at the expense of others. Balancing the legitimacy blowbacks to this elitism is at the core of the politics of institutionalizing rules for global commerce. Moreover, the study of the ICC helps us see that “transnational private authority” need not necessitate a retreat of the state, but rather a recomposition of what it means to regulate across borders. The ICC’s Lived Sovereignty relies fundamentally on the Idealized Sovereignty of governments to keep its institutional status.
The idea of 'hybrid sovereignty' describes overlapping relations between public and private actors in important areas of global power, such as contractors fighting international wars, corporations regulating global markets, or governments collaborating with nongovernmental entities to influence foreign elections. This innovative study shows that these connections – sometimes hidden and often poorly understood – underpin the global order, in which power flows without regard to public and private boundaries. Drawing on extensive original archival research, Swati Srivastava reveals the little-known stories of how this hybrid power operated at some of the most important turning points in world history: spreading the British empire, founding the United States, establishing free trade, realizing transnational human rights, and conducting twenty-first century wars. In order to sustain meaningful dialogues about the future of global power and political authority, it is crucial that we begin to understand how hybrid sovereignty emerged and continues to shape international relations.
The English East India Company's “company-state” lasted 274 years—longer than most states. This research note uses new archival evidence to study the Company as a catalyst in the development of modern state sovereignty. Drawing on the records of 16,740 managerial and shareholder meetings between 1678 and 1795, I find that as the Company grew through wars, its claim to sovereign authority shifted from a privilege delegated by Crown and Parliament to a self-possessed right. This “sovereign awakening” sparked a reckoning within the English state, which had thus far tolerated ambiguity in Company sovereignty based on the early modern shared international understanding of divisible, nonhierarchical layered sovereignty. But self-possessed nonstate sovereignty claimed from the core of the state became too much. State actors responded by anchoring sovereign authority along more hierarchical, indivisible foundations espoused by theorists centuries earlier. The new research makes two contributions. First, it introduces the conceptual dynamic of “war awakens sovereigns” (beyond making states) by entangling entities in peacemaking to defend sovereign claims. Second, it extends arguments about the European switch from layered sovereignty to hierarchical statist forms by situating the Company's sovereign evolution in this transformation. Ultimately, this study enables fuller historicization of both nonstate authority and the social construction of sovereignty in international politics.