Balance of Power and Norm Hierarchy: Franco-British Diplomacy after the Peace of Utrecht
Frederik Dhondt, Ghent University
Balance of Power and Norm Hierarchy: Franco-British Diplomacy after the Peace of Utrecht offers a detailed study of French and British diplomacy in the age of ‘Walpole and Fleury’. After Louis XIV’s decease, European international relations were dominated by the collaboration between James Stanhope and Guillaume Dubois. Their alliance focused on the amendment and enlargement of the peace treaties of Utrecht, Rastatt and Baden. In-depth analysis of vast archival material uncovers the practical legal arguments used between Hampton Court and Versailles. ‘Balance of Power’ or ‘Tranquillity of Europe’ were in fact metaphors for the predominance of treaty law even over the most fundamental municipal norms. An implacable logic of norm hierarchy allowed to consolidate peace in Europe.