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Hendrik Spruyt

Norman Dwight Harris Emeritus Professor of International Relations

Degree in Law: University of Leiden, 1977; Doctorandus: University of Leiden, 1983; M.A.: Ohio State University; Ph.D.: University of California, San Diego, 1991
Curriculum Vitae


Research Interest(s): Historical Sociology and International Relations; State Formation and Disintegration; International Systems and Regional Orders

Subfield Specialties: Comparative Historical Analysis


Professor Spruyt previously taught International Relations at Columbia University (1991-1999) and Arizona State University (1999-2003) before joining the faculty at Northwestern. He received a Doctorandus from the University of Leiden, School of Law, (The Netherlands) in 1983, and his Ph. D in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego in 1991. He was chair of the Department of Political Science at Northwestern from 2005-2008, and Director of the Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies from 2008-2013. In addition he has been a visiting faculty member at Sciences Po, Cambridge, and LSE. Professor Spruyt has also served as co-editor of The Review of International Political Economy and has served on various editorial boards.

BooksBook Cover: Democracy and Conflict Resolution by Hendrik Spruyt

  • The World Imagined: Collective Beliefs and Political Order in the Sinocentric, Islamic and Southeast Asian International Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.
  • With Miriam Elman, and Oded Haklai, co-editors, Democracy, Religion, and Conflict: the Dilemmas of Israel’s Peacemaking. Syracuse:  Syracuse University Press, 2013.
  • With Alexander Cooley, co-author, Contracting States: Sovereign Transfers in International Politics. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009.
  • Global Horizons: An Introduction to International Relations. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009.
  • Ending Empire: Contested Sovereignty and Territorial Partition.  Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2005. (Runner up for the J. David Greenstone Award, American Political Science Association, August 2007).
  • The Sovereign State and Its Competitors: An Analysis of Systems Change. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994. (J. David Greenstone Award for best book in History and Politics 1994-1995.)

Select Publications

  • “Unbundling Sovereign Rights through Incomplete Contracting: Empowering European Transnational Networks beyond the State.” In Reconfiguring European States in Crisis, Desmond King and Patrick Le Galès, eds. (Corby: Oxford UP 2017)
  • “Economies and Economic Interaction across Eurasia in the Early Modern Period.” In The Globalization of International Society, Tim Dunne and Christian Reus-Smit, eds. (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2017)
  • “War and State Formation: Amending the Bellicist Theory of State Making.” In  Does War Make States?Investigations of Charles Tilly's Historical Sociology, Lars Kaspersen and Jeppe Strandsberg, eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.)
  • “The Emergence of Nation States.” In Masamichi Sasaki, Jack Goldstone and Ekkart Zimmermann, editors. Concise Encyclopedia of Comparative Sociology, Leiden (Neth.): Brill, 2014, pp. 311-320.
  • “Empires, Past and Present: The Relevance of Empire as an Analytic Concept.” In Noel Parker, editor. Empire and International Order. Farnham (UK): Ashgate, 2013.
  • “New Institutionalism and International Relations,” in Ronen Palan, Global Political Economy, London: Routledge, 2012.
  • “Indonesia,” in Richard Caplan editor, Exit Strategies and State Building.  Oxford University Press, 2012.

Courses taught

  • Introduction to International Relations (POS 240)
  • Globalization (POS 348)
  • Nationalism and Secession (POS 395)
  • International Relations Theory (POS 440)
  • International Security (POS 445)
  • Nation Building and State Formation (POS 490)