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The popular image of the hypnotist as a charismatic and mystical figure can be firmly dated to this time.Inevitably, these magical trappings led to Mesmer’s downfall, and for a long time, hypnotism was a dangerous interest to have for anybody looking for a mainstream career.From a Western point of view, the decisive moment in the history of hypnosis occurred in the 18th Century (coinciding with the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason).

At the same time, the nature of “ordinary” consciousness is better understood as a series of trance states that we go into and out of all the time.The history of hypnosis, then, is like the search for something that was in plain view all along, and we can now see it for what it is – a universal phenomenon that’s an inextricable part of being human.Nevertheless, the stubborn fact remained that hypnosis worked, and the 19th Century is characterised by individuals seeking to understand and apply its effects.Surgeons and physicians like John Elliotson and James Esdaille pioneered its use in the medical field, risking their reputation to do so, whilst researchers like James Braid began to peel away the obscuring layers of mesmerism, revealing the physical and biological truths at the heart of the phenomenon.The aetiological myth2[6] of Westphalia has carried extraordinary power within the shared consciousness of society, including international society, and continues to impact discourses on contemporary issues on the international plane.

Preliminarily, the notion of myth and mythology will be examined because it is at the centre of the present argument about the ‘Westphalian model’.[...] Sovereignty, as a concept, formed the cornerstone of the edifice of international relations that 1648 raised up.Sovereignty was the crucial element in the peace treaties of Westphalia, the international agreements that were intended to end a great war and to promote a coming peace.These practices tend to be for magical or religious purposes, such as divination or communicating with gods and spirits.It’s important to remember, however, that what we see as occultism was the scientific establishment of its day, with exactly the same purpose as modern science – curing human ills and increasing knowledge.It represents the majestic portal which leads from the old into the new world.’[9] Dionisio Anzilotti, for his part, observed that Westphalia has been ‘considered, rightfully so, as the starting point of the historical development of the present international law’.1[0] Recently, Richard Falk opined: ‘It was not until some decades later, [after Grotius] by way of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 that ended the Thirty Years’ War, that the modern system of states was formally established as the dominant world order framework’.[11] In terms of social effect on the consciousness of humanity, the Peace of Westphalia is said to have consecrated the principle of sovereign equality of states,1[2] which has been at the core of international law ever since.1[3] Charles Rhyne explained it in the following terms: ‘The traditional European international law system dates from the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648, which marked the formal recognition of states as sovereign and independent political units’.1[4] Likewise, Donat Pharand wrote that ‘state sovereignty came to be accepted as a principle of international law at the Peace of Westphalia, ending the Thirty Years’ War’.1[5] Again, recently, Thomas Franck noted: ‘Since the Reformation, the Peace of Westphalia, and the writings of Hugo Grotius, there has been an explicit assumption that the international system is an association of sovereign states’.1[6] In social sciences, Westphalia has also long been considered ‘the cornerstone of the modern system of international relations’.1[7] One of the first advocates of the realist school of international relations, Hans Morgenthau, wrote the following about the Peace: By the end of the Thirty Years’ War, sovereignty as supreme power over a certain territory was a political fact, signifying the victory of the territorial princes over the universal authority of emperor and pope, on the one hand, and over the particularistic aspirations of the feudal barons, on the other.1[8] The large majority of modern international relations scholarships explicitly share that view.1[9] To give the contemporary example of the International Criminal Court, which became operational in The Hague on 1 July 2002,2[0] the rhetoric surrounding the adoption of the Rome Statute2[1] included claims of a fundamental change in the ‘Westphalian model’ of international legal order.