Classical theory in international relations by Beate Jahn

By Beate Jahn

Classical political theorists corresponding to Thucydides, Kant, Rousseau, Smith, Hegel, Grotius, Mill, Locke and Clausewitz are usually hired to provide an explanation for and justify modern foreign politics and are obvious to represent the several faculties of idea within the self-discipline. besides the fact that, conventional interpretations usually forget about the highbrow and ancient context during which those thinkers have been writing in addition to the lineages in which they got here to be appropriated in diplomacy. This number of essays presents substitute interpretations delicate to those political and highbrow contexts and to the trajectory in their appropriation. The political, sociological, anthropological, felony, fiscal, philosophical and normative dimensions are proven to be constitutive, not only of classical theories, yet of overseas notion and perform within the modern international. furthermore, they problem conventional debts of undying debates and faculties of inspiration and supply new conceptions of middle concerns comparable to sovereignty, morality, legislation, estate, imperialism and corporation.

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Classical theory in international relations

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110. 29 See Holden, ‘Who Contextualizes the Contextualizers’, and Bell, ‘Political Theory’ for a discussion of the use of Skinner in International Relations. 30 Aiko, Chapter 5 in this volume, applies Skinner’s method for this purpose. 31 See Jahn, Chapter 8 for example. 32 Reid’s Chapter 12 in this volume is a case in point. 16 Classical theory and international relations in context than Skinner’s – yet not in the manner of the problem-solving tendencies in International Political Theory. Structure In accordance with the aim of reconstructing the intellectual and political context of classical theories as well as of their trajectories over time, this book is divided into three parts focusing respectively on the recovery of the intellectual context, the political context and the lineage of classical theories.

This widespread lack of reflection on historically specific – rather than general or continuous – political and intellectual interests shaping the production of social and political theory is not surprisingly also extended to the trajectories by which classical authors have entered the discipline of International Relations. That is, the historically specific interests and perceptions of the translators and interpreters of classical texts on their way into the discipline remain likewise unspecified – thus depriving International Relations of the possibility of investigating the various historical transformations of these texts as well as the meanings and contradictions that may have become embedded in them over time.

122ff, and Edward Hussey, ‘Thucydidean History and Democritean Theory’ in P. A. Cartledge and F. D. ), CRUX: Essays in Greek History presented to G. E. M. de Ste. Croix on his 75th Birthday (London: Duckworth, 1985). Plato explicitly criticizes Pericles for pandering to the Athenians in this way. See Gorgias, 515eff. 17 Connor, Thucydides, pp. 179–180. 16 32 Pericles, realism and the normative conditions of deliberate action public interests as mutually obtainable. This is not to suggest that real citizens never encountered conflicts between private and public interests.

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