Taking as its starting–point the various concepts people have used to think about differences between political communities, the book explores changing perceptions of international politics from antiquity to the twentieth century. As well as discussing well–known themes such as relations between independent sovereign states and the tension between raison d′état and a universal code of natural law, it also examines less familiar ideas which have influenced the development of international political thought such as the distinction between civilization, national culture and barbarism, religious attitudes towards infidels, and theories about racial difference and imperialism. Among the key thinkers covered are Thucydides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Kant, Marx and Morgenthau, alongside less commonly studied figures such as Herodotus, Pope Innocent IV, Herder, Constant and Zimmern. Each chapter concludes with a guide to further reading which will help students to develop a more detailed understanding of the subject.
Written with the beginner student in mind, this lively textbook is an ideal introduction for anyone studying international political thought.
Introduction: The Study of International Political Thought.
1. Barbarians, Custom and Nature.
2. World–City, Empire and Natural Law.
3. Christendom and the House of Islam.
4. Reason of State, Natural Law and State of Nature.
5. Human Nature, Civilization and Culture.
6. The Liberal Idea of Civilization and its Critics.
Conclusion: International System and International Society.
Jack Donnelly, University of Denver
This is a learned and valuable overview of key concepts in the history of international political thought. Keene′s focus on changing conceptions of how communities should be held together and separated from the rest of humankind provides a distinctive approach to international political thought over two millennia. All those who are interested in the linkages between political theory and international relations will profit from reading this important addition to the literature.
Andrew Linklater, University of Wales