Book

The idea of international society (2017)

Erasmus, Vitoria, Gentili and Grotius

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Abstract

This book offers the first comprehensive account and re-appraisal of the formative phase of what is often termed the 'Grotian tradition' in international relations theory: the view that sovereign states are not free to act at will, but are akin to members of a society, bound by its norms. It examines the period from the later fifteenth to the mid-seventeenth centuries, focusing on four thinkers: Erasmus, Vitoria, Gentili and Grotius himself, and is structured by the author's concept of international society. Erasmus' views on international relations have been entirely neglected, but underlying his work is a consistent image of international society. The theologian Francisco de Vitoria concerns himself with its normative principles, the lawyer Alberico Gentili - unexpectedly, the central figure in the narrative - with its extensive practical applications. Grotius, however, does not re-affirm the concept, but wavers at crucial points. This book suggests that the Grotian tradition is a misnomer.

Keywords

International relations, Philosophy

Languages

English

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

ISBN

9781108264945, 9781108417143, 9781108404631

Pages

x, 255

DOI

10.1017/9781108264945

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