Intro to Political Theory Blog | Contributions by …

Soon after its publication, this book became the bible of systemic theorizing in international relations. In contrast to earlier “human-nature” realism, it emphasized the importance of the structure of the international system and derived a range of (arguably) testable hypotheses from the realist micromotives of states—to wit, their interests described in terms of power. Reprinted as recently as 2010 (Long Grove, IL: Waveland).

Thomas Hobbes & John Locke: Political Theories & …

Reik, Miriam. The Golden Lands of Thomas Hobbes. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1977.

The Political Realism of Thucydides and Thomas Hobbes

In spite of its ambiguities and weaknesses, Morgenthau’sPolitics among Nations became a standard textbook andinfluenced thinking about international politics for a generation orso. At the same time, there was an attempt to develop a more methodologically rigorous approach to theorizing about international affairs. In the 1950s and 1960s a large influx of scientists from different fields entered the discipline of International Relations and attempted to replace the “wisdom literature” of classical realists with scientific concepts and reasoning (Brown 35). This in turn provoked a counterattack by Morgenthau and scholars associated with the so-called English School, especially Hedley Bull, who defended a traditional approach (Bull 1966).

The Social Contract Theories of Thomas Hobbes and …

Although Carr and Morgenthau concentrate primarily on internationalrelations, their realism can also be applied to domestic politics. Tobe a classical realist is in general to perceive politics as a conflict ofinterests and a struggle for power, and to seek peace by recognizing common interests and trying to satisfy them, rather than by moralizing. Bernard Williams and Raymond Geuss, influential representatives of the new political realism, a movement in contemporary political theory, criticize what they describe as “political moralism” and stress the autonomy of politics against ethics. However, political theory realism and international relations realism seem like two separate research programs. As noted by several scholars (William Scheuerman, Alison McQueen, Terry Nardin. Duncan Bell), those who contribute to realism in political theory give little attention to those who work on realism in international politics.

Waltz, Kenneth N. Theory of International Politics. New York: Random House, 1979.
This and other differences between political theory and the natural ..

Political Philosophy: Thomas Hobbes Leviathan Quotes. …

(2) Realists, and especially today’s neorealists, consider theabsence of government, literally anarchy, to be the primarydeterminant of international political outcomes. The lack of a commonrule-making and enforcing authority means, they argue, that theinternational arena is essentially a self-help system. Each state isresponsible for its own survival and is free to define its owninterests and to pursue power. Anarchy thus leads to a situation inwhich power has the overriding role in shaping interstate relations. Inthe words of the Athenian envoys at Melos, without any common authoritythat can enforce order, “the independent states survive [only]when they are powerful” (5.97).

Book Symposium: Hobbes and Political Theory Introduction: Hobbes, Language and Liberty

Thomas Hobbes > By Individual Philosopher > Philosophy

A similar conclusion, although derived in a traditional way, comesfrom the non-positivist theorists of the English school (International Societyapproach) who emphasize both systemic and normative constraints on thebehavior of states. Referring to the classical view of the human beingas an individual that is basically social and rational, capable ofcooperating and learning from past experiences, these theoristsemphasize that states, like individuals, have legitimate interests thatothers can recognize and respect, and that they can recognize thegeneral advantages of observing a principle of reciprocity in theirmutual relations (Jackson and Sørensen 167). Therefore, statescan bind themselves to other states by treaties and develop some commonvalues with other states. Hence, the structure of the internationalsystem is not unchangeable as the neorealists claim. It is not apermanent Hobbesian anarchy, permeated by the danger of war. Ananarchic international system based on pure power relations amongactors can evolve into a more cooperative and peaceful internationalsociety, in which state behavior is shaped by commonly shared valuesand norms. A practical expression of international society areinternational organizations that uphold the rule of law ininternational relations, especially the UN.

Thomas Hobbes - Academic, Political Scientist, …

Locke claims that legitimate government is based on the idea ofseparation of powers. First and foremost of these is the legislativepower. Locke describes the legislative power as supreme (TwoTreatises 2.149) in having ultimate authority over “how theforce for the commonwealth shall be employed” (2.143). Thelegislature is still bound by the law of nature and much of what itdoes is set down laws that further the goals of natural law andspecify appropriate punishments for them (2.135). The executive poweris then charged with enforcing the law as it is applied in specificcases. Interestingly, Locke’s third power is called the“federative power” and it consists of the right to actinternationally according to the law of nature. Since countries arestill in the state of nature with respect to each other, they mustfollow the dictates of natural law and can punish one another forviolations of that law in order to protect the rights of theircitizens.