Justice among Nations: On the Moral Basis of Power and Peace / Edition 1

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Overview

In the post-Cold War era, we have lost the clarity that once characterized our vision of international conflict. Foreign affairs are no longer defined solely by the ideological battles fought between capitalism and communism or by the competition between two great nuclear superpowers. That oversimplified view has been replaced by an increasing awareness of the moral and political complexity surrounding international relations.

To help us deal with this new reality, Thomas Pangle and Peter Ahrensdorf provide a critical introduction to the most important conceptions of international justice, spanning 2,500 years of intellectual history from Thucydides and Plato to Morgenthau and Waltz. Their study shows how older traditions of political philosophy remain relevant to current debates in international relations, and how political thinkers through the centuries can help us deepen our understanding of today's stalemate between realism and idealism.

Pangle and Ahrensdorf guide the reader through a sequence of theoretical frameworks for understanding the moral basis of international relations: the cosmopolitan vision of the classical philosophers, the "just war" teachings of medieval theologians, the revolutionary realism of Machiavelli, the Enlightenment idealism of Kant, and the neo-realism of twentieth-century theorists. They clarify the core of each philosopher's conceptions of international relations, examine the appeal of each position, and bring these alternatives into mutually illuminating juxtaposition.

The authors clearly show that appreciating the fundamental questions pursued by these philosophers can help us avoid dogmatism, abstraction, or oversimplification when considering the moral character of international relations. Justice Among Nations restores the study of the great works of political theory to its natural place within the discipline of international relations as it retrieves the question of international justice as a major theme of political philosophy. It provides our moral compass with new points of orientation and invites serious readers to grapple with some of the most perplexing issues of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

James W. Ely Jr.
A highly rewarding and lively volume that adds depth and insight to our understanding of constitutionalism. Far-ranging in scope, these essays probe vital issues, challenge conventional wisdom, and suggest fresh approaches to shaping the future of constitutional history.
Lawrence M. Friedman
Providing a new burst of vitality in the field of constitutional history, these essays are well-written, enlightening, sometimes startling, and always enormously interesting.
Carnes Lord
A major contribution to the study both of international relations and the history of political philosophy. Filled with fresh and penetrating insights, it's easily the best and most comprehensive study of its kind.
Nathan Tarcov
A real tour de force. Political theorists and students of international relations have long needed just such a volume to engage the history and prehistory of their discipline in a philosophic way.
Marc F. Plattner
This is a remarkably thoughtful and learned study that brings to bear the wisdom of the great works of political philosophy on the central questions of international relations. I know of no comparable work. It should prove indispensable for students of both political theory and international relations.
Booknews
Provides a critical introduction to important conceptions of international justice, spanning 2,500 years of intellectual history to show how older traditions of political philosophy remain relevant to current debates in international relations, and how political thinkers through the ages can help us deepen our understanding of today's stalemate between realism and idealism. Pangle is a professor of political science at the University of Toronto. Ahrensdorf is a professor of political science and humanities at Davidson College in North Carolina. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700612215
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 374
  • Sales rank: 936,275
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Classical Realism: Thucydides 13
2 Classical Idealism: Plato and Aristotle 33
3 Classical Cosmopolitanism: The Stoics and Cicero 51
4 The Christian Teaching on Just War 73
5 Modern Realism: Machiavelli and His Successors 125
6 Modern Idealism: From the Grotian Law of Nations to Kantian International Organization 162
7 Twentieth-Century Realism: Hans Morgenthau 218
8 Neorealism: Kenneth Waltz 239
Conclusion 259
Notes 265
Bibliography 331
Index 345
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