A History of International Political Theory: Ontologies of by Hartmut Behr

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By Hartmut Behr

Modern concept of overseas politics faces a twofold challenge: the severe engagement with legacies of nationwide energy politics in connection to twentieth Century diplomacy and the regeneration of notions of humanity. This publication contributes to this engagement through a family tree of suggestions on battle, peace, and ethics.

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Thus they (and/or Thucydides, respectively) normatively claim that, independent of military and political power as well as regardless of the immediate outcome of the war, all people and poleis who are independent and have a constitution of their own should have the same rights to be recognized and to partake in negotiations. They should also have the same duties and obligations stemming from the treaties. The Corinthians and Argives, and ‘with them’ Thucydides, are critical towards both Athens and Sparta due to their violation of treaties as well as due to their unethical behaviour (see below).

Finally, since law is the framework which not only corresponds to human nature, and vice versa, but also creates the political organization in which men can realize their natural disposition as rational beings, law both has a fundamental Greek and Roman Antiquity 39 ethical element – indeed men are ethically obliged to realize their virtues in accordance with law – and is thought of as universal. 33: There is a true law, a right reason, conformable to nature, universal, unchangeable, eternal, whose commands urge us to duty, and whose prohibitions restrain us from evil.

Luschnat notes that construing this intention and inspiration merely as pessimism, fatalism, and resignation (as ‘realists’ and neo-realists tend to do) is too myopic. The stylistic device to express consternation in Athenian tragic poetry consisted not in overt moral outcry but in ‘plain’ reporting. The intention that stood behind and accompanied this sort of textual composition was, however, crystal clear. The ethical dimension was always present and obvious to the author and the audience. It was standing permanently in the background, without a special need to be explicitly stressed (see also Creed, 1973).

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