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By Beate Jahn

Classical political theorists equivalent to Thucydides, Kant, Rousseau, Smith, Hegel, Grotius, Mill, Locke and Clausewitz are frequently hired to provide an explanation for and justify modern foreign politics and are noticeable to represent different faculties of idea within the self-discipline. in spite of the fact that, conventional interpretations usually forget about the highbrow and ancient context within which those thinkers have been writing in addition to the lineages wherein they got here to be appropriated in diplomacy. This number of essays offers substitute interpretations delicate to those political and highbrow contexts and to the trajectory in their appropriation. The political, sociological, anthropological, criminal, fiscal, philosophical and normative dimensions are proven to be constitutive, not only of classical theories, yet of foreign concept and perform within the modern international. in addition, they problem conventional money owed of undying debates and faculties of notion and supply new conceptions of middle matters equivalent to sovereignty, morality, legislations, estate, imperialism and organization.

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9). 9) regarding a previously chosen policy was also a capacity to oppose the democratic impulse to rethink, reconsider, reflect and possibly decide anew. As Saxonhouse argues in Athenian Democracy, steadfast devotion to a policy is a stance uncharacteristic of democratic assemblies – their distinguishing mark is the tentative, reversible status of all decisions. 4). After Pericles’ death the Athenians lose the ability to subordinate private concerns to the pursuit of victory. The new leaders do not supply the model and the rhetorical reinforcements to achieve this subordination.

This account, apart from opening up the possibility of an alternative reading of Clausewitz and its potential application to the analysis of contemporary non-state actors and political movements, also disrupts the traditional disciplinary definition by delinking power and war from the state; in other words, by seriously questioning the inside/outside distinction so prominent in International Relations. By investigating the historical and political context of the lineages of classical thought, the chapters in this part demonstrate the limitations and historical burdens International Relations has unconsciously taken on.

Many classical authors, for instance, have made their way into International Relations via Political Theory. By relying on the general interpretations of classical texts provided by Political Theorists which are then complemented by rereading select pieces deemed particularly relevant in the international context, International Relations again imports the modern disciplinary division of knowledge. 21 Moreover, paying attention to the particular trajectory by which classical texts have variously entered the discipline may well uncover intellectual and political concerns as well as interpretations on the side of the ‘importers’.

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