Classical Theories of International Relations 1996
International relations theory has paid only intermittent attention to the thinking of the major political theorists who have grappled with relations between sovereign states since the emergence of the international states system during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. One way of filling this vacuum has been pioneered by scholars often referred to collectively as the English school. They draw on a tripartite taxonomy of a Hobbesian tradition of power politics, a Grotian tradition of concern with the rules that govern relations between states, and a Kantian tradition of thinking which transcends the existence of the states system. The introductory chapter of this book introduces the approach. The other contributions use it to illuminate the major thinkers about international relations, covering the timeframe from the emergence of the modern states systems in the sixteenth century up to the emergence of international relations as an academic discipline in the immediate aftermath of the First World War. The thinkers are Hobbes, Grotius, Kant, Vitoria, Rousseau, Smith, Burke, Hegel, Gentz and Vattel.
The book is a contribution to the history of thinking about international relations in the period of the modern system of states. It is also a theoretical contribution in its own right, in as much as it further establishes the nexus between political theory and international relations thinking.