Views on International Law and International Relations in Adam Smith's Lectures on Jurisprudence

33 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2011

See all articles by Nicolas Hachez

Nicolas Hachez

Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies

Date Written: April 14, 2011

Abstract

This article aims to analyze and interpret the views on international relations and international law expressed in Adam Smith's little studied Lectures on Jurisprudence, in connection with the works of Grotius, Hobbes and Pufendorf. In order to do so, the article first tries to unravel Smith's account of the formation of society and government in domestic orders, understood as a complex intertwinement of human and economic factors. The article then goes on to analyze Smith's stated reasons why the seemingly universal human and economic processes leading to the formation of domestic societies and governments are failing when they are to apply in the international order. Finally, this article explores Smith's views on the idiosyncratic rules governing international relations, i.e. the Law of Nations. The conclusion of the article then attempts to formulate insights for a more harmonious international society based on Smith's premises.

Keywords: Adam Smith, Lectures on Jurisprudence, History of International Law, International Legal Theory

Suggested Citation

Hachez, Nicolas, Views on International Law and International Relations in Adam Smith's Lectures on Jurisprudence (April 14, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1809705 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1809705

Nicolas Hachez (Contact Author)

Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies ( email )

House De Dorlodot
Deberiotstraat 34
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium
+32 16 32 51 10 (Phone)

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