The Evolution of the Concept of Perpetual Peace in the History of Political-Legal Thought
Revista de Ciencia Política y Relaciones Internacionales, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 277-291, 2010
22 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2012
Date Written: August 15, 2010
The phenomena of peace and war constitute the eternal and immanent elements of the history of mankind. It is assumed that they originate in the deeply rooted in the human nature lust for power, prestige and respect. That drive is characteristic of individuals, as well as entire nations, and often becomes apparent on the level of foreign policies of states. Waging wars or striving for peace are two basic instruments for countries thanks to which they pursue their vital interests. The rules of conduct adopted by states result from subjective and objective factors. Apart from the obvious ones, such as the country’s position or the lineup in its closest environment, also ideological and consciousness related factors are of crucial importance here. According to contemporary realistic concepts, war is a normal means of execution of states’ interests and exerting influence upon international environment. Liberal theories, as opposed to realistic concepts, highlight the necessity of cooperation among states and peaceful co-existence of nations. While analysing contemporary trends in thought on peace and war among nations, one should bear in mind that they are reminiscences of previous views on that matter, which are deeply rooted in the history of European philosophy.
Keywords: international relations, peace, perpetual peace, philosophy, Immanuel Kant, human rights, liberalism
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