By Hartmut Behr
Modern thought of foreign politics faces a twofold challenge: the severe engagement with legacies of nationwide strength politics in connection to twentieth Century diplomacy and the regeneration of notions of humanity. This ebook contributes to this engagement via a family tree of techniques on struggle, peace, and ethics.
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Additional info for A History of International Political Theory: Ontologies of the International
Against Thucydides’s widely quoted reason why the Peloponnesian War 23 24 A History of International Political Theory broke out, namely, because of the tremendous increase of Athenian power, its search for a hegemonic power position, and Sparta’s desire for security (all suit neo-realist reasons why states as particular and autonomous units wage war against each other), another motive seems to achieve a prominent status: Thucydides tells us that a treaty was broken between the Athenians and the Spartans and that was why they became hostile.
The end of the negotiations was brought about by a retreat of the Athenians who then, in their final comment, threatened the Melians with being sentenced and destroyed. Their extinction actually followed, and thus, Thucydides’s narration symbolizes and condemns another militarily unnecessary atrocity of the war. 112–113: The Athenians now withdrew from the conference; and the Melians, left to themselves, came to a decision corresponding with what they had maintained in the discussion, and answered: ‘Our resolution, Athenians, is the same as it was at first.
Now the most genuine cause, though least spoken of, was this: it was the Athenians, in my opinion, as they were growing great and furnishing an occasion of fear to the Lacedaemonians, who compelled the latter to go to war. But the complaints of each side, spoken of openly, were the following, complaints which led the parties to break the treaty and enter a state of war. 4–6; translation by Sealey, 1957b, p. 68–86). The Spartan reference to the treaty and Thucydides’s support for this view – after all he quotes the breach of the treaty as one reason of the general war, and even as the reason for the first, the Archidamian or Ten Years War (431 to 421) – highlight the Greek attitudes about justice and injustice in war and peace as it is expressed by the negotiation system of ‘complaints and grievances’.
A History of International Political Theory: Ontologies of the International by Hartmut Behr