By Hartmut Behr
Modern concept of foreign politics faces a twofold challenge: the serious engagement with legacies of nationwide strength politics in connection to twentieth Century diplomacy and the regeneration of notions of humanity. This publication contributes to this engagement by way of a family tree of recommendations on battle, peace, and ethics.
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Additional resources for A History of International Political Theory: Ontologies of the International
This political anthropology can be described – in an Aristotelian sense – as teleological insofar as Cicero views the basic anthropological characteristics of human nature and its end purpose (telos) as an entity. The raison d’être of human life, including the ethical obligations of men, relate to, and stem from, the potentials of human condition imparted in human nature. The ought of our ethical conduct of life, of our social and political commitments, as well as the development of our potential skills emerges from the potentiality of how we are able to life and what we are able to achieve and to develop (on this see excellent discussions in Marx, 1961, 1972).
The reason for this neglect seems to be found in the neo-realist mainstream (and its aversion to political thought and normative theory; see more on that below) into which Cicero definitely does not fit, and into which he cannot easily be made to fit in the same way that Thucydides (wrongfully) was made to fit. Nevertheless, Cicero’s writings contain many interesting aspects for the study of international politics, namely, a threefold relationship between his thoughts on empire and (original) views on the justification of war and warfare, both developed within the framework of a universalistic conception of reason and natural law (and a subsequent law of nations, a term and concept which, according to some commentators [Pangle, 1998, p.
On Greek and Roman Antiquity 35 the other hand, he complains about Spartan complacency, which for a long time did not realize Athenian armament and growth of imperial and economic power. ‘If the ruin of Athens was the result of domestic disorder and Spartan complacency almost caused the Peloponnesians to come to grief, it is little wonder that the dynamics of internal politics should have commanded Thucydides’ full attention. Time and again he shows how the shell of party polemics interposed itself by forcing leaders to ignore the logic of diplomacy under the impact of domestic pressure ...
A History of International Political Theory: Ontologies of the International by Hartmut Behr