The Limits of Ethics in International Relations: Natural Law, Natural Rights and Human Rights in Transition by David Boucher
Subjecting International Relations to the Law of Nature
A Neglected Aspect of the Early Modern Jurists and Edmund Burke
In this article, I deal with the issue of how the early modern thinkers dealt, over time, with the question of 'international law' and its enforcement. To draw out Burke's underappreciated view of enforcement, it recounts the law of nations ideas by some of the main jurists of the period such as Vitoria, Gentili and Suárez. As is well known, their differentiation of the law of nations from the law of nature led to the gradual emergence of the legal principle and moral right of intervention to prevent gross violations of the natural law in the discourse of international justice. Such ideas were refined by Grotius, who largely equated international law with punishment, something Pufendorf and Vattel would later criticise. I argue that it is nevertheless Edmund Burke to whom we must look to bridge the two concerns of international law: authority and enforcement. Burke provided the conceptual scope needed to plausibly resolve the issues of enforcement by prescribing specific common law foundations, binding the legal and the moral in international law and presenting it as domestic law. This way of looking at Burke is under-recognised and provides insight into some of the same concerns we face today with enforcement in international law.
Apartheid of Thought
The Power Dynamics of Knowledge Production in Political Thought
Camilla Boisen and Matthew C. Murray
In engaging with Lawrence Hamilton’s Freedom Is Power and its position in the lexicon of academic production from the Global South, this paper explores how Hamilton’s claim about institutions utilising idealised concepts that can have counterproductive social effects is also broadly observable in knowledge production itself. This paper draws in broad and brief terms how representation of ideas has been an issue at the heart of political thought historically before discussing how ideas from the South and other under-represented areas now serve to counter not just a hegemony of power but of ideas themselves. This is a necessary extension of the theory to consider, in order to have its desired effect as ideas are perquisites to actions. The paper also challenges the reader with their role in idealising the production of knowledge and the underlying social pressures and political power relations that shape the ideas that motivate ‘real’ political structures and institutions.