Skip to main content
×
×
Home

The Paradox of “Just War” in Rousseau's Theory of Interstate Relations

  • BLAISE BACHOFEN (a1)
Abstract

In the Social Contract, Rousseau declares that he has given up the idea of discussing the “external relations” of states. Yet numerous texts—including a recently reconstituted work about the law of war—show that he thought very seriously about the question of the nature and origin of war and of the possibility of making war subject to the rule of law. Rousseau, in contrast to Hobbes, links war's appearance to that of the sovereign states; the state of war is therefore the necessary result of international relations. Moreover, he considers the international law as chimerical. How can he then conceive a non-utopian theory of “just war”? My hypothesis is that his conception of the law of war is deduced from principles of internal political law and arises from pragmatic necessity. The state that discredits itself in its manner of waging war weakens itself while believing that it is reinforcing itself.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Blaise Bachofen is Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Faculty of Law, University of Cergy Pontoise, 33 bd. du Port, Cergy-Pontoise, France 95011 (blaise.bachofen@u-cergy.fr)
References
Hide All
Aron, Raymond. 2001. Paix et guerre entre les nations. Paris: Calmann-Lévy.
Asbach, Olaf. 2002. Die Zähmung der Leviathane. Die Idee einer Rechtsdordnung zwischen Staaten bei Abbé de Saint-Pierre und Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Berlin: Akademie Verlag.
Bachofen, Blaise. 2012. “La nation, la patrie, le pays. La question de l’appartenance nationale chez Rousseau.” Annales J.-J. Rousseau 50. Genève: Droz, 267–98.
Bentham, Jeremy. 1789. An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. London: T. Payne and Son.
Bernardi, Bruno, and Silvestrini, Gabriella. 2005. “Les Principes du droit de la guerre de J.-J. Rousseau, nouvel établissement du texte précédé d”une présentation.” Annales J.-J. Rousseau 46. Genève: Droz, 201–80.
Boucher, David. 2006. “Uniting What Right Permits with What Interest Prescribes: •Rawls's Law of Peoples in Context.” In Rawls's Law of Peoples: A Realistic Utopia?, eds. David, R. and Martin, D. A.. Malden, MA: Malden Publishing, 19–37.
Brunstetter, Daniel R. 2014. “Trends in Just War Thinking during the US Presidential Debates 2000–12.” Review of International Studies 14: 123.
Brunstetter, Daniel R., and Holeindre, Jean-Vincent. 2012. “La guerre juste au prisme de la théorie politique.” Raisons politiques 45, 5–18.
Carter, Christine J. 1987. Rousseau and the Problem of War. New York: Garland.
Clark, Ian. 1978. The Hierarchy of States: Reform and Resistance in the International Order. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Clausewitz, Carl von. 1832. Vom Kriege. Berlin: Dümmlers Verlag.
Cottoni, Marie-Hélène. 2003. “Les notes marginales de Voltaire sur l’Extrait du Projet de paix perpétuelle de Castel de Saint-Pierre .” Revue Voltaire 3, 59–67.
Deutsch, Karl. 1953. “Nation Building and National Development: Some Issues for Political Research.” In Nation Building, eds. Deutsch, K. and Foltz, W. J.. New York: Atherton Press, 1–12.
Dreyfus-Brisac, Émile. 1896. Du Contrat social. Paris: Alcan.
Fetscher, Iring. 1975. Rousseaus politische Philosophie. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
Fournel, Jean-Louis. 2004. “La “brutalisation” de la guerre.” Asterion 2. http://asterion.revues.org/100
Gagnebin, Bernard. 1967. De Ronsard à Breton, Hommages à M. Raymond. Paris: José Corti.
Grotius, Hugo. 1814. On the Law of War and Peace, De Jure Belli ac Pacis. Translated by Campbell, A. C.. London: Walter Dunne.
Hassner, Pierre. 1997. “Rousseau and the Theory and Practice of International Relations.” In The Legacy of Rousseau, eds. Tarcov, N. and Orwin, C.. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 200–19.
Havens, George R. 1933. Voltaire's Marginalia on the Pages of Rousseau: A Comparative Study of Ideas. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.
Hegel, Georg Friedrich. 1821. Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts. Berlin: Nicolai.
Hirschman, Albert. 1977. The Passions and the Interests, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Hobbes, Thomas. 1996. Leviathan. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hoffmann, Stanley. 1965a. “Rousseau on War and Peace.” In The State of War, ed. Hoffmann, Stanley. New York: Praeger Publishers, 317–33.
Hoffmann, Stanley. 1965b. “Rousseau, la guerre et la paix.” Annales de philosophie politique 5. Paris: Presses universitaires de France. 195–240.
Hoffmann, Stanley, and Fidler, David P.. 1991. Rousseau on International Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Kant, Immanuel. 1991. Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose. In Political Writings, translated by Nisbet, H. B.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 41–53.
Lassudrie-Duchêne, Georges. 1906. J.-J. Rousseau et le droit des gens. Paris: H. Jouve.
Locke, John. 1993. Second Treatise . In Two Treatises of Government. London: Everyman Press, 113–240.
Lord, Christopher. 1999. Politics. Prague: Karolinum Press.
O’Driscoll, Cian. 2011. “Talking about Just War: Obama in Oslo, Bush at War.” Politics 31 (2): 8290.
Orend, Brian. 2007. “ Jus Post Bellum: The Perspective of a Just-War Theorist.” Leiden Journal of International Law 20 (3): 571–91.
Pogge, Thomas W. 1994. “An Egalitarian Law of Peoples.” Philosophy & Public Affairs 23 (3): 195224.
Ramsey, Paul. 1968. The Just War: Force and Political Responsibility. New York: Scribner.
Rawls, John. 1996. Le Droit des gens. Trans B. Guillarme of the first edition, The Law of Peoples). Paris: Esprit.
Rawls, John. 1999. The Law of Peoples. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Riley, Patrick. 1973. “Rousseau as a Theorist of National and International Federalism.” Publius 3 (1): 57.
Roosevelt, Grace G. 1987. “A Reconstitution of Rousseau's Fragments on the State of War .” History of Political Thought 8: 225–32.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1964–95. Œuvres complètes in 5 Volumes, Gagnebin, B. and Raymond, M., eds. Paris: Gallimard-Pléiade.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1965–98. Correspondance complète in 52 Volumes, Leigh, R. A. ed. Geneva: Voltaire Foundation.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1986a. Considerations on the Government of Poland . Watkins, Trans. F.. In Political Writings. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 157–274.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1986b. Constitutional Project for Corsica . Trans. Watkins, F.. In Political Writings. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 275–330.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1995. The Confessions . Trans. Kelly, C.. In The Collected Writings of Rousseau, Vol. 5. Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College Press, 1–550.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1997a. Discourse on Inequality . Trans. Gourevitch, V.. In The Discourses and Other Early Political Writings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 111–222.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1997b. Discourse on Political Economy . Trans. Gourevitch, V.. In The Social Contract and Other Later Political Writings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 3–38.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1997c. Geneva Manuscript (early version of the Social Contract). Trans. Gourevitch, V.. In The Social Contract and Other Later Political Writings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 153–61.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1997d. The Social Contract . Trans. Gourevitch, V.. In The Social Contract and Other Later Political Writings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 39–152.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 2001. Letters Written from the Mountain . Trans. Kelly, C. and Bush, J. R., The Collected Writings of Rousseau, Vol. 9. Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College Press, 131–306.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 2009. Abstract of Saint Pierre's Project for Perpetual Peace . Trans. Vaughan, C.. In A Lasting Peace through the Federation of Europe and the State of War. London: Constable and Co., 1917, Reprinted under the same title, Gloucester: Dodo Press, 15–40.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 2010. Émile . Trans. Kelly, C. and Bloom, A.. In The Collected Writings of Rousseau, Vol. 13. Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College Press, 155–675.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 2012. Principles of the Right of War . Trans. Hoare, Q.. In Of the Social Contract and Other Political Writings. London: Penguin Books, 153–68.
Schmitt, Carl. 1988. Der Nomos der Erde. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot.
Strauss, Leo. 1953. Natural Right and History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Vattel, Emerich de. 1758. Le Droit des gens ou principes de la loi naturelle, appliqués à la conduite et aux affaires des nations et des souverains. London
Waltz, Kenneth. 1959. Man, the State, and War. New York: Columbia University Press.
Walzer, Michael. 1977. Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations. New York: Basic Books.
Walzer, Michael. 2004. Arguing about War. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Windenberger, Joseph-Louis. 1899. Essai sur le système de politique étrangère de J.-J. Rousseau. La République confédérative des petits États. Paris: Picard et Fils.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

American Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 0003-0554
  • EISSN: 1537-5943
  • URL: /core/journals/american-political-science-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed