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Back to the Future: Promoting Peace through International Law

Abstract

The world as a whole has not been at peace since 1914, and it is definitely not at peace today. David J. Dunn argues that this state of affairs may be due, in no small part, to aspects of the conventional wisdom that informs practical foreign policy and diplomacy. For example, the ancient notion si vis pacem, para bellum [if you desire peace, prepare for war] (Vegetius) or the nineteenth century idea that argues ‘[w]e have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow’ (Lord Palmerston). These ‘insights’ neatly summarize the intellectual core of political realism; in particular, the ‘balance-of-power’ doctrine.

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Leiden Journal of International Law
  • ISSN: 0922-1565
  • EISSN: 1478-9698
  • URL: /core/journals/leiden-journal-of-international-law
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