Kant's Critique of Hobbes, Howard Williams, Cardiff,
Wales: University of Wales Press, 2003, pp. 244.
Howard Williams argues that Immanuel Kant's (1724–1804)
international political theory is a significant critique of Thomas
Hobbes'(1588–1679) theory of the sovereign state. Kant's
critique is rooted in a conviction that reform, rather than revolution, is
the only rationally defensible response to an empirically defective
sovereign. In other words, Kant reforms rather than jettisons altogether
Hobbes' account of the sovereign state. Rather than absolute internal
authority and an untamed gladiator externally, Kant's sovereign state
advances gradually towards popular sovereignty and global legality.
Williams concludes, “Kant's critique of Hobbes presents the
most appropriate account of political sovereignty for today”