Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thom Brooks on "Hegel's Theory of International Politics: A Reply to Jaeger"

Thom Brooks, "Hegel's Theory of International Politics: A Reply to Jaeger," Review of International Studies 30(1) (2004): 149-52. (subscription-only)


Hans-Martin Jaeger argues in this Journal that Hegel endorses a ‘reluctant realism’, whereby Hegel's theory of international politics institutionalises a transnationalising civil society of states. In Jaeger's view, Hegel's conception of individuals in civil society is analogous to states in international politics. On the contrary, I argue Hegel's conception of abstract right is far more commensurable with his theory of international politics. The mutual recognition existing in civil society – which helps to produce legal relationships – does not exist beyond the state where there are no legal relationships. Thus, Hegel is a realist of a more familiar sort, without any ‘reluctance’.

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