International Relations, Security and Jeremy Bentham

1st Edition

Gunhild Hoogensen

Routledge
Published April 10, 2014
Reference
ISBN 9780415759137 - CAT# Y163119
Series: Routledge Advances in International Relations and Global Politics

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Summary

The first comprehensive presentation and discussion of Jeremy Bentham's contributions to international relations theory.

Bentham is best known amongst political theory scholars as most of his brilliant work addresses legal theory, reform, and the ideal relationship between the governors and the governed. This new text rectifies many of the erroneous assumptions made about Bentham's contributions to the field, and critically examines his place within the confines of the liberal theoretical tradition, arguing that Bentham's preoccupation with security resulted in often conflicting and inconsistent ideas about the conduct of nations in the international realm. International relations scholars have long needed clarification and an accurate presentation of Bentham's work, but additionally, his constant struggle to ensure security of expectation resulted in a striking ambivalence about world politics and how states ought to engage them. Bentham's work was pivotal to the development of the international climate we now face - he coined the word 'international' - and was one of the first thinkers to consider the globalized community that we see before us. He also struggled, sometimes in vain, to reconcile such a globalized community with the need to ensure security. His struggle was essentially no different than that facing international relations scholars today.

Within the context of Bentham's work, this book also addresses the broader context of international relations theory itself, and demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of the international relations theory traditions, in particular, liberalism and realism. This book will be of strong interest to students and scholars of international relations and political theory.

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