© 2010

A History of International Political Theory

Ontologies of the International


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Introduction

    1. Hartmut Behr
      Pages 1-19
  3. Universalism in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Christian Political Philosophy

  4. Universalistic Thinking from Early Modern Times to Enlightenment

  5. The Emergence of Particularism in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 139-139
    2. Hartmut Behr
      Pages 141-176
  6. The Triumph of Particularism in Twentieth-Century International Relations Theory

  7. Instead of A Conclusion — Towards Renewed Ontology(ies)

  8. Back Matter
    Pages 247-302

About this book


Contemporary theory of international politics faces a twofold problem: the critical engagement with legacies of national power politics in connection to 20th Century International Relations and the regeneration of notions of humanity. This book contributes to this engagement by a genealogy of thoughts on war, peace, and ethics.


geopolitics Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Immanuel Kant international relations Machiavelli Niccolò Machiavelli Peace political philosophy political theory political thought politics Thomas Hobbes

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Newcastle UniversityUK

About the authors

HARTMUT BEHR is Professor of International Politics at Newcastle University, UK. He is the author of 'Zuwanderungspolitik im Nationalstaat' (1998) and 'Entterritoriale Politik' (2004) and has published widely in international journals such as the European Journal of International Relations, Review of International Studies, Geopolitics, Journal of Politics, International Political Economy, Zeitschrift fuer Internationale Beziehungen (ZIB).

Bibliographic information


'Hartmut Behr's A History of International Political Theory: Ontologies of the International is a fascinating critical reconsideration of how generations of political thinkers have appraised the interplay between universal and particular interests among the relations of states in their understandings of "the world" from Western antiquity through the present-day. This richly nuanced and comprehensive analysis of the many epistemological and ontological complexities in disciplined thinking about "international" affairs will be essential reading for anyone wanting to understand how these complexities affect our moral reasoning and political decisions about war and peace, identity and difference, locality and globality as humanity deals with the strategic challenges of the twenty-first century.' - Timothy W. Luke, University Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA

'Taking the relationship between universalism and particularism as his starting point, Behr provides a panoramic historical vision of international political theory. In its attempt to reconstruct a philosophical genealogy of war and peace, and a renewed ethics, this original and remarkably wide-ranging book is as challenging as it is ambitious: it deserves widespread attention across International Relations and beyond.' - Michael C Williams, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa, Canada