IR and the state of nature: the cultural origins of a ruling ideology

Jahn, Beate (1999) IR and the state of nature: the cultural origins of a ruling ideology. Review of International Studies, 25 (3). 411 - 34. ISSN 0260-2105

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This article argues that the modern concept of the state of nature as the defining claim of IR theory was developed in the course of the intercultural/international encounter between the Spaniards and the Amerindian peoples after the discovery of America. The analysis of the Spanish debate at the time demonstrates that the concept of the state of nature was itself the product of a highly charged moral discourse. Its continuous and unreflected use in the discipline of International Relations, where it supposedly describes a precultural, presocial, premoral condition between states, therefore hides the cultural, social and moral meanings the concept carries with it and suppresses a normative discourse of International Relations past and present.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Depositing User: Beate Jahn
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:25
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 21:34

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