Research team

International Politics

Expertise

Voorwaarden voor vrede, concepties van gezag, etiologie van geweld, evolution of international order

Beyond Contractualism: A Comparative-Historical Analysis of the Sources of International Authority. 01/01/2018 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

Beyond Contractualism tackles the problem of how to sustain an international order when power is redistributing itself and when a normative consensus among states can no longer simply be assumed. Recourse to violence cannot solve the problem of order durably and neither can recourse to reasoned persuasion or contractual pacts. Between violence and reason lies the concept of authority and deference to authority has indeed often been presented as the solution to the problem of order, including of international order. But if authority is the solution, it nonetheless begs the question: how does international authority become established and how is it maintained. This project addresses these questions through a comparison of how the Achaemenid Empire, Medieval Christendom, and today's Global International Society have each grappled with their 'problem of international authority.'

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The cultural practice of democratic peace 01/04/2016 - 31/03/2017

Abstract

That democracies do not fight large scale wars among each other has largely become established as an empirical fact. It would also appear that their shared democratic nature is at least part of the reason why democracies do not engage in mutual war. Much less is known about just how a shared democratic nature leads to war avoidance and, more particularly, about just how democracies actively maintain – imagine and perform – peace among each other. The little that is known about these processes suggests that the 'democratic peace' did not and does not result mechanistically from a favourable concatenation of factors, but that it is always a work-in-progress and the outcome of political efforts; that it must be imagined and maintained and will often become compromised indeed. The 'democratic peace' is at once more meaningful and more fragile than accounts which interpret it as a 'brute fact' can fathom. This research furthers our understanding of its meaning and fragility by means of a historicizing analysis of the 'democratic peace' as a particular way of doing peace.

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Peace and discipline. A study in political theory on peace education in international politics: the North-Atlantic region (1945-2007). 01/10/2008 - 30/09/2009

Abstract

This research project seeks to reflect on the meaning of peace, and on the role of peace education in bringing about international peace. We will suggest an understanding of peace as 'disciplined order' as opposed to its conventional definition (in IR theory) as the 'absence of war.' Inspiration is drawn from classical political theory, strands of which have highlighted the role of education in shaping virtuous citizens, and consequently in bringing about a peaceful society. The empirical validity of the model will be tested in the case of the reigning North-Atlantic peace.

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Research team(s)