The social contract tradition and international relations
This thesis is a study of the normative views of international relations proposed by philosophers in the social contract tradition of political theory. I have concentrated on the theories of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant and Rawls. Part one of the thesis provides the theoretical background to the practical issues of international relations discussed in part two. In chapter one I summarise the main points in their political theories which are necessary for a full understanding of their views of international relations. Chapter two is concerned with general approaches to international relations - internationalism, cosmopolitanism and international moral scepticism. Throughout part two, I use the internationalist/cosmopolitan distinction in order to evaluate the international norms proposed by the contract theorists. Part two is concerned with practical problems of international relations. Chapter three concentrates on issues of war and peace. Many of the contract theorists propose internationalist just war theories, but I show that such principles do not necessarily conflict with a cosmopolitan conception of morality. Inter-state government is discussed in chapter four. I ask whether such an institution is the logical outcome of Hobbes' political theory, and examine proposals for an international federation by the Abbé de Saint-Pierre, who accepted much of Hobbes' domestic theory, and Kant who provides perhaps the most famous example. Chapter five is concerned with international distributive justice. I provide an interpretation of Locke's theory of property which leads to a radical stance in the international domain. As Rawls' theory of distributive justice has received much attention, I also examine how such a theory should apply to the international domain, paying particular attention to the views of Charles Beitz and Thomas Pogge.