The Problem of Harm in World Politics: Theoretical Investigations

The Problem of Harm in World Politics: Theoretical Investigations

By: Andrew Linklater (author)Hardback

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The need to control violent and non-violent harm has been central to human existence since societies first emerged. This book analyses the problem of harm in world politics which stems from the fact that societies require the power to harm in order to defend themselves from internal and external threats, but must also control the capacity to harm so that people cannot kill, injure, humiliate or exploit others as they please. Andrew Linklater analyses writings in moral and legal philosophy that define and classify forms of harm, and discusses the ways in which different theories of international relations suggest the power to harm can be controlled so that societies can co-exist with the minimum of violent and non-violent harm. Linklater argues for new connections between the English School study of international society and Norbert Elias' analysis of civilizing processes in order to advance the study of harm in world politics.

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About Author

Andrew Linklater is Woodrow Wilson Professor of International Politics at Aberystwyth University as well as a Fellow of the British Academy, the Academy of Social Science, and a Founding Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. He has published several major works on the theory of international relations including Critical Theory of World Politics (2007), The English School of International Relations (Cambridge University Press, 2006, with Hidemi Suganami), The Transformation of Political Community (1998), Beyond Realism and Marxism (1990) and Men and Citizens in the Theory of International Relations (1982 and 1990).


Introduction; 1. The concept of harm; 2. The harm principle and global ethics; 3. Harm and international relations theory; 4. The sociology of civilizing processes; 5. Historical sociology and world politics structures, norms and emotions; 6. Civilizing processes and international systems; Conclusion.

Product Details

  • publication date: 10/02/2011
  • ISBN13: 9781107004436
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 320
  • ID: 9781107004436
  • weight: 620
  • ISBN10: 1107004438

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