New Directions in Conflict Research
Even an idealist philosopher like Immanuel Kant (1795) considered war to be the natural state of man. In that respect, he shared the perspective of the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1651). According to Hobbes, the state of nature was characterised by anarchy akin to perpetual war ; each man taking what he could with no basis for right or wrong. Life was: “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”. Consequently, it was in the interest of individuals to surrender their individual freedom of action to an absolute ruler in return for personal security and rule based interactions in society. Kant was concerned more with preventing war between nations. That would require the simultaneous adoption of a republican constitution by all nations, which inter alia would check the war-like tendencies of both monarchs and the citizenry; the cosmopolitanism that would emerge among the comity of nations would preclude war, implying a confederation amongst such nation states (foedus pacificum). Kant’s notion of cosmopolitanism is also applicable within nation states. Both thinkers were concerned with mechanisms that would engender peace. In other words, peace has to be achieved through deliberate design; this is what Galtung (1964) described as the negative peace (the absence of war).
|ISS Staff Group 1: Economics of Sustainable Development|
|Organisation||International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)|
Murshed, S.M. (2011). New Directions in Conflict Research. ISS Staff Group 1: Economics of Sustainable Development. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/32964