By Hartmut Behr
Modern conception of overseas politics faces a twofold challenge: the severe engagement with legacies of nationwide energy politics in connection to twentieth Century diplomacy and the regeneration of notions of humanity. This booklet contributes to this engagement by means of a family tree of strategies on warfare, peace, and ethics.
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Extra info for A History of International Political Theory: Ontologies of the International
Nevertheless, Thucydides has a distinct concept and term when he refers to this legal idea (see also de St. Croix, 1972): what has later been termed pacta sunt servanda is in Thucydides called justice. A few examples illustrate this. Thucydides narrates from a prewar meeting in Athens where the Corinthians tried to convince the Athenians not to ally with the Corcyraeans. The Corcyraeans, however, got wind of the Corinthians’ plan and sent their own legation to Athens. An assembly was then convened in Athens, and the Corcyraeans accused the Corinthians of having behaved unjustly by violating the principles of negotiation and legal arbitration with regard to their mutual claim to the city of Epidamnus: ‘And that Corinth was injuring us is clear.
68–86). The Spartan reference to the treaty and Thucydides’s support for this view – after all he quotes the breach of the treaty as one reason of the general war, and even as the reason for the first, the Archidamian or Ten Years War (431 to 421) – highlight the Greek attitudes about justice and injustice in war and peace as it is expressed by the negotiation system of ‘complaints and grievances’. 2), and the nineteenth year of the war in Summer 413, respectively. He here writes: For in the previous war, they thought, the injustice had been more their own, because the Thebans attacked Plataea during a state of peace, and although a clause of the earlier treaty had forbidden recourse to arms of the other side proposed arbitration, they themselves did not respond when the Athenians invited them to submit the disputes to arbitration.
Men abrogated in advance the common principles – those principles upon which depends every man’s own hope of salvation. 82–84) Thucydides characterizes the behaviour and moral attitudes in and during the war and wartime as a censure to prewar ethics. He provides several examples of how attitudes changed and how once-typical meanings of words turned into their opposite. All examples indicate that a traditional idea of ethical thought, which existed in prewar times, namely, the virtue of striking the happy medium between two opposite extremes of human Greek and Roman Antiquity 31 behaviour – a virtue, which is paradigmatically elaborated in Aristotle (Nicomachean Ethics, Book VI) – perished because of selfish and hubristic behaviour during the war.