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Was Westphalia ‘all that’? Hobbes, Bellarmine, and the norm of non-intervention

Was Westphalia ‘all that’? Hobbes, Bellarmine, and the norm of non-intervention
Was Westphalia ‘all that’? Hobbes, Bellarmine, and the norm of non-intervention
Recently, historians of the international system have called into question the significance of the Treaties of Westphalia in 1648 as the moment when the international system formed. One of their primary arguments is that the non-intervention norm typically associated with Westphalian notions of sovereignty developed much later. This paper will examine the early 17th-century debates over the right of the Pope to depose monarchs in the defense of spiritual matters. I read Part III and Part IV of Hobbes’ Leviathan in its intellectual context to see how his theory of sovereignty was partially developed to support a theory of non-intervention. This reading leads to two important contributions to current political science debates. First, it refutes the growing consensus that non-intervention developed as an aspect of sovereignty only in the late 18th and early 19th century. Second, the paper addresses current attempts to assert a right of humanitarian intervention. By exploring similarities between these recent debates and those between Bellarmine and Hobbes in the 17th century, I offer a fresh perspective on what is at stake in current claims to international community.
sovereignty, non-intervention, westphalia, hobbes, bellarmine
2045-3817
120-140
Havercroft, Jonathan
929f9452-daf9-4859-9f59-88348846949a
Havercroft, Jonathan
929f9452-daf9-4859-9f59-88348846949a

Havercroft, Jonathan (2012) Was Westphalia ‘all that’? Hobbes, Bellarmine, and the norm of non-intervention. Global Constitutionalism, 1 (1), 120-140. (doi:10.1017/S2045381711000104).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Recently, historians of the international system have called into question the significance of the Treaties of Westphalia in 1648 as the moment when the international system formed. One of their primary arguments is that the non-intervention norm typically associated with Westphalian notions of sovereignty developed much later. This paper will examine the early 17th-century debates over the right of the Pope to depose monarchs in the defense of spiritual matters. I read Part III and Part IV of Hobbes’ Leviathan in its intellectual context to see how his theory of sovereignty was partially developed to support a theory of non-intervention. This reading leads to two important contributions to current political science debates. First, it refutes the growing consensus that non-intervention developed as an aspect of sovereignty only in the late 18th and early 19th century. Second, the paper addresses current attempts to assert a right of humanitarian intervention. By exploring similarities between these recent debates and those between Bellarmine and Hobbes in the 17th century, I offer a fresh perspective on what is at stake in current claims to international community.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 5 March 2012
Published date: March 2012
Keywords: sovereignty, non-intervention, westphalia, hobbes, bellarmine
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 348462
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/348462
ISSN: 2045-3817
PURE UUID: 8f9b7597-be5f-4f22-8c75-d90991dc4366
ORCID for Jonathan Havercroft: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0995-8912

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Date deposited: 13 Feb 2013 14:06
Last modified: 11 Dec 2021 04:43

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