The Cultural Construction of International Relations

The Invention of the State of Nature

  • Beate Jahn

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Culture, Nature and the Ambivalence of International Theory

  3. Historical Origins of the State of Nature

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 31-31
    2. Beate Jahn
      Pages 51-71
  4. The State of Nature and the Reconstitution of European Thought

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 170-182

About this book


The discipline of international relations deals with the problem of culture by defining world politics as a state of nature, yet it ignores the fact that the concept of the state is itself a cultural product. This book uncovers the history of this idea, revealing its origins in the European conquest of America, its crucial role in the emergence of the Enlightenment world view, and its continuing negative consequences for our attempts to understand world politics.


culture enlightenment Europe international relations political theory political thought politics revolution state of nature

Authors and affiliations

  • Beate Jahn
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SussexBrightonUK

Bibliographic information

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