Hobbesian Internationalism

Anarchy, Authority and the Fate of Political Philosophy

  • Silviya Lechner

Part of the International Political Theory book series (IPoT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Authority

  3. Anarchy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 43-43
    2. Silviya Lechner
      Pages 45-63
    3. Silviya Lechner
      Pages 65-82
    4. Silviya Lechner
      Pages 83-107
  4. Hobbes’s Theory of International Relations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 109-109
    2. Silviya Lechner
      Pages 111-137
    3. Silviya Lechner
      Pages 139-165
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 193-200

About this book


This book sets out to re-examine the foundations of Thomas Hobbes’s political philosophy, and to develop a Hobbesian normative theory of international relations. Its central thesis is that two concepts – anarchy and authority – constitute the core of Hobbes's political philosophy whose aim is to justify the state. The Hobbesian state is a type of authority  (juridical, public, coercive, and supreme) which emerges under conditions of anarchy ('state of nature'). A state-of-nature argument makes a difference because it justifies authority without appeal to moral obligation. The book shows that the closest analogue of a Hobbesian authority in international relations is Kant's confederation of free states, where states enjoy 'anarchical' (equal) freedom. At present, this crucial form of freedom is being threatened by economic processes of globalisation, and by the resurgence of private authority across state borders.

Silviya Lechner was Assistant Professor and is currently a senior visiting research fellow at King’s College London, UK. She specialises in social and political philosophy, theory of action, and international political theory. She is the co-author of Practice Theory and International Relations (with M. Frost, 2018).


Thomas Hobbes authority right to rule anarchy state of nature political philosophy theory of international relations moral principles The Elements De Cive Leviathan morality and politics natural unsociability state of war war of all against all right of nature normativism private authority globalisation global governance

Authors and affiliations

  • Silviya Lechner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of War StudiesKing’s College LondonLondonUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-30692-2
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-30693-9
  • Series Print ISSN 2662-6039
  • Series Online ISSN 2662-6047
  • Buy this book on publisher's site