April 26, 2011

Adam Smith's Views on International Law and International Relations

Nicolas Hachez, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, has published Views on International Law and International Relations in Adam Smith's Lectures on Jurisprudence. Here is the abstract.

This article aims to analyze and interpret the views on international relations and international law expressed in Adam Smith's little studied Lectures on Jurisprudence, in connection with the works of Grotius, Hobbes and Pufendorf. In order to do so, the article first tries to unravel Smith's account of the formation of society and government in domestic orders, understood as a complex intertwinement of human and economic factors. The article then goes on to analyze Smith's stated reasons why the seemingly universal human and economic processes leading to the formation of domestic societies and governments are failing when they are to apply in the international order. Finally, this article explores Smith's views on the idiosyncratic rules governing international relations, i.e. the Law of Nations. The conclusion of the article then attempts to formulate insights for a more harmonious international society based on Smith's premises.
Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

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