Conflicting lineages of international law: Cicero, Hugo Grotius and Adam Smith on global property relations
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-09, 02:33 authored by Tarik KochiTarik Kochi
This essay presents an interpretation of the juridical thought of Cicero, Hugo Grotius and Adam Smith. Focussing upon questions of property, capital accumulation and violence, the essay traces a tension within their writings between a social ethic of human fellowship and compassion, and, a theory of the utility of ‘unsocial’ commercial self-interest. This tension forms a key problem for the tradition of liberal international law. For Grotius and Smith one response to this tension is to attempt to reign in capitalist markets by asserting a range of moral duties to individuals and to the nation-state. The importance of stressing such an interpretation is to reject the flattening-out of the liberal political and juridical tradition by contemporary neoliberal thought, and to reclaim a number of ways of thinking about the global economy and international law in which moral action and political intervention are understood as playing a necessary and essential role.
- Accepted version
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Department affiliated with
- Law Publications
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