Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Nature and Artifice in Hobbes’s International Political Thought

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Hobbes Studies

This article argues that the artificiality of Hobbesian states facilitates their coexistence and eventual reconciliation. In particular, it is suggested that international relations may be characterised by an artificial equality, which has a contrary effect to the natural equality of human beings. Unlike individuals in Hobbes’s account of the state of nature, sovereigns are not compelled to wage war out of fear and distrust, but have prudential reasons to exercise self-restraint. Ultimately rulers serve as disposable figureheads who can be replaced by a foreign invader. Thus, this article highlights the implications of Hobbes’s views on sovereignty by acquisition, which allow for states to be decomposed and reassembled in order to re-establish lasting peace. It is concluded that these findings help to explain why Hobbes does not provide something akin to modern theories of international relations, as foreign affairs appear to be reducible to a matter of either prudence or political philosophy.

Affiliations: 1: University of St Andrews, School of International Relations, Arts Faculty Building, The Scores, St Andrews, ky16 9ax, UK,


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Hobbes Studies — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation