Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Four Seminal Thinkers in International Theory: Machiavelli, Grotius, Kant, and Mazzini

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Martin Wight, Gabriele Wight, Brian Porter
Oxford University Press, 2005 - 166pages

Martin Wight was perhaps the most profound thinker in international relations of his generation. In a discipline for too long mesmerized by the pseudo-science of the historically and philosophically illiterate, his work stands out like a beacon. Yet it is only in the decades since his death that his achievement has attained its true recognition.

Of the first volume of posthumously published lectures-- International Theory: The Three Traditions (1991)--one reviewer wrote: '[it] stands as a classic in the genre of printed lectures stretching from Aristotle to Ruskin... It is exhilarating... for there is nothing quite like it and-- which is a measure of Martin Wight's stature--there is not likely to be'.

That volume is here complemented and completed. In these four lectures Wight takes the archetypal thinkers of this three traditions--Machiavelli, Grotius, and Kant--to whom he adds Mazzini, the father of all revolutionary nationalism, and so the prototype of such as Nehru, Nasser, and Mandela, and subjects their writings and careers to a masterly analysis and commentary. The volume also contains an important new introduction to Wight's thought by Professor David S. Yost.

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