The Rights of War and Peace is the first fully historical account of the formative period of modern theories of international law. It sets the scene with an extensive history of the theory of international relations from antiquity down to the seventeenth century. Professor Tuck then examines the arguments over the moral basis for war and international aggression, and links the debates to the writings of the great political theorists such as Hobbes, Locke,
Rousseau, and Kant. This is not only an account of international law: as Professor Tuck shows, ideas about inter-state relations were central to the formation of modern liberal political
theory, for the best example of the kind of agent which liberalism presupposes was provided by the modern state. As a result, the book illuminates the presuppositions behind much current political theory, and puts into a new perspective the connection between liberalism and imperialism.
`Richard Tuck's Rights of War and Peace is a work of brilliant iconoclasm that leaves little of this conventional view of the origins of modern liberalism standing.'
Peter Gowan, New Left Review, Mar/Apr 2001
`At the conclusion of The Rights of War and Peace, one is left with the feeling that we may well be condemned to relive the philosophical debates of the past. The theorists he discusses have much to teach us not only about the nature of politics in the international system, but also, perhaps, about the reasonable limits of international law. Richard Tuck's book offers a superb vehicle for examining such issues.'
David J.Bederman, The American Journal of International Law, Vol 95
`a slim but provocative book ... Tuck's book not only provides a close reading of the central works of political philosophy that bear on international relations, but also reflects his rich understanding of the political developments that motivated and influenced the writings he canvasses ... The Rights of War and Peace should be of substantial interest to the international law community.'
David J.Bederman, The American Journal of International Law, Vol.95
`Tuck shows how issues such as the law of the seas, the land rights of the North American Indians, and free trade, gave impetus to new developments in the ethics of war and peace. Constituting a major contribution to the history of philosophical thinking about international relations, this book is certain to renew debate on the formation of modern conceptions of the jus ad bellum.'
Journal of Peace Research
`fascinating new book ... Tuck's thesis, argued with great historical erudition and philosophical subtlety, is persuasive ... a rich and stimulating book.'
Bhikhu Parekh, Times Literary Supplement
`recommended for anyone interested in the history of international law.'
S.R. Silverburg, Choice, Sept.00.
3: Hugo Grotius
4: Thomas Hobbes
5: Samuel Pufendorf
6: From Locke to Vattel
7: Rousseau and Kant