By Michael D. Donelan

ISBN-10: 0043201253

ISBN-13: 9780043201251

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Extra info for Reason of States: Study in International Political Theory

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XXI, p. 1 9 1 . Wicquefort is interesting for a number of reasons. A Dutchman who served several masters including Richelieu and de Witt, he moved in the half-world of diplomatic agents and spies typical of the times. Apart from a voracious historical knowledge of the period before 1 648, his book is full of examples taken from the negotiations of Miinster and Osnabriick which he may have attended in person. His treatise conveys both the necessity of diplomacy and its range. It also reveals, through a command of the 'administrative' detail of ambassadorial life, the most concrete sense of the The Practice of a States- System states-system as an association complete with a set of indigenous and recognised practices and rules of conduct.

Ch. XXVII, p. 246. Charles Reynolds has indicated the shortcomings of this style o f exploration in his Theory and Explanation in International Politics (London, Martin Robertson, 1 973). For a recent discussion of this see, Michael Oakeshott, On Human Conduct (Oxford, The Clarendon Press, 1 975) . 2 Legitimacy in a States-S ystem : Vattel ' s Law of Nations PETER F. BUTLER Classic texts, whose authors therein seek to elaborate their ideas of the general moral and practical principles underlying the interaction of states, are not much studied these days .

22 The mechanisms of diplomacy embodied both needs and understandings . Diplomacy did not, therefore, produce a n element o f order in the unpredictable 'action and reaction' . of foreign affairs where none had hitherto existed, but the means of generating more where some already existed. Even where diplomacy was inverted to become the stalking horse for war, or mobilised to exaggerate rather than mitigate differences of interest, it can be argued that in so far as it facilitated the operations of the system it contributed to the orderly running of its violence.

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Reason of States: Study in International Political Theory by Michael D. Donelan

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