Chapter

Grotius

Martin Wight

in Four Seminal Thinkers in International Theory

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780199273676
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602771 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199273677.003.0002
Grotius

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Grotius is acknowledged as the father of International Law. His thought is marked by richness and complexity. He was a reconciler and synthesizer, favoured ‘the middle way’ and advocated the reunion of Christendom. He believed not that war could be abolished but that its effects could be mitigated—his aim was to reduce suffering. He held that the existence of society reflected natural law, which is also to be found in the doctrine of prescription. Beyond natural law is the hierarchy of the moral life dependent ultimately upon individual moral responsibility.

Keywords: individual responsibility; international law; middle way; moral life; natural law; prescription; society; suffering; war

Chapter.  11059 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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