domestic analogy

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Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712—1778) French philosopher and writer

security dilemma


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An analogy between individuals in a state of nature and polities in the anarchical international system, often drawn by writers on international relations. This has permitted social contract theories to be applied to relations between states and the development of international society. The chief deficiency of this line of reasoning, first pointed out by Rousseau, is that there is neither a natural limit to the growth of the state nor an organically constrained lifespan. It is therefore possible for states reacting to the security dilemma to dedicate themselves to competition through trade and war to an extent and in a manner far exceeding the physical specialization of individual warriors.

Charles Jones


Subjects: Politics.

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