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Durham University

Department of Philosophy


Publication details for Professor Thom Brooks

Brooks, Thom (2004). Hegel's Theory of International Politics: A Reply to Jaeger. Review of International Studies 30(1): 149-152.

Author(s) from Durham


Hans-Martin Jaeger argues in this Journal that Hegel endorses a ‘reluctant realism’, whereby Hegel's theory of international politics institutionalises a transnationalising civil society of states. In Jaeger's view, Hegel's conception of individuals in civil society is analogous to states in international politics. On the contrary, I argue Hegel's conception of abstract right is far more commensurable with his theory of international politics. The mutual recognition existing in civil society – which helps to produce legal relationships – does not exist beyond the state where there are no legal relationships. Thus, Hegel is a realist of a more familiar sort, without any ‘reluctance’.