Hospitality and World Politics by Gideon Baker

By Gideon Baker

An extended missed notion within the box of diplomacy and political conception, hospitality presents a brand new framework for analysing the various demanding situations in international politics at the present time, from the quest for peaceful kin among states to asylum and refugee crises.

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Though sovereigns must assure their own safety and the security of the state, and therefore wars waged for this purpose are just because there is no other recourse,86 sovereign states are more secure than individuals in the state of nature (for example, they are not all equal; they need not sleep; they are not mortal). 87 But the absence of a common power in the international realm also means a greater freedom in international relations so that the laws of nature need not be silent. 88 Hobbes’ claim, as we noted above, is that the Law of Nations is identical to the Law of Nature.

39 Hobbes overturns both approaches to politics. His well-known solution is to employ his theory of power to explain our natural condition and to show how we can escape from it. 43 Thus Hobbes’ solution to our natural condition is the institution of a new artificial entity, the Leviathan state, with a sovereign to ensure security and thereby prosperity. Hobbes’ new conception of the state rejects classical political thought. We are not political creatures and are therefore forced to live together.

55 Thus Hobbes apparently institutes a comprehensive new morality to found his civility and hospitality, albeit one based on safety. But the Laws of Nature, the ‘true Morall Philosophy’, which are eternal and always bind in conscience, are no more than a ‘Precept, or generall Rule’ that do not bind in practice if there is no security. 56 Hobbes makes the historically radical claim that natural rights endow the individual and therefore also the host with supreme authority. This dignity is confirmed in the political role Hobbes assigns to each person.

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