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Unformatted text preview: de of states, which as officially equal subjects of international
law, do not have any superior power which could resolve disputes between them. Also, every state reserves the right to use force if it feels that
its position on the international arena is threatened. Thus Hassner believes that, although the reasons of particular wars can be sought in point
(1) and (2), it is point (3) which is a pre-condition of war as such.
Hassner also discusses the work of Bull (1977), who sees two possibilities, each of them equally unattainable, for avoiding war in international relations. One is related to the idea of a world-state, which, as the
only state on Earth, would not have an opponent to fight with. However, as
was noted by Montesquieu, such a mega state would certainly suffer from
internal unrest. Another solution would be a federation of states, whose
members would enjoy military, economic and cultural balance.
Further on, Hassner discusses the cultural and legal basis of war.
He points out that Saint Augustine was the first philosopher to introduce
the distinction between a just and unjust war. He claims that this idea has
been defined by modern law, which codifies the conduct of war. In this
way war becomes a legitimate activity in international relations. According to Hassner, Rousseau, Kant and Hegel object to the legality of war,
as they regard it as immoral. They also notice that not only have such
laws little independent bases, but they cannot be enforced, either. 80 Chapter III Let us now return to the idea of free trade as a stimulus for peace.
Locke and Montesquieu were convinced that a drive for the acquisition
and accumulation of goods can be juxtaposed with a drive to violence and
war and can become a lasting foundation of peace. Rousseau, on the other
hand, argued that private property and the drive to luxury can precipitate
wars, as it is desire that is the source of all evil. Hassner, having presented
these two contrasting positions, relates them to the contemporary world
and notices that although democratic countries with a free market economy do not wage wars on each other, they suffer from an insecurity induced by migration and the sense of exclusion and rejection related to it.
The destabilization of modern societies is therefore inevitable.
Hassner also discusses the ritualistic power of war. Following Girard (1993 ), he points out the link between war and sacrum. As
the violent behaviour of human individuals and groups is inevitable, it is
best to control it by directing it to a scapegoat, which, excluded from the
group, can serve as the focus of hatred and a victim of the violent action.
According to Dupuy (1992) a liberal economy changes violence into
competition and the need for a scapegoat into a demand for goods. Such
consumerism should prevent violence, but it does not, as in a liberal society the in-group relations increasingly weaken and a lack of social ties
leads to estrangement and a feeling of insecurity, which can, in turn,
Hassner (1998) e...
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