Resurrecting Pufendorf and capturing the Westphalian Moment

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Boucher, David (2001)

In this article I intend to give more attention to Pufendorf's ideas than has been the custom among international relations theorists. The main focus will be upon Pufendorf's distillation and conceptualization of the implications of Westphalia in terms of sovereignty and the integrity of states. Furthermore, his extension of the Aristotelian classification of types of state, and his attempts to go beyond Bodin's and Hobbes's theories of sovereignty, provide the vocabulary and concepts in terms of which the different international actors of the late seventeenth century could be understood. In this respect the focus is altogether different from Linklater. My emphasis upon the historical and emblematic character of the Peace of Westphalia, the personification of the state and its animation by sovereignty, which serves to facilitate Pufendorf's exploration of the idea of a system of states, and my suggestion that his ideas are not wholly redundant and may be used to explore some facets of a modern states system, serve considerably to extend Forsyth's brief analysis.
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