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Thomas Hobbes and International Relations: An assessment

This article attempts to provide a correction to the exclusive realist interpretations of Thomas Hobbes. It makes the point that Hobbes is not as close to a realist understanding of international relations as it has been prevalently held. Given Hobbes’s conception of man and the state of nature, the formation of Leviathan and the law of nature, it is here argued that Hobbes gives us a perception of international relations which is not always conflictual and comprises the adjustments of conflicting interests, leading to the possibility of alliances and cooperation in international relations.