Justice, Order and Anarchy
The International Political Theory of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
Routledge – 2013 – 226 pages
Series: New International Relations
This book provides a contextual account of the first anarchist theory of war and peace, and sheds new light on our contemporary understandings of anarchy in International Relations. Although anarchy is arguably the core concept of the discipline of international relations, scholarship has largely ignored the insights of the first anarchist, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Proudhon's anarchism was a critique of the projects of national unification, universal dominion, republican statism and the providentialism at the heart of enlightenment social theory. While his break with the key tropes of modernity pushed him to the margins of political theory, Prichard links Proudhon back into the republican tradition of political thought from which his ideas emerged, and shows how his defence of anarchy was a critique of the totalising modernist projects of his contemporaries. Given that we are today moving beyond the very statist processes Proudhon objected to, his writings present an original take on how to institutionalise justice and order in our radically pluralised, anarchic international order.
Rethinking the concept and understanding of anarchy, Justice, Order and Anarchy will be of interest to students and scholars of political philosophy, anarchism and international relations theory.
"In Justice, Order and Anarchy, Prichard argues persuasively for the potential of anarchism to contribute to IR theory. This is a passionate and innovative contribution to the history of international thought and to contemporary debates on order and anarchy in the international realm." - Professor Kim Hutchings, The London School of Economics, UK.
"In Justice, Order and Anarchy Alex Prichard presents new picture of Proudhon, analysing work that is rarely discussed outside France. He shows how Proudhon's political analysis of the independence movements of the 1840s and his philosophical engagement with Kant, Rousseau and Comte informed an understanding of international politics that was controversial, revolutionary and challenging. Leading us through modern debates in IR and providing a richly contextualised account of Proudhon's response to the European settlement of 1815, Prichard's scholarly defence shows how the anarchy of the international order might be understood and provides a compelling argument for Proudhon's re-evaluation in IR theory." - Professor Ruth Kinna, Loughborough University, UK.
"This excellent book not only sheds light on the ideas of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon but is a significant contribution to our understanding of a wide range of classical political philosophy. As such, it is one of those rare works in IR that actually shows knowledge of where some of our most important ideas come from." - Professor Jonathan Joseph, University of Sheffield, UK.
"Almost singlehandedly, Alex Prichard has promoted greater interest in the anarchist tradition and its significance for the study of international relations. This fine work is a major attempt to rescue anarchism from its peripheral status. It will ensure that Proudhon’s neglected writings on anarchy, justice and world order become more widely known and are taken seriously." - Professor Andrew Linklater, Aberystwyth University, UK.
1. Retrieving Proudhon 2. Anarchy in Contemporary IR Theory 3. National Unity and the 19th Century European Equilibrium 4. War, Providence and the International Order in the thought of Rousseau, Kant and Comte 5. From Providence to Immanence: Force and Justice in Proudhon’s Social Ontology 6. The Historical Sociology of War: Order and Justice in Proudhon’s La Guerre et la Paix 7. Anarchy, Mutualism and the Federative Principle 8. Anarchy is what we make of it: Rethinking Justice, Order and Anarchy Today
Alex Prichard is a Lecturer in International Relations in the Department of Politics, University of Exeter, UK. He is the founder of the PSA Anarchist Studies Network, the founder and co-editor of Continuum Books series 'Contemporary Anarchist Studies', and is an associate editor of the journal Anarchist Studies.