Friendship in Politics: Theorizing Amity in and between States, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Friendship in Politics

Theorizing Amity in and between States, 1st Edition

Edited by Preston King, Graham M. Smith


200 pages

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Previously published as a special issue of the Critical Review of Social and Political Philosophy, this volume throws light on the place of friendship in politics by connecting theoretical questions to empirical answers.

Today, friendship and politics are most commonly viewed as distinct and mutually opposed concerns. Politics tends to be seen as general and impersonal, to do with power and hierarchy. Friendship, by contrast, is conceived as particular and intimate, relating to equality and fraternity.

Ancient Greek and Roman thought tended to bring the two together, locating friendship as the moral foundation of the political. But is this view sound? Ought not Friendship to be dismissed by moderns as primitive, inefficient, nepotistic (Freud)? Or ought it to be promoted as a vital moral constraint on power and the consuming egotism of rulers (Plutarch and others)?

The contributors seek to answer these questions, directly and indirectly, by supplying:

  • analyses of the concept
  • critical reconstructions of some crucial modern accounts (Kierkegaard, Arendt and Schmitt)
  • concrete accounts of the actual play of friendship both within and between states.

Table of Contents

Section 1: Analysing Friendship 1. Friendship in Politics 2. Friendship and the Political 3. Equality and Friendship Section 2: Friendship & Thinkers 4. Kierkegaard on Friendship 5. Arendt on Friendship 6. Schmitt on Friendship & Enmity Section 3: Friendship within Nations 7. Friendship and Revolution 8. Civic Friendship Section 4: Friendship Between Nations 9. Friendship & the International System 10. International Friendship

About the Editors

Preston King, a political philosopher, has held chairs at the University of Nairobi, the University of New South Wales (Sydney), and Lancaster University. He is a visiting professor in the Leadership Center at Morehouse College (Atlanta), and in the philosophy department at the University of East Anglia (UK). He is the author of such books as Fear of Power, The Ideology of Order, Toleration, Federalism and Federation, along with Thinking Past A Problem: Essays on the History of Ideas (2000). He is the founder and co-editor of CRISPP (Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy). With H. Devere, he co-edited (2000) The Challenge to Friendship in Modernity.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General