Jochen Bung

Hegel über internationale Beziehungen und internationales Recht

Section: Treatises
Archiv des Völkerrechts (AVR)

Volume 60 () / Issue 2, pp. 129-147 (19)
Published 13.09.2022

24,70 € including VAT
article PDF
Contrary to the first impression, Hegel's philosophy of law reveals a substantial and coherent philosophy of international law and international relations, in part even one that can be directly linked to current developments and discussions. Current developments unfortunately prove the topicality of those parts of Hegel's reflections on the relationship between states which recognize in it less reason and solidarity than self-interest and violence. However, Hegel clearly rejects pessimistic or fatalistic interpretations of history and justifies the hope that the relations of states and peoples as a whole, even if not teleologically linear and including regressive episodes or phases, could develop towards the better. Since a global state or a world government is not in sight for the time being, history can develop as »development of the moments of reason« only by the fact that »peoples come to the contractual relationship within themselves and against others«. Hegel's philosophy of law gives – as Grotius' philosophy of international law already did – good reasons why these contractual relations are to be understood as legal relations despite the institutional lack of compelling mechanisms. The most modern feature of Hegel's philosophy of international law is that its concept of recognition can be used to justify why states – like human beings – should not only respectfully leave each other alone, but must also necessarily take an interest in each other and in what is going on within them, and are thus obliged to solidarity and assistance.

Jochen Bung Geboren 1968; Studium der Rechtswissenschaft, Philosophie, Soziologie und Literaturwissenschaft in Frankfurt am Main und München; 2003 Promotion; 2008 Habilitation; Professor für Strafrecht und Strafprozessrecht an der Universität Passau.