In Omnia Paratus: Of War, Conflict, and International Law in the Contemporary World System

  •  Scott Nicholas Romaniuk    
  •  Joshua Kenneth Wasylciw    
  •  Christopher Douglas Mott    


According to Hobbesian theory, no cure for conflict or violence can ever exist. As a result, we live in a world of perpetual anarchy and conflict. However, the reasons for this anarchy have remained a contentious point of debate, particularly among scholars of political theory. Using the current war in Iraq and Russia's war with Georgia in 2008, this article examines the chaotic state of the contemporary world system. In doing so, it applies, compares, and contrasts the theories presented in Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan and John Locke’s The Second Treatise of Civil Government. Through this analysis, it is shown that Lockean theory is inadequate in explaining the anarchic state of the international system. Beyond the comparison of the two theorists addressed in this article, a brief exploration is also made of the inherent shortcomings of international law as a system that seeks to maintain order. Questions are raised regarding the efficacy and legality of the United States’ second invasion of Iraq, as well as considerations for the larger impact that the war ultimately makes on the paradigm of international law.

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