A magnificent partnership: Kant and Clausewitz
161 - 183
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Kant and Clausewitz, the two great authors of the Enlightenment as well as of the Counter-Enlightenment, still play an important role in the theory of International Relations. The former continues to inspire Liberals and the latter Realists. Both authors, however, have often been subject to superficial interpretations; and they are regarded as representing two diametrically opposed schools of thought. Yet, they have a significant shared sphere of reasoning and conceptualization. Kant's "Perpetual Peace" and Clausewitzs "Absolute War" are abstractions, purely unattainable ideals, which make theorizing possible. In the final analysis, both authors meet in an attempt to reconcile the ideal with the real through reasonable politics suggesting, inter alia, a certain moral obligation to limit violence; in modern terminology, the management of the "Security Dilemma".