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JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU, THE COUNT D’ANTRAIGUES AND THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL CONTRACT TRADITION

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Abstract:

In 1790 the Count d'Antraigues, an eccentric eighteenth-century anti- revolutionary spy, claimed that he had been given a sequel to Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Social Contract explaining how states could prevent wars by forming international associations but that he had destroyed the manuscript because it might pose a threat to the French monarchy. Recent Rousseau scholars have generally assumed that d'Antraigues was lying. I suggest that the manuscript in question was a copy of the summary that Rousseau wrote in 1760 of the Project for Perpetual Peace published earlier in the century by the Abbé de Saint-Pierre. I then explore the significance of d'Antraigues' view that Rousseau's comments on the Project constituted an extension of the Social Contract and that they had revolutionary implications. The article ends with references to the ways that Rousseau's summary and critique of Saint-Pierre have recently opened up new thinking about democratic, non-hierarchical models of international organization.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Metropolitan College of New York, 431 Canal St., New York, NY 10013, USA., Email: ggr2@earthlink.net

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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