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Palgrave Studies in International Relations Series

General Editors:
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Gideon Baker (editor)


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English School Theory at the Regional Level

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The Politics of Risk in the EU

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Hospitality and
World Politics
Edited by

Gideon Baker
Associate Professor, Griffith University

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List of Illustrations vii

Acknowledgements viii
Notes on Contributors ix

Introduction 1
Gideon Baker

Part I On the Origins of Modern Hospitality

1 Leviathan’s Children: On the Origins of Modern Hospitality 21
Haig Patapan
2 Right of Entry or Right of Refusal? Hospitality in the Law of
Nature and Nations 41
Gideon Baker
3 From Hospitality to the Right of Immigration in the Law of
Nations: 1750–1850 69
Georg Cavallar

Part II The Ethics of Global Hospitality

4 Between Naturalism and Cosmopolitan Law: Hospitality
as Transitional Global Justice 99
Garrett Wallace Brown
5 The Wolf at the Door: Hospitality and the Outlaw in
International Relations 124
Renée Jeffery
6 Be Welcome: Religion, Hospitality and Statelessness
in International Politics 145
Erin K. Wilson

Part III Understanding Hospitality in World Politics:

Social-Theoretical Approaches
7 Relative Strangers: Reflections on Hospitality, Social Distance
and Diplomacy 173
Nicholas Onuf

vi Contents

8 Reservations on Hospitality: Contact and Vulnerability in Kant

and Indigenous Action 197
Jimmy Casas Klausen
9 Conducting Strangers: Hospitality and Governmentality in the
Global City 222
Dan Bulley

Index 246


9.1 Outer London, inner London and central activities zone 228
9.2 London’s town centre network 229


The chapters that form this collection were originally presented at a work-
shop on ‘Hospitality in International Political Theory’ hosted by Griffith
University in Brisbane, Australia, in July 2010. I would like to acknowledge
the generous support provided for this workshop by Griffith’s Centre for
Governance and Public Policy and especially the backing of its then Direc-
tor, Professor Patrick Weller. Many thanks also to the contributors (and to
Richard Devetak, who acted as a discussant) for the fine discussions that
took place during the course of this workshop and for their timely deliv-
ery of chapters – any tardiness in the appearance of this book has been
my fault alone (and Garrett Brown is to be thanked for ensuring that it
didn’t take even longer). Particular gratitude is due to Nicholas Onuf, who
gave the whole project his unstinting support and who greatly enriched the
workshop, instantiating the RD regime (see Chapter 7) at its best!
I’d like to dedicate this book to my wife, Julia Rudolph, recalling that if
it wasn’t for the encouragement that she gave it might never have seen the
light of day. I owe much else besides, but I’ll keep the telling of that to her.

∗ ∗ ∗

Chapter 2 was previously published as ‘Right of Entry or Right of Refusal?

Hospitality in the Law of Nature and Nations’, Review of International Studies
37:3 (2011). It is reprinted here with the permission of Cambridge University


Garrett Wallace Brown is Reader in Political Theory and Global Ethics in

the Department of Politics, University of Sheffield. In addition to many arti-
cles, he is the author of Grounding Cosmopolitanism: From Kant to the Idea of
a Cosmopolitan Constitution (2009) and co-editor (with David Held) of The
Cosmopolitanism Reader (2010).

Dan Bulley is Senior Lecturer in International Relations in the School of

Politics, International Studies and Philosophy at Queen’s University, Belfast.
He is the author of Ethics as Foreign Policy: Britain, the EU and the Other (2009)
as well as articles in Millennium: Journal of International Studies, European Jour-
nal of International Relations, Review of International Studies, and International

Georg Cavallar is on the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Vienna.

In addition to numerous articles on Kant, he is the author of Imperfect
Cosmopolis: Studies in the History of International Legal Theory and Cosmopoli-
tan Ideas (2011), The Rights of Strangers: Theories of International Hospitality,
the Global Community, and Political Justice since Vitoria (2002), and Kant and
the Theory and Practice of International Right (1999).

Renée Jeffery is Associate Professor in International Relations in the School

of Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University’s
College of Arts and Social Sciences. She is the author of Evil and Interna-
tional Relations: Human Suffering in an Age of Terror (2008) and Hugo Grotius
in International Thought (2006), and editor of Confronting Evil in International
Relations: Ethical Responses to Problems of Moral Agency (2008).

Jimmy Casas Klausen is Assistant Professor in the Department of Politi-

cal Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently working on a
book titled Primitivism & Apophatic Anthropology, which offers an analysis of
primitivism in the work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Denis Diderot. He is
the author of articles in Political Theory, Theory and Event, Journal of Politics
and Polity.

Nicholas Onuf is Professor Emeritus, Florida International University. He

is best known for his influential book World of our Making: Rules and Rule
in Social Theory and International Relations (1989), which introduced the
term ‘constructivism’ to international relations. His recent books include

x Notes on Contributors

Nations, Markets, and War (with Peter Onuf, 2006) and International Legal
Theory (2008).

Haig Patapan is Professor in Politics and Public Policy, Griffith Univer-

sity, Queensland, Australia. His books include Judging Democracy (2000) and
Machiavelli in Love (2007), and he has coedited Globalisation and Equality
(2004), Westminster Legacies (2005), Dissident Democrats (2008), Dispersed
Democratic Leadership (2009), Political Legitimacy in Asia (2011), and The
Democratic Leader (2012).

Erin K. Wilson is Director of the Research Centre for ‘Religion, Conflict and
the Public Domain’ at the University of Groningen. She is the author of
After Secularism: Rethinking Religion in Global Politics (2011) and of articles in
International Studies Quarterly, Global Society, and Local Global.
Gideon Baker

Long an overlooked concept in their field, hospitality has much to offer

students of international relations both analytically and normatively. Ana-
lytically, hospitality provides a new framework for understanding many of
the challenges in world politics today, from the search for peaceable relations
between states to asylum and refugee crises, to the policy of settler societies
towards indigenous peoples. Normatively, reflection on hospitality furthers
our understanding of the place of the stranger, specifically the welcome of
the stranger, in a field that has perhaps been too willing to either discount
moral obligations to strangers or to reduce the stranger to that known entity:
the future fellow citizen of the world.
Given this, the neglect of hospitality in disciplinary international rela-
tions is strange. By contrast, hospitality once seemed a self-evident way of
theorising encounters between foreigners – there existed a long-standing
tradition of thinking the ‘law of nations’ through the categories of hospi-
tality that lasted from as early as the first years of the sixteenth century
(prompted by Spanish inhospitality towards their hosts in the newly dis-
covered Americas1 ) until at least the late eighteenth (when Kant, in his
essay ‘Perpetual Peace’, famously articulated cosmopolitan right as a right
of hospitality, a right of strangers not to be turned away if so doing would
prove lethal to them2 ). This book thus has as its chief aim both to retrieve
a once-central and hotly debated concept in international theory and also
to develop this concept in line with contemporary conditions (or, more
accurately, to seek to understand those conditions through its lens). It also
seeks to build on a growing scholarship on hospitality outside the inter-
national relations academic community and to bring the insights thus
generated to bear on it. This literature has been inspired especially by
Jacques Derrida’s engagement with hospitality in the late 1990s (in par-
ticular, his Adieu: To Emmanuel Levinas and Of Hospitality, both originally
published in 19973 ), which marked a key moment in his later turn to
explicitly ethical and political themes. But, important as Derrida’s contri-
bution undoubtedly is, he is merely engaging with a diverse discourse on
the welcome of the stranger that goes all the way back to the ancients and

2 Hospitality and World Politics

In the dénouement of The Odyssey, Odysseus slaughters the suitors who,

while he was away, inhospitably not only laid claim to his wife but, worse,
consumed the fat of his lands. In the following passage, note the order of
the crimes that Odysseus holds against the suitors and also his invocation
not only of human vengeance but of the judgement of the gods (recalling
that Zeus, the father of the gods, was also known as Zeus Xenios, the divin-
ity associated with strangers and the hospitality that should be extended to
them4 ):

You dogs!’ [Odysseus] cried. ‘You never thought to see me back from Troy.
So you fleeced my household; you raped my maids; you courted my wife
behind my back though I was alive – with no more fear of the gods in
heaven than of the human vengeance that might come. Once and for all,
your fate is sealed.5

Homer uses this terrible scene as a warning against the inhospitality of

guests – guests who literally waste the host by devouring his resources – for
a good reason. Hosts had such extensive, even sacred, obligations to guests
that guests could ruin them.6 It was unthinkable even to ask a guest for his
name until he had been provided with food and a bed for the night, as the
welcome of the disguised Odysseus by the swineherd Eumaeus reminds us:
‘But follow me, old man, let’s go to my hut. When you have had all the
bread and wine you want, you shall tell me where you come from and what
your troubles are.’7
What were the sources of such hyperbolic hosting? Reading between
the lines of Homer’s Odyssey and other sources from antiquity, it seems
likely that pre-Homeric hospitality was motivated by magico-religious xeno-
phobia, by fear of strangers who needed to be disarmed of their occult
powers over their host community.8 This would help explain ancient theox-
eny, the fear that the guest may be a god, testing the host’s hospitality.
Subverting this xenophobia and replacing it with hospitality shown as if
to a friend (which, to the ancients, was a state only obtainable between
equals), Homeric hospitality witnessed guest-friendship become the most
sacrosanct of all Greek institutions. But these guest-friendships, radically
hospitable as they were (hosts were obligated to show guest-friends uncondi-
tional hospitality), had a function based on fear, too. Such ties were formed
between elites from different communities because, in antiquity, these elites
were fearful of the rising influence of the hoi polloi in the new city-states;
inter-communal alliances between high-born guest-friends helped offset
this growing popular power.9 Guest-friendship even survived the Classi-
cal age of the city-states, transmuting into proxeny, the guest-friendship
offered by cities to those foreigners who had been useful to them.10 This
more communalistic hospitality, however, has once again been subverted
Gideon Baker 3

by elite hospitality in late modernity; witness the generous hospitality on

show between heads of states in international society and how starkly this
contrasts with the inhospitality shown to foreigners from the commons.
Thus while a genealogy of hospitality would highlight historical disconti-
nuities (though, as Nicholas Onuf points out in his chapter in this book,
there is still something universal about the different hospitalities that seem-
ingly all societies practice), what has endured in hospitality is fear and
But is fear and self-interest all there is to hospitality? It is certainly not
all that hospitality might be. We only know the guest-friendship of the
ancients, generous as it was, to be a limited act of hospitality because hospi-
tality mandates the unlimited welcome of the stranger; just as we only know
the stinting treatment of nameless asylum seekers (the sans-papiers) today to
be inhospitable because hospitality commands the unlimited welcome of the
stranger. This unconditional welcome of the foreigner is what Derrida calls
the Law of Hospitality.11 For Derrida, it is a condition of all acts of condi-
tional hospitality that they have this unconditional hospitality to aspire to
and fall short of. For hospitality to be what it ‘is’ – namely the welcome of the
foreigner, period – our attempts at conditioning it by deciding which foreign-
ers to welcome and how to limit that welcome (for example, with temporary
protection visas) will continue to be unsettled, ‘necessary’ though we will
always be told they are.
No worldly hospitality matches up to Derrida’s Law of Hospitality, but
some acts of hospitality come closer to this law than others. Moving ever
further away from it is the security-obsessed perspective of much contempo-
rary discourse in the theory and practice of international relations. From this
standpoint, hospitality is a strange, even perverse, practice. What could be
less capable of securitisation than the welcome of the stranger? What forms
of knowledge, which technologies and whose expertise could be adequate
to the judgement necessary when deciding whether to open the door to the
foreigner? Of course, the foreigner in question may be a known quantity, but
then he is not really foreign to us and, though our welcome may be whole-
hearted, can we really say that we have shown him hospitality? As Derrida
intimated, we would perhaps only be sure of our hospitable intentions if
the welcome we offered was to an unknown, even nameless, other. Mod-
ern states are of course reluctant to show this form of hospitality, as the
plight of the paperless in contemporary asylum cases demonstrates. If Michel
Foucault was right that the raison d’être of contemporary forms of sovereignty
is the management and care of the biological life of the population, then this
makes perfect sense.12 But that it is very hard for sovereigns to articulate rea-
sons that are not biopoliticised raisons d’etat does not make them any less
hospitable for all that. And with the hardening of borders, especially of rich
societies, across the world, ours is perhaps the most inhospitable time there
4 Hospitality and World Politics

has ever been. We need to know more about this – about what has changed,
when and why – and some thoughts on this important theme are advanced
in Part I of this book, which explores early modern discourses on hospitality
and how they helped supplant classical and Christian categories as part of a
wider move away from notions of a world society towards nationalism and
from natural to positive law.
Counterpoised to the inhospitality of modern states, hospitality ethics
(the focus of Part II of this book) is thus a large, and a largely untapped,
normative resource for those who wish to critique the exclusions of world
politics. This should be welcome news for, at present, students of world pol-
itics are compelled to look to all the usual suspects for ethics guidance: to
timeless moral laws that turn them into ethical machines (since they are
merely doing what they must); to future consequences that turn them into
calculating machines (though the calculations are impossible); or to ancient
virtue premised on the questionable idea that human beings only flourish in
particular ways. Given the well-known limits of these approaches, it is again
strange that we don’t look right under our noses at practices that already
have ethical meaning and significance for us. Hospitality is one of these and
maybe an especially important one since in hospitality we seek to relate
not to any old others, but to the Other (the stranger or foreigner). More-
over, hospitality is not solely about how to relate to others, as if the self
was a given, but also to ourselves. While few international relations scholars
would be prepared to go as far as the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas in say-
ing that self is welcome of the other (that, for this very reason, ethics, not
ontology, is first philosophy),13 it is now a staple of constructivist discourse
in academic international relations that identity – in this case, state iden-
tity – is intersubjectively constituted.14 And the point at which international
intersubjectivity takes place (since war is only an exceptional relationship
between states) is in hospitality, as the social-theoretical studies in Part III of
this book remind us. We will now turn to this core feature of hospitality
and draw out its ethical and social-theoretical implications for the study of
international relations, arguing that the refusal to engage with the full com-
plexity of questions of identity in international relations is both the reason
why hospitality remains largely invisible in the discipline and also the reason
why hospitality can prove so helpful to it.

Hospitality, identity and intersubjectivity

That such a long-standing theory and practice in world politics as hospi-

tality has been overlooked in scholarly international relations deserves not
only to be corrected but also to be explained. It seems most likely that
this explanation has to do with the headlock that the binary of realism
and idealism has for so long exerted on the discipline. For realists, inter-
national hospitality, which suggests the acceptance of some form of human
Gideon Baker 5

society (which is indeed what was accepted from the Stoics right the way
through the natural law tradition), is simply incongruent with their reduc-
tion of international relations to a self-help system and with the axiom upon
which this assumption is built: fear; specifically, that fear can lead only to
self-helping behaviour. As we have seen, hospitality knows all about fear of
strangers, but it also knows about obligations to them, however unwelcome
these might be. Amongst other things, this is surely a richer way of captur-
ing that the dread of loss of self is complexly intertwined with that of desire
for escape from self when we encounter unknown others, a phenomenol-
ogy that Levinas developed in his vast treatise on hospitality, Totality and
On the other side, idealism has also been no friend of hospitality for the
simple reason that idealism in international relations has usually taken the
form of cosmopolitan longings for a world in which no one is any longer
foreign to us.16 I recall discussing international ethics with a liberal cos-
mopolitan friend of mine who, in reply to my observation that hospitality
might have a part to play in our thinking, countered that this could only be
the case if by this was meant the truism that all are welcome in a cosmopoli-
tan world order. Of course, my friend was taking objection to the implication
of my argument that deciding on inclusion (and, by extension, also on who
is to be excluded) is preferable to an order in which all are already included.
But, on reflection on that conversation, things are not so simple. Nothing
would close down the horizons of human possibility more than an inclu-
sion that, precisely for being universal, one cannot not be included in (this is
the double-bind of inclusion: the more inclusive the more exclusive it gets).
Another way of making this point, this time in the terms of hospitality, is to
note that the only way to create a home from which I can welcome all is to
make the whole world my home – a global domestication project that, put
like this, seems somehow less benign. Thus does hospitality ethics help us
(force us) to revisit some of our most cherished truths and prod us to work
harder to think through the horrendously complex dialectic between self
and other, inclusion and exclusion, that ‘ethics in international relations’
has to grapple with.
In the 1986 film The Mission there is a scene that reminds us just how
far we have to go in finding a language appropriate to this dialectic. The
scene, set in the eighteenth century, involves a dialogue between the priest
of a remote South American Jesuit mission who is translating for the resi-
dent Chief in his discussion with a Papal emissary. Upon their conversion to
Christianity, the local tribe have made this mission their home. The emissary
of Rome, appearing second in the dialogue below, has come to tell this tribe,
reluctantly, that they are to lose the protection of the Church and come
under the authority of Portugal, though all parties know that Portugal is a
slaving nation that opposes the Jesuits and will close the mission, enslaving
any tribespeople it finds remaining there:
6 Hospitality and World Politics

They say they don’t understand

What you mean?
They want you to speak more clearly. What do you want them to do?
They must leave the mission.
They say the mission is their home.
They must learn to submit to the will of God . . . Tell them.
They say it was the will of God that they left the jungle and built the
mission. They don’t understand why God has changed his mind.
I cannot hope to understand God’s reasons.
He says: how does he know you know God’s will? He thinks you speak not
for God, but for Portugal.
I do not personally speak for God, but I speak for the church which is
God’s instrument on earth.
He says: speak to the king of Portugal.
I have. He will not listen.
He said he is also a king. He also will not listen.

What is going on here? Hospitality ethics tells us that it is very complicated.

The Papal emissary privately reflects on the originary inhospitality of the
Europeans, wondering ‘whether these Indians would not have preferred that
the sea and wind had not brought any of us to them’, but for these ‘Indians’
themselves it seems that they have now welcomed their inclusion in the
Church and consider the jungle as a place that only devils reside. They do
not wish to return to this, their original dwelling, counting the mission as
their proper and rightful home. But of course they are about to be dispos-
sessed of this home by the very people who first welcomed them out of the
jungle in the first place. The tribe are thus no longer those who live in the
jungle, but neither are they subjects – rather slaves – of the Portuguese state.
A remnant in a double sense, they are non-‘Indians’ and non-Portuguese, a
remainder produced, first, by the rise of a universalising Christendom and,
following this, by the rise of a universalising European state order that in its
turn overthrew the temporal power of the Church. The tribespeople cannot
go nor can they stay. And so they stay and fight, to the death.
Who is host here, and who is guest? Such subject positions, along with
the ethical imperatives attached to them, are not only intersubjective but
aporetic – deeply paradoxical. Originally the Jesuit priest is the guest of the
tribe, and in many senses remains so (The tribal chief is the one who, finally
insisting on his sovereignty, rejects Rome’s terms). But the tribe have entered
both the Jesuit’s spiritual and temporal homes, the Church and the mission,
and in this sense become his guests. Both parties receive the Papal emis-
sary as a guest, though as a high representative of the Church to which all
now belong he is in many ways their host. Yet on account of the Treaty
of Madrid, the emissary too has been made a guest of a Portuguese state
which welcomes none of them on what it now regards, territorially speaking,
Gideon Baker 7

as its home. Moments of welcome, domestication and dispossession fol-

low on from each other, undercut each other and complicate each other
in numerous ways here, as elsewhere. Crucially, the identity of each of the
protagonists develops in ways that are not only violent but also dependent
on the welcome.
Despite the irreducibility of the welcome to it, however, ultimately this
scene reminds us that no account of ethics can afford to excise the wel-
come refused, either. As Jimmy Klausen argues in his chapter on hospitality
and indigenous peoples below, ‘respecting a self-quarantining people’s moral
freedom and physical vitality by demarcating for that people an indigenous
reserve may be the height of hospitality rather than its absence’. Leaving
be is as much the ethics of hospitality as the welcome is. Of course, argu-
ments such as this, crucial though they are as a corrective to the otherwise
one-dimensional project of increased hospitality between states, are difficult
to make in a time when articulations of resistance to the foreigner sound
like far-right nationalism. But when the foreigner is, say, Hernán Cortés,
an ethic of liberal inclusion begins to look inadequate. Just as the welcome
of the foreigner furnishes an identity (the tribe become-other, adopting a
Christian identity through their welcome of the Jesuit), so, in other circum-
stances, becoming-other requires struggle, war even. Whether to give way to
the stranger or to bar his way is not something that any ethics can tell us in
advance. Levinas’ welcome of the other cannot alone be our guiding light
any more than can Nietzsche’s claim that war is constitutive of freedom.17
For the tribe in The Mission there are moments of both so that, paradoxically,
when they do fight it is not for freedom from, but in the name of freedom
for the identity that they received with the welcome of the Jesuit. Hospitality
ethics captures this difficult dialectic between self and other better than its
competitors, and perhaps that is as much as we can ask for. Indeed, Derrida’s
point about hospitality is precisely not that hospitality is this or that ethics,
a set of rules that could be followed in each and every circumstance, but
rather that hospitality relates to the conditions for any ethics (ethos) at all.
Bearing in mind the Greek meaning of ethos as accustomed place:

Insofar as it has to do with the ethos, that is, the residence, one’s home, the
familiar place of dwelling, inasmuch as it is a manner of being there, the
manner in which we relate to ourselves and to others, to others as our own
or as foreigners, ethics is hospitality; ethics is so thoroughly coextensive
with the experience of hospitality.18

Hospitality isn’t an ethics, then; rather, all ethics is a matter of hospitality.

The structure of the book

As already indicated, this book is divided into three parts. Part I explores
international hospitality in its historical aspect, specifically the early
8 Hospitality and World Politics

modern period when the international system began to emerge alongside

pre-existing norms of hospitality which remained in some tension with it
until the nineteenth century at least. Part II looks at the ethics of hospitality
in relation to three key figures of international ethics: global justice; peace
and reconciliation; and asylum and refuge. Part III asks about hospitality’s
place in the international today, about how we might understand it in social-
theoretical terms. These three parts map our enquiries into hospitality onto
key fields in academic international relations today, namely intellectual his-
tory; ethics; and social theories of international relations. The three parts
also enable us to move from genealogical through normative and finally to
analytical perspectives on our subject matter.
In Chapter 1, beginning our genealogical enquiry into hospitality, we turn
to that pivotal figure in early modern thought: Thomas Hobbes. Hobbes’
conception of power, Haig Patapan contends, seeks to destroy the classical
idea of friendship and of Christian belief in charity, which formed the bases
of the hospitality of the ancients and of Christendom, respectively. Hobbes’
intention, Patapan argues, is to inaugurate a new way of thinking about
each other. Such an approach brings out the dangerousness of human beings
and, ironically, our potential tractability. Seeing ourselves in terms of power
forces us to see how much we are driven by fear. Once we realise this fact,
we are well placed to moderate our actions and attempt to accommodate
each other on reasonable terms. Having examined the personal aspects of
this new hospitality, Patapan examines its political implications understood
as a new form of civility. The political consequences of seeing ourselves as
power-seekers is the institution of a new political association, the contractual
artificial state, that will in turn create the ‘sovereign’ and the ‘subject’. These
new entities will be animated by a new hospitality which is founded upon
equality, rights and reason rather than friendship or charity. Hobbes’ educa-
tion, argues Patapan, will therefore favour hosts who are fearful, competitive
and philosophic at the expense of the glory-seekers and the pious.
In the final part of the chapter Patapan draws out the international impli-
cations of this new hospitality, arguing that Hobbes’ morally neutral state
and rights-based universalism will only condone defensive wars, rejecting
moral crusades and imperialism. But while Hobbes’ account of hospitality,
as that of Samuel Pufendorf after him, provides a reason for rejecting the
inhospitality of imperial forms of Christendom (that is, the inhospitality of
unwelcome guests), the price it pays for this reworking of the terms of hos-
pitality is that hospitality is no longer a right of strangers (or, put in less
anachronistic language, it is no longer an obligation of hosts). In ways that
are reminiscent of Derrida’s ‘Double Law’, which is caught between a limited
hospitality that nonetheless remains dependent on hospitality’s unlimited
form, Patapan also wonders whether this new, more ‘reasonable’, hospital-
ity in modernity is ultimately reliant on the more noble, if also more risky,
hospitality that preceded it.
Gideon Baker 9

In Chapter 2, Gideon Baker takes up this fundamental tension between

hospitality as both a right of hosts and of strangers that we find even in
Hobbes’ sober treatment of the matter. This tension, though actually con-
stitutive of hospitality, is usually obscure. It was at its most apparent in
the early modern period when natural law was on the wane while positive
law had not yet reached unassailed ascendency. In this context, the ancient
notion of a right of strangers to a welcome persisted even as the right of hosts
to refuse, to assert their sovereignty over their territorial domain, came ever
more to the fore with the rise of the modern state (and of theorists of the
modern state such as Hobbes). Baker draws out this tension by exploring the
account of international hospitality found in the natural law tradition from
Vitoria in the early sixteenth century to Kant in the late eighteenth. Baker
highlights the double-bind of hospitality which the natural lawyers encoun-
tered when seeking to find a place for the welcome of the foreigner in the
‘law of nations’. Although these thinkers agreed with their Aristotelian fore-
bears on a natural right of communication, this proved destabilising, even
destructive, of the property claims by which hosts establish their domain
as properly theirs in the first place. All struggled with this double-bind,
though this took different forms, from the concern that the law of hospi-
tality might thereby justify colonial appropriation to fears for how it could
threaten sovereignty and security. Two thinkers arguably find a way out of
the double-bind of right of communication–right of property in hospital-
ity, Baker suggests, but they sacrifice the law of hospitality in the process:
Samuel Pufendorf, subordinating communication to property (in Hobbes’
train), turns international hospitality into charity and thereby effectively
denies it status as a law of nature; Immanuel Kant, putting communication
first, makes international hospitality a matter of right, not philanthropy, but
also sees it as instrumental to the development of a global civil condition,
where it would be redundant.
Ultimately, Baker’s argument is that all accounts of hospitality are
unsteadily built upon the tension between a right of strangers to a welcome
and a right of hosts to their domain. This then provides him with some
further explanations for why hospitality has been a neglected theme in aca-
demic international relations: Realists, who follow Hobbes and Pufendorf in
placing the right of domain above the stranger’s right of welcome, cannot
explain (so therefore overlook) why the welcome of the foreigner remains a
feature of a supposedly anarchic international realm to this day. This inter-
national hospitality suggests that defenders of the notion of an international
society have good reason for rejecting the idea that the international is only
an anarchical system defined by the absence of rules. Idealists, meanwhile,
miss the importance of hospitality precisely because they condemn the dis-
tribution of domain which defines the international (as much as any other
hospitality system) in the name of global communication. They thereby fol-
low Kant in consigning hospitality in world politics to an uncertain future.
10 Hospitality and World Politics

In Chapter 3, Georg Cavallar takes up where Baker leaves off, turning our
attention to the Epochenschwelle (dawn of an epoch) of European history, the
one hundred years between 1750 and 1850. This dawn of an epoch is usu-
ally considered as a zone of transition, with the right of hospitality being
replaced by the laws of immigration. From the perspective of this conven-
tional picture, the nineteenth century with its emphasis on state sovereignty,
legal positivism, nationalism and the society of civilized (European) states is
perceived as a kind of fall from the cosmopolitan heights of the previous
centuries, especially the cosmopolitan eighteenth century dominated (as it
seems today) by Kant. International legal theory, so the story goes, moved
from a generous right of hospitality to laws of immigration, which were,
by implication, restrictive and state-centred rather than flexible and inter-
national. Cavaller seeks to unsettle this picture, if not destroy it. He argues
that there were indeed paradigmatic changes in the one hundred years after
1750. However, natural law theories up to the eighteenth century were not
necessarily cosmopolitan, endorsing a right of hospitality. This assumption,
Cavallar suggests, is probably the result of our binary thinking by which we
contrast the positivist nineteenth century with the natural law thinking of
previous centuries.
Cavallar distinguishes among three ‘schools’ in terms of hospitality rights
in his epoch: the imperialist school, the society of states school and the
cosmopolitan school. The thrust of his argument is that the cosmopolitan
school has been retrospectively assigned a greater significance than it had at
the time. This has led to assumptions of a unidirectional shift during this
period ‘from natural law to legal positivism, from hospitality to a restric-
tive right of immigration, from cosmopolitanism to closed state borders’,
which must now be put in question. To the contrary, Cavallar suggests, a
form of state-centred early legal positivism can be found from Pufendorf’s
time, expressed in the firmly entrenched sovereign right to exclude aliens
after 1650. Similarly, far from the eighteenth century being simplistically
cosmopolitan, the cosmopolitan strands of some philosophy in this period
failed to influence international legal theory in any sustained way. From
the standpoint of intellectual history, Cavallar argues, the widespread focus
in disciplinary international relations on the ‘classical authors’ of the eigh-
teenth century such as Kant and Vattel is misleading. Apparently minor
authors were probably as influential because of their university lectures
and perhaps more representative of main trends. In particular, Kant’s ‘over-
whelming presence’ in hospitality discourse today (for example, in Derrida’s
interventions) is more an indication of how ‘Kantianised’ parts of the
Western academic community have become than anything else. Viewed
less anachronistically, the cosmopolitan school was in practice always
Chapter 4, the first chapter of Part II, is a good link with Part I as Garret
Brown also provides a history of the idea of hospitality, but this time with
Gideon Baker 11

a normative intent which links it to the development and hoped-for fulfil-

ment of cosmopolitan law. Brown follows Cavallar in noting that the last
decade has witnessed a reinvigorated debate about cosmopolitan legal the-
ory and its relevance to contemporary global politics and international law.
Brown suggests that many cosmopolitan theorists involved in this debate are
guilty of resting their more elaborate institutional models on the assumption
of an already existing and thoroughgoing practice of cosmopolitan law. This
is often done without detailed consideration of the jurisprudentia entrenched
within this assumed legal foundation and without exploring its historical
relationship with the notion of hospitality. Seeking to correct this omission,
Brown’s chapter explores the concept of hospitality and cosmopolitan law
as it has evolved through three of its most influential periods, and exam-
ines how this history of ideas underpins contemporary cosmopolitanism.
Brown argues that cosmopolitan law acts as the necessary juristic foun-
dation for institutionally based forms of contemporary cosmopolitanism,
but that its recommendations for how to move theory to practice remain
Brown suggests that bridging this gap requires a reinvigorated examina-
tion of the laws of hospitality as a form of transitional global justice. This is
necessary, he argues, not only because contemporary models often wrongly
assume an established practice of cosmopolitan law, but also because, in
a globalised world, the time for cosmopolitan legal theory and global jus-
tice is now. What links cosmopolitanism today with its past, however, is
that the idea of cosmopolitan law remains an evolutionary project which, as
Kant put it in ‘Perpetual Peace’, ‘as solutions are gradually found, constantly
draws nearer fulfillment, for we may hope that the periods within which
equal amounts of progress are made will become progressively shorter’.19 For
Brown, hospitality is fundamentally important to this Kantian project since
it is only through the reinvigorated theorising and implementation of basic
laws of hospitality that this slow transition to a globally just world might
come about.
In Chapter 5, Renée Jeffery examines the implications of extending hos-
pitality to outlaws in the testing contexts of political forgiveness and
post-conflict reconciliation. Jeffery focuses, in particular, on the treatment of
individuals who have committed actions proscribed in international crim-
inal law including human rights abuses, genocide and war crimes. She
then examines the place of hospitality in the theoretical treatment and
practical implementation of political forgiveness and post-conflict recon-
ciliation with particular reference to the reintegration of violent offenders
into their communities using traditional reconciliation ceremonies. Jeffery
notes that at the heart of the concept of hospitality is the notion of the
stranger or foreigner being welcomed into a home, community or soci-
ety, despite their ‘otherness’ and the potential threat they pose. Unlike the
foreigner or stranger who is simply unknown to their host, however, the
12 Hospitality and World Politics

outlaw is marked as being ‘other’ for the transgressions he has committed

against individuals and societies, both domestic and international. Outlaws
become outsiders by virtue of being cast out of society either through for-
mal sanctions such as imprisonment or informally through social ostracism.
However, the practices of political forgiveness and post-conflict reconcilia-
tion bring with them an expectation that, despite their actions, outlaws will
be extended the arm of hospitality, if not by their direct victims then by
their community or society at large. This application of hospitality, Jeffery
suggests, has profound implications for the victims of serious wrongs, for
societies attempting to recover from periods of violent conflict, for notions
of justice in post-conflict contexts and for outlaws themselves.
And yet, despite its importance, this reconciling hospitality is very diffi-
cult indeed, because hospitality, like all social institutions, is fundamentally
based on trust. But given the harm he has inflicted on the host community
in the past, the outlaw is not to be trusted. Should would-be host communi-
ties be expected to suspend their disbelief? Or is it necessary to acknowledge
that some outsiders cannot legitimately claim a right to hospitality? Though
they are acutely difficult in this case, argues Jeffery, ultimately these ques-
tions can be asked of all forms of hospitality. In the final analysis, ‘all guests
are both known and unknown, all bring with them an unknown potential
to cause harm, and [thus] all hospitality must entail the mitigation of risk
for both the host and their would-be guest’.
In Chapter 6, Erin Wilson focuses not on the implications of hospitality
ethics for vulnerable, traumatised communities but for rich and secure ones.
Wilson observes that whilst claims for the compassionate and just treatment
of refugees and asylum seekers in these communities are frequently couched
within the discourse of rights, hospitality is potentially a more effective ethi-
cal framework. However, while most relevant hospitality scholarship to date
has drawn on the work of Derrida, Wilson explores rather the rich tradition
of religious hospitality towards aliens, strangers and sojourners, a tradition
that she argues can contribute to developing more compassionate global
responses to the needs of asylum seekers and refugees. Wilson outlines the
contours of this ‘faithful hospitality’ and the possibilities it offers for offset-
ting the power imbalance that exists between the individual and the state
in the context of existing global protection regimes. Faithful hospitality, she
argues, arises from values shared by all three major monotheistic religions,
which emphasise ‘the connection of human beings with divinity, the iden-
tity of all human beings as both “other” and as accepted and welcome, and
the potential benefits of providing welcome for vulnerable strangers, because
they may be divine messengers in disguise’.
Wilson also notes that faithful hospitality already occupies a significant
place in international responses to asylum seekers and refugees. This in part
stems from the historical role of religious actors in the development of ideas
of sanctuary, asylum and refuge. In addition, however, religious actors do
Gideon Baker 13

much to alleviate suffering and to ameliorate the frequently hostile recep-

tion of stateless people by resettlement states, particularly in Global North
countries. Faithful hospitality, Wilson suggests, not only includes welcome
and provision of basic needs, but also incorporates intervention in the form
of protection and pursuit of justice on behalf of the stranger who is the recip-
ient of the hospitality. It differs from secular responses because it is grounded
in an existential understanding of the ultimately divine nature of humanity
and because religious actors do not view the earth as their permanent home,
rather as a temporary residence until reaching their eternal home.
In Chapter 7, the first chapter of Part III on social-theoretical approaches
to hospitality in world politics, Nicholas Onuf points out that there are two
sorts of hospitality: the unconditional hospitality of the household at least
hypothetically due to perfect strangers, and the second-order or conditional
hospitality that households routinely extend to extramural relatives and
neighbours. Hospitality of the second sort, Onuf suggests, depends on social
rules which, by designating who is welcomed in the household and under
what conditions, establish and maintain relative distance among households.
In effect, the rules of conditional hospitality make people relative strangers
in any given society. But Onuf also notes that not only social distance but
social position too (fixed, this time, by relative distance on a vertical axis that
orders societal statuses) is established by these same rules of hospitality. Fore-
most amongst the ceremonies and courtesies of hospitality between relative
strangers is the gift or tribute and, on the vertical axis determining social
status, especially those gifts not immediately subject to the expectations of
reciprocity and parity. Based on this analysis of the gift, Onuf rejects James
Der Derian’s influential argument in On Diplomacy that diplomats mediate
between estranged sovereigns.20 He suggests instead that diplomats main-
tain not only the social distance but also the social position, the hierarchy,
among states-as-households, and that the many rituals of ‘give and take’
among them constitute their chief means for doing so. Onuf is thus able
to posit that there are two second-order (conditional) regimes of hospital-
ity, one based on exchange and proportion (the EP regime) that Der Derian,
Derrida and others focus on, and the other based on respect and donation
(the RD regime), which has been largely overlooked. In a RD regime, unlike
an EP regime, gifts, including the gift of hospitality, are primarily intended
to confer status and honour; they do not generally call for reciprocity.
Relating his social theory to ethical discourse, Onuf finds it unsurprising
that liberal modernity’s quest for an ethics of ‘universal principles and bind-
ing inferences’ leads it to focus on the general principles of the EP regime
as an ideal-type, characterised as it is ‘by autonomy, parity, reciprocity,
exchange and fairness’. Meanwhile, relative indifference to the RD regime as
an ideal-type has meant no equivalent effort to generalise such virtues as for-
titude, seemliness and magnanimity, which have always been calibrated by
status since higher standing and greater virtue go hand in hand. This bias has
14 Hospitality and World Politics

informed a reading of hospitality that focuses on its properties as a univer-

sal duty to the neglect of its embeddedness in concrete codes of respect and
honour, even though, as in diplomacy in international relations, these codes
are ubiquitous and show no sign of dying out. Also, despite their context-
dependence, these codes too may have unconditional, universal properties
(resulting, once again, in something like Derrida’s ‘Double Law’), since every
society has at least one RD regime – a code of honour and of hospitality –
however different in reach, content and effect. Having argued elsewhere21
that honour is a constituent feature of what he calls ‘everyday ethics’, in
this chapter Onuf adds to this ethics the requirements of conditional hos-
pitality. Together, ‘codes of honour and hospitality constitute an everyday
ethics for people in every society and every walk of life’.
In Chapter 8, Jimmy Casas Klausen takes up a neglected theme in what
are usually debates about a decidedly abstract hospitality, seeking to theorise
international hospitality’s embodied effects. Rather than considering power
relations between host and guest as generic ethical types, Klausen examines
situations of differential bodily vulnerability between hosts and guests and
hosts and parasites. A host’s temporary symbiosis with a guest, he reminds
us, is simultaneously micro- and macroparasitical – it involves not only
the transfer of human-scale goods but also the sharing of pathogens. With
this differential vulnerability to harm, especially disease, in mind, Klausen
engages in a reading of the Kantian terms of hospitality (that the stranger
may be turned away if doing so will not lead to his demise) as non-hostility
towards strangers.
Non-hostility suggests a right of self-isolation of societies that, having
once allowed foreigners to seek communication, now flee from its destruc-
tive effects. Klausen gives the example of the Tarahumara of what is today
northern Mexico. Having barely survived first contact with Old World dis-
eases in the seventeenth century, the Tarahumara retreated further into the
inhospitable interior of Mexico, breaking off all contact with the outside
world in the process. Their population, in stark contrast to the effec-
tive extinction of most other pre-contact peoples and their cultures in
the Americas, was thus able to recover to near pre-contact levels by the
mid-twentieth century. Given that by most estimates there remain around
one hundred radically self-isolating tribes or bands in the world today,
letting these peoples be is for Klausen the nub of hospitable treatment
of them.
Of course, these groups are largely retreating from contact within national-
statist territories, so is leaving them alone a derogation of a duty of govern-
mental care for the lives of these populations, a duty of care that, as Foucault
demonstrated,22 sovereigns have given to themselves as their very reason for
being in bio-political modernity? To the extent that hospitable leaving-be
would allow loggers, miners and so on to encroach on these peoples, bring-
ing with them their deadly diseases, the answer is clearly no. Letting-be thus
Gideon Baker 15

requires the creation and protection of reservations by surrounding settler

societies without which those societies threaten the very hostility that hos-
pitality is defined in opposition to. But to do more than this, to pursue any
form of intervention, however well meaning, is for Klausen inhospitable.
In the example that he discusses, though the self-quarantining of indigenous
people appears to many health professionals to be a failed strategy because
the immunity it confers is highly imperfect, this does not justify biomedi-
cal interventions in their lives. ‘To foster indigenous lives by imposing an
alien conception of immunity is an inhospitable destruction of alternate
strategies of living on.’ Thus the hospitable act of non-hostility towards
strangers remains as imperative in the face of contemporary bio-political
interventionary practices as it ever did for earlier, more obviously colonising
forms of sovereign power. Ultimately, then, Klausen reflects on quarantine
(and negative quarantine – reserving oneself from others) as a much needed
counterpoint to the politics of hospitality among peoples.
Finally, in Chapter 9, Dan Bulley’s point of departure is that, beyond cities
as places of refuge, little has been done in international and political thought
to examine how cities operate as spaces of hospitality. This omission reflects,
first, the lack of sustained analyses of the power relations and forms of con-
trol involved in practices of hospitality and, second, the assumption that the
‘home’ of hospitality is the nation state (ironically, even those accounts that
use hospitality to contest the state unwittingly reproduce its stranglehold on
our political imaginations). We therefore need to know more about how the
welcome of hospitality, as much as the non-welcome of inhospitality, is an
operation of sovereign power (from the ‘Enlargement policy’ of the EU to
the managed spaces of refugee camps), and also about how this hospitality
as governance operates in spaces other than the state. Seeking to address
these gaps in our knowledge, Bulley explores how, contra the unwelcom-
ing anti-immigration rhetoric of many states, global cities work to out-host
each other as spaces of welcome. However, focusing on a leading example
of this trend, London’s attempts to produce itself as a city that ‘welcomes
the world’, Bulley uses Foucault’s thought on ‘governmentality’ – or the
‘conduct of conduct’ – to investigate how London not only produces but
also meticulously governs various subjects through its discourse of openness
and tolerance: from the ‘cosmopolitan tourist’ to the ‘creative worker’, the
‘deviant immigrant’ to the ‘unproductive outsider’.
Bulley is thus not so much concerned with the conventional hospitality
story of how power operates via processes of inclusion and exclusion, but
with how power works to segregate and control different ‘guests’ in the wel-
come they experience and their movement around the (urban) home. For
Bulley, the politics of governmentalised hospitality is revealed through care-
ful attention to the way that urban hospitality relies upon spectral guests
who act as (g)hosts – illegal and semi-legal guests who perform the ‘back of
house’ aspects of hospitality (the ‘hospitality industry’) which allow London
16 Hospitality and World Politics

to act as a host to the world in the first place. Such hospitality, he argues, dis-
turbs oppositions of host and guest since these (g)hosts, though themselves
‘guests’ of the city, perform much of the traditional role of hosts.
However, an analysis of these governmentalising aspects of urban hos-
pitality is not all that is at stake. Bulley recalls that in ‘What is Critique?’
Foucault notes a perpetual question in our analyses of governmentalities:
‘how not to be governed like that, by that, in the name of those principles,
with such and such an objective in mind and by means of such procedures,
not like that, not for that, not by them’.23 And sure enough, despite their
illegal or semi-legal status, we can see that the (g)hosts of London ‘come
to exercise their agency by rejecting hospitality like that, in the name of
those principles and for those objectives’. Sometimes, Bulley suggests, these
objectives involve making use of London’s ‘welcome’ not in accordance
with official attempts to govern London so as to attract the creative classes,
but rather in order, say, to pass through, relatively unheeded, to elsewhere.
In ways reminiscent of the self-isolating bands considered by Klausen, in
some senses these (g)hosts stand to lose their subjectivity, and the precari-
ous agency that comes with it, were they to receive the formal welcome of an
amnesty that would make them official, recognised guests. Like the remote
tribes that flee contact, it is by definition difficult to ask ‘illegals’ who seek
invisibility just what welcome they would chose. But just maybe they, too,
would sometimes call to be left to their own devices? After all, as we have
reflected above, the welcome, inclusion, always comes at a price.

1. See, for example, Bartolome de Las Casas, The Devastation of the Indies: A Brief
Account, H. Briffault (trans.) (London: John Hopkins University Press, 1992), and
Francisco de Vitoria, ‘On the American Indians’, in Francisco de Vitoria (ed.),
Political Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).
2. Immanuel Kant, ‘Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch’, in H.B. Nisbet (trans.)
and H.S. Reiss (ed.), Kant: Political Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1991).
3. Jacques Derrida, Adieu: To Emmanuel Levinas, P. Brault and M. Nass (trans.)
(Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999); Jacques Derrida, Of Hospitality,
R. Bowlby (trans.) (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000).
4. See Homer, The Odyssey, E.V. Rieu (trans.) (London: Penguin, 1946), 9.269–71 and
5. Ibid., pp. 22.34–40.
6. Harry L. Levy, ‘The Odyssean Suitors and the Host–Guest Relationship’, Transac-
tions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 94 (1963), pp. 145–53.
7. Homer, The Odyssey, pp. 17.44–7.
8. Ladislaus J. Bolchazy, Hospitality in Antiquity: Livy’s Concept of Its Humanizing Force
(Chicago, IL: Ares, 1995).
9. Gabriel Herman, Ritualised Friendship and the Greek City (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2002).
10. Ibid., p. 130.
Gideon Baker 17

11. Derrida, Of Hospitality.

12. Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Volume I (New York: Vintage, 1990).
13. Emmanuel Levinas, Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority, A. Lingis (trans.)
(Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1969).
14. See, for example, Alexander Wendt, ‘Anarchy Is What States Make of It: The
Social Construction of Power Politics’, International Organization 46:2 (1992),
pp. 391–425; Alexander Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1999); and Nicholas Onuf, World of Our Making
(Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1989).
15. Ibid.
16. See, for example, David Held, Democracy and the Global Order: From the Modern
State to Cosmopolitan Governance (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1995);
Daniele Archibugi and David Held (ed.), Cosmopolitan Democracy: An Agenda for a
New World Order (Cambridge: Polity, 1995).
17. Ibid.; Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 2001).
18. Jacques Derrida, On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness (London: Routledge, 2001).
19. Kant, ‘Perpetual Peace’, p. 130.
20. James Der Derian, On Diplomacy: A Genealogy of Western Estrangement (New York
and Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987).
21. Nicholas Onuf, ‘Everyday Ethics in International Relations’, Millennium: Journal
of International Studies 27 (1998), pp. 669–93.
22. Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Volume I.
23. Michel Foucault, ‘What is Critique?’, in Michel Foucault (ed.), The Politics of Truth
(Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 1997), p. 44.
Part I
On the Origins of Modern
Leviathan’s Children: On the Origins
of Modern Hospitality
Haig Patapan


Thomas Hobbes starts his most famous political work, Leviathan, with a ded-
ication to his friend, Francis Godolphin, in honour and gratitude to the
memory of Francis Godolphin’s brother, Sidney Godolphin. Hobbes admires
Sidney Godolphin as an exemplary citizen:

For there is not any vertue that disposeth a man, either to the service of
God, or the service of his Country, to Civill Society, or private Friend-
ship, that did not manifestly appear in his conversation, not as acquired
by necessity, or affected by occasion, but inhaerent, and shining in a
generous constitution of his nature.1

Having introduced Leviathan with Sidney Godolphin, Hobbes returns to him

at the very end, in his A Review, and Conclusion.2 There he takes up the claim
by some that ‘Civill Amity’ is not possible where there is ‘perpetuall con-
tention for Honor, Riches, and Authority’.3 His response is that though these
‘are indeed great difficulties, but not Impossibilities: For by Education, and
Discipline, they may bee, and are sometimes reconciled’.4 To demonstrate
that there is ‘no such Inconsistence of Humane Nature, with Civill Duties,
as some think’, he cites once more the example of Sidney Godolphin:

I have known cleernesse of Judgment, and largenesse of Fancy; strength

of Reason, and graceful Elocution; a Courage for the Warre, and a Fear
for the Laws, and all eminently in one man; and that was my most noble
and honored friend Mr. Sidney Godolphin; who hating no man, nor hated
of any, was unfortunately slain the beginning of the Civill warre, in the
Publique quarrell, by an undiscerned, and an undiscerning hand.5

Sidney Godolphin, it seems, is proof that Hobbes’ teaching in Leviathan is

true. Moreover, his intention in creating the great Leviathan, an ‘Artificiall

22 Leviathan’s Children

Man’, is to protect citizens such as Godolphin from the ‘undiscerning’ to

ensure that such good citizens are not needlessly sacrificed.6 Hence Hobbes’
account of his writing as a form of public service, in the spirit of Godolphin,
‘occassioned by the disorders of the present time’, and ‘without partiality,
without application, and without other designe’ than ‘to advance the Civill
This view of Hobbes as a patriotic citizen who will sacrifice himself to
defend civil authority, needs to be reconciled, however, with his claim that
what he is proposing in the Leviathan is novel, and in its novelty, offen-
sive.8 Hobbes seems to be both a conservative and a radical. In this chapter,
I want to argue that an important source of Hobbes’ novelty, and there-
fore radicalism, lies in his creation of Leviathan’s children, a new ‘subject’
or citizen of the Leviathan state that displays a new civility that will also be
the occasion for a new hospitality. Though such a new citizen will in all
important respects approximate or match Sidney Godolphin’s virtues, he is
in one important aspect superior: the apparently rare virtues of Godolphin
will be made more reliable and therefore commonplace due to the new
Hobbesian civility and hospitality made possible by education and disci-
pline. This radical plan, as we will see, will require an extensive campaign of
re-education, starting with the most influential sources, the universities and,
subsequently, the majority of humanity that will absorb the new catechism
of the Leviathan. Hobbes’ overall intention is to reconfigure and redefine
humanity, to found a new commonwealth that is safe, peaceful, prosperous
and potentially everlasting.
To see the true novelty of Hobbes’ project, the first part of this chapter
will explore his new teaching regarding human nature. Hobbes’ concep-
tion of power, I contend, seeks to destroy the classical idea of friendship
and Christian belief in charity (the bases of hospitality in antiquity and
Christendom, respectively) in order to inaugurate a new way of thinking
about each other. Such an approach brings out the dangerousness of human
beings and, ironically, our potential tractability. Seeing ourselves in terms
of power forces us to see how much we are driven by fear, in hospitality
as elsewhere. Once we realise this fact, we are well placed to moderate our
actions and attempt to accommodate each other on reasonable terms. Hav-
ing examined the personal aspects of this new hospitality, we will examine
its political implications understood as a new form of civility. The political
consequences of seeing ourselves as power seekers is the institution of a new
political association, the contractual artificial state, that will in turn create
the ‘sovereign’ and the ‘subject’. These new entities will be animated by a
new hospitality, founded upon equality, rights and reason. Hobbes’ educa-
tion will therefore favour citizens, and by extension hosts, who are fearful,
competitive and philosophic at the expense of the glory seekers and the
pious. In the final part of this chapter, we will attempt to discern the inter-
national implications of this new hospitality. Here we will see that a morally
Haig Patapan 23

neutral state and a rights-based universalism will only condone defensive

wars, rejecting moral crusades and imperialism. This form of international
hospitality, in rejecting the natural law of scholasticism, will thereby secure
the foundations of the state and the new civility upon which it, in turn, is
In initiating a new politics and morality, Hobbes claims to be the politi-
cal scientist who saw clearly for the first time what was necessary to solve
the political problem of war, and therefore became the great benefactor
of humanity. An essential and influential aspect of his teaching was the
new hospitality he inaugurated. In examining the character of Leviathan’s
children, the nature and feasibility of his new teaching on hospitality and
especially the new obligations subjects will have to each other and to the
state, we not only undertake an assessment of the validity of Hobbes’ novel
and ambitious claims but also initiate the basis for evaluating those other
children of the Leviathan, the thinkers that Hobbes persuaded and who
subsequently adopted his insights into politics, philosophy and morality.

Education for the new world

Hobbes is aware of the importance of education for creating new citizens.

But what is the character of this education? ‘I recover some hope’, he states,
‘that one time, or other, this writing of mine, may fall into the hands of a
Sovereign, who will consider it himselfe (for it is short, and I think clear),
without help of any interested, or envious interpreter; and by the exercise
of entire Sovereignty, in protecting the Publique teaching of it, convert this
Truth of Speculation, into the Utility of Practice’.9 As this statement reveals,
Hobbes is aware of the difficulties confronting his proposed education. He
states that a sovereign would take up his teaching because it is to his ben-
efit and security.10 Yet he is concerned that the novelty of his teaching,
requiring a depth of ‘Morall Philosophy’ to be understood properly, may
make his labour ‘as uselesse, as the Common-wealth of Plato’ which required
sovereigns to be philosophers.11 His response is that unlike Plato he does not
require his sovereign to possess the ‘Sciences Mathematicall’. He is the first
to have outlined and proved ‘Theoremes of Morall doctrine’ that ‘men my
learn thereby, both how to govern, and how to obey’. In any case, as noted
above, it is a short work, and all that is required is for the sovereign to pro-
tect its public teaching. Though Hobbes may hope that the sovereign will
follow his advice in the Leviathan, to see his ‘Doctrine’ as a clear expression
of ‘Nosce teipsum, Read thy self ’, a looking into himself to discern his thoughts
and passions and thereby those of ‘Man-kind’, he is realistic enough to know
that the best he may hope from the sovereign is the public teaching of the
But will this public teaching be understood by most people? Hobbes hopes
that his writing can be ‘profitably printed, and more profitably taught in the
24 Leviathan’s Children

Universities’.13 The importance of Universities is clear for Hobbes – they are

the ‘Fountains of Civill, and Morall Doctrine, from whence the Preachers,
and the Gentry, drawing such water as they find, use to sprinkle the same
(both from the Pulpit, and in their Conversation), upon the People’.14 Thus
Hobbes does not have high hopes that the ‘vulgar’ or the ‘Common peo-
ple’ will understand his doctrine. Though he claims that his teaching is so
‘consonant to Reason’ that no unprejudiced person would have difficulty
understanding it, he also states that most people are like ‘clean paper’, ready
to receive whatever the Public Authority impresses on them.15 Consequently
Hobbes appears to endorse the view that education for most people, espe-
cially those ‘diligently taught’ (both the few and the many) means accepting
his teaching on trust (and perhaps interest).16
Such a view of education suggests that it is predominantly a kind of
indoctrination. This insight reveals the political aspect of all attempts at
educational reform (or what came to be called the enlightenment).17 All
education, including Hobbesian education, is in fact a struggle, an attempt
to oust ‘interested, or envious interpreters’, those who presently dominate
teaching and thereby control both the preachers and the gentry. The main
threat and obstacle to Hobbes’ political science and the reshaping of modern
citizenship therefore lies in the Universities.18

Friendship, charity, power

Hobbes will use Universities to reshape our notions of hospitality. But what
dominant conceptions of hospitality does he seek to replace in the uni-
versities? He dedicates a large part of the Leviathan, especially the fourth
part, ‘Of the Kingdome of Darknesse’, in detailing and countering these
other contending doctrines. His argument is that this ‘Darknesse’ is due
to two main sources, an interpretation of scripture that in emphasising
eternal punishments after death gives extraordinary powers to ministers,19
and ‘vain philosophy and fabulous traditions’ of pagan philosophers, whose
‘naturall Philosophy’ or science is ‘rather a Dream than Science’ and whose
Moral philosophy ‘is but a description of their passions’ leading to a sub-
version of the commonwealth.20 Though Hobbes is especially critical of
Aristotle, his real concern is in fact scholasticism or Thomism – that is, the
Christian appropriation of classical political philosophy.21
St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, sought to address the chal-
lenge posed by classical political philosophy to Christian piety, especially
the recently discovered writings of Aristotle. In his magisterial work, Summa
Theologica, Aquinas attempted to harmonise the two wisdoms, philosophi-
cal and divine. Yet the primacy of the divine for Aquinas meant that the two
wisdoms emphasised and favoured different understandings of hospitality.
In classic political philosophy, the regime has as it aim not only the use-
ful but the good life. Because one of the highest goods is friendship, based
Haig Patapan 25

not simply on usefulness or pleasure but on the common experience of

the good, classical political philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle argued
that the aim of cities should be a form of friendship.22 By contrast, Aquinas
thought Aristotle’s intellectual and moral virtues were insufficient for union
with God. Faith, hope and charity, the theological virtues, were necessary for
the supernatural happiness beyond the limits of human reason. Charity, the
friendship of humans for God Himself, was the highest of virtues and there-
fore defined our response to God and to our fellow beings. Charity provided
the substance and true meaning of Christian civility and hospitality. Hobbes
challenges both notions – of friendship and charity – as bases for hospital-
ity because he regards them as insufficient and unreliable. His teaching on
the passions, and especially of power, is his new foundation for a more solid
grounding of hospitality.
Hobbes is famous for denying the ancients’ premise that human beings
are ‘Politicall creatures’ or lovers of some ‘greatest Good’.23 He rejects the
classical understanding of types of human beings (and therefore regimes)
defined by what they love or seek – for example, their love of honour, wealth
or freedom – on the grounds that ‘there is no such Finis ultimus, (utmost
ayme,) nor Summum Bonum, (greatest Good,) as is spoken of in the Books of
the old Morall Philosophers’.24 Such a ‘greatest Good’ is impossible because
there is ‘nothing simply and absolutely so; nor any common Rule of Good
and Evill, to be taken from the nature of the objects themselves’ because
‘Nature’ is just matter-in-motion and thus cannot have ‘Morall’ qualities.25
‘Good’, therefore, is simply a word that human beings attach to whatever
pleases them.
Human motion, for Hobbes, is ‘Vitall’ and ‘Voluntary’. Voluntary motion
is created by imagination and results in ‘endeavour’ which is felt as either
desire or aversion.26 Because there is no ‘greatest Good’, ‘Felicity’ lies in
‘a continuall progresse of the desire, from one object to another’.27 But
the feeling of unlimited power does not last because new desires and
aversions are always created by the ‘Senses and Imaginations’.28 As a
result, Hobbes famously declares that ‘in the first place, I put for a
generall inclination of all mankind, a perpetuall and restlesse desire of
Power after power, that ceaseth onely in Death’.29 Indeed, every good we
seek – ‘Riches . . . Knowledge . . . Honour’ – and every passion we feel ‘may be
reduced to . . . Desire of Power’, since all things are to us ‘but severall sorts of
Hobbes’ theory of power, the radical innovation he introduces as the foun-
dation for his new education in citizenship, necessarily repudiates classical
and Christian notions of hospitality. The denial of summum bonum means
that it is imaginary to look for an unchanging good that will provide the
foundation for true love, friendship and therefore the best regime. Conse-
quently all love, and therefore friendship – including the guest-friendship
which defined classical hospitality – can be regarded essentially and at best as
26 Leviathan’s Children

provisional and instrumental. As for charity, which is the heart of Christian

hospitality, Hobbes states that the tenth Commandment and the ‘summe of
the Second Table’ is the commandment of ‘mutuall Charity’, ‘Thou shalt love
thy neighbour as thy selfe’.31 Yet he also states that the Second Law of Nature,
derived from the Fundamental Law of Nature, is the ‘Law of the Gospell’,
that is ‘Whatsoever you require others should do to you, that do ye to them’.32
Hobbes’ reinterpretation, indeed perversion, of Christian charity is premised
on his view that desires and passions are not in themselves a sin.33 In any
case, Hobbes claims that the state should provide charity because to rely on
private individuals is to force the impotent to the ‘hazard of such uncertain
Hobbes suggests we gain greater clarity in seeing the world through the
lens of power. But such clarity seems to come at a price; it appears to have
extraordinarily corrosive effect on our dealings with each other. It makes us
lose our innocence by compelling us to question or second guess all acts of
friendship, however noble, and all acts of charity, however pious. We are
inevitably forced to ask the question Hobbes has planted in our minds: ‘Cui
bono’?35 ; ‘What’s in it for them (or me)?’ Thus the idea of power casts a pall
of doubt on all acts of traditional hospitality.
Nevertheless Hobbes would argue that his conception of power introduces
its own notion of hospitality. The new suspicion and doubt that it intro-
duces into all relationships, Hobbes would contend, results in a less grand,
yet more achievable and therefore reliable hospitality. Power introduces an
instrumental reasoning in all our dealings that makes it no longer neces-
sary to demand nobility or sacrifice. In seeing the instrumentality of power
in all our relationships, we understand them to be more specific, directed
and limited by the goals they seek to achieve. Power makes us seek certainty
and in doing so introduces contract into all our dealings, clarifying what we
want and how much we are willing to pay for it. It thus provides certainty
and trust, albeit founded upon mercantile or transactional principles. Impor-
tantly, a deep understanding of humans as power-seeking creatures limits or
moderates our anger and desire for vengeance when our own desires, espe-
cially for dignity or respect, are not satisfied. Once we accept each other as
power seekers, we inevitably become more moderate, careful and rational

Hospitality as civility

Hobbes’ conception of power redefines the classical and Christian under-

standing of friendship and charity that are the respective bases of classical
and Christian hospitality. Yet power is not simply a new philosophical con-
cept for Hobbes; it is the foundation for his new politics. Hobbes is not
modest regarding his achievement. Just as ‘Time and Industry’ produce new
knowledge regarding the art of architecture, he claims that the new-found
Haig Patapan 27

‘Principles of Reason’ set forth in ‘this discourse’ will make the consti-
tution of Commonwealths ‘everlasting’.36 But what implications will this
Hobbesian innovation have for citizenship, civility and hospitality?
Hobbes’ political innovation is nothing less than an attempt to overthrow
the classical understanding of politics and the Christian conception of the
Kingdom of God. In classical understanding human beings are by nature
political animals.37 For Aristotle the crucial political insight is the regime
(politeia), which shapes and gives meaning to political life. Regimes are deter-
mined not only by the size of the ruling group or even their goodness –
whether they look to the common good or the benefit of the ruler – but also
by those things that they hold up or admire, such as freedom in democracy,
wealth in oligarchy, honour in timocracy and virtue in aristocracy. Impor-
tantly, as we have noted above, regimes aim not only for comfortable life but
also for the good life.38 The contrast with the Christian understanding could
not be more striking. For example, St Augustine’s account of the City of God
as our true destination shows the relative disregard he has for the kingdoms
of this world, which he likens to ‘grand larcenies’. The promise of eternal
happiness after death trans-values all aspects of mundane life for Augustine,
determining our actions in the light of everlasting life.39
Hobbes overturns both approaches to politics. His well-known solution is
to employ his theory of power to explain our natural condition and to show
how we can escape from it. Where there is no common power to keep all
in awe, the natural condition of man, due to our sense of equality, is that
of ‘warre, as is of every man, against every man’.40 Men with foresight who
want to leave the ‘miserable condition of Warre’ to preserve themselves and
to secure a more ‘contented life’ will establish a common power or sovereign
to whom they will submit their will and judegment.41 This new, ‘Mortall
God’, will use fear of punishment to keep all in awe, making men observe
their covenants and especially the Laws of Nature.42 Fear is needed, accord-
ing to Hobbes, because ‘without the terrour of some Power, to cause them
to be observed’, the Laws of Nature ‘are contrary to our naturall Passions,
that carry us to Partiality, Pride, Revenge, and the like’.43 Thus Hobbes’ solu-
tion to our natural condition is the institution of a new artificial entity, the
Leviathan state, with a sovereign to ensure security and thereby prosperity.
Hobbes’ new conception of the state rejects classical political thought.
We are not political creatures and are therefore forced to live together.
He also denies the classical emphasis on prudence and therefore relative
inequality. Consequently, he reinterprets and relegates the concept of the
regime as a form of the executive.44 Indeed, he argues that the names of
regimes, such as tyranny, are merely used to describe forms of government
people dislike: ‘And when the same men shall be displeased with those
that have the administration of Democracy, or Aristocracy, they are not
to seek for disgraceful names to expresse their anger in; but call readily
the one Anarchy, and the other, Oligarchy, or the Tyranny of the a Few’.45
28 Leviathan’s Children

Classical political philosophy therefore stands charged as encouraging the

overthrow of civil authority. As for religion, Hobbes sees one form of it, the
‘humane Politiques’, as useful for supporting the sovereign’s authority. But
‘Divine Politiques’, that of ‘Abraham, Moses, and our Blessed Saviour; by
whom have been derived unto us the Laws of the Kingdome of God’, proves
to be more problematic.46 The Kingdom of God allows private individuals
to represent themselves as Vicar’s of Christ on earth, and therefore directly
contend with the sovereign’s authority. ‘Doctors of Schoole Divinity’ use the
fear of powers invisible and the threat of eternal punishment after death
as a means to challenge the sovereign’s laws, forcing citizens to be martyrs.
Given a choice between a natural and eternal death it would be ‘madness’
for citizens not to choose the latter.47 Therefore, the source of contemporary
instability for Hobbes lies with this understanding of the Kingdom of God.
If the Kingdom of God

were not a Kingdome which God by his Lieutenants, or Vicars, who

deliver his Commandments to the people, did exercise on Earth; there
would not have been so much contention, and warre, about who it is,
by whom God speaketh to us, neither would many Priests have trou-
bled themselves with Spirituall Jurisdiction, nor any King have denied
it them.48

Hobbes’ attempt to repudiate this ‘Divine Politiques’ is, as he concedes, one

of the most contentious and novel aspects of the Leviathan. His approach is
to undermine the authority of the Bible and reinterpret its terms to make
religion subservient to the sovereign. Thus ‘All that is NECESSARY to Sal-
vation’, according to Hobbes, ‘is contained in two Vertues, Faith in Christ,
and Obediance to Laws’.49 One should obey the Laws of God, which are ‘the
Laws of Nature, whereof the principall is, that we should not violate our
Faith, that is, a commandment to obey our Civill Sovereigns, which wee
constituted over us, by mutuall pact one with another’.50 As for ‘Faith’, the
only article necessary for salvation is that ‘Jesus is Christ’.51 Hobbes’ claim is
that it is not hard to reconcile our obedience to God with that of the civil
As the discussion above regarding classical political thought and divine
politics reveals, Hobbes rejects all previous traditions to found a new com-
monwealth that will guarantee peace and prosperity. But the ‘Art of man’
in making the ‘Artificiall Man’, the Leviathan, also creates two new enti-
ties, the ‘Soveraigne’ and the ‘Subject’. It is in examining the nature of this
new entity, the ‘Subject’ that we see the Hobbesian innovation regarding
Fundamental to Hobbes’ politics is the equality of subjects. Hobbes’ jus-
tifies this egalitarianism using a range of arguments, but in the context of
his discussion of the ninth law of nature against pride, where he challenges
Haig Patapan 29

Aristotle’s claim that some are wiser than others, he concedes that even if not
true, equality may be a necessary assumption to found the Hobbesian state:
‘If Nature therefore have made men equall, that equalitie is to be acknowl-
edged: or if Nature have made men unequall; yet because men that think
themselves equall, will not enter into conditions of Peace, but upon Equall
termes, such equalities must be admitted’.52 For Hobbesian subjects such a
belief will encourage the lesser pride – a belief in equality. As a result, all
claims of hierarchy, based on tradition, family and excellence will be imme-
diately suspect. Hobbes’ hosts and guests will treat each other as equals and
in doing so will be more familiar with, and therefore appreciate the needs,
desires and hopes of each other. There will be neither the grand generosity
of guest-friendship nor the cold charity of Christian hospitality; there will
instead be a more intimate fellow-feeling, moderated by the ever-present
suspicion that we are all power seekers.
This equality may seem to deny us sufficient honour. Yet in one important
respect Hobbes’ subjects gain extraordinary authority and therefore dignity.
Hobbes’ reinterpretation of natural law and natural right provides the foun-
dations for a new source of dignity for subjects. Hobbes defines the ‘Right’ of
nature as the ‘Liberty each man hath, to use his own power, as he will him-
selfe, for the preservation of his own Nature; that is to say, of his own Life;
and consequently, of doing any thing, which in his Judgment, and Reason,
hee shall conceive to be the aptest means thereto’.53 The Hobbesian subject
is given sole authority to judge what is good; the Hobbesian host to admit
who he will.
Such an extraordinary elevation of the individual is admittedly limited
by laws. The fundamental law of nature, ‘That every man, ought to endeavour
Peace, as farre as he has hope of obtaining it; and when he cannot obtain it, that
he may seek, and use, all helps, and advantages of Warre’,54 yields, according to
Hobbes, 19 other laws. As we have seen, one of the most important of these
is the Second Law of nature, a willingness, if others are also willing, to lay
down one’s right to all things. The other laws of nature include justice, grat-
itude, compleasance.55 Thus Hobbes apparently institutes a comprehensive
new morality to found his civility and hospitality, albeit one based on safety.
But the Laws of Nature, the ‘true Morall Philosophy’, which are eternal and
always bind in conscience, are no more than a ‘Precept, or generall Rule’
that do not bind in practice if there is no security. This decision, accord-
ing to Hobbes, can only be made by the individual.56 Hobbes makes the
historically radical claim that natural rights endow the individual and there-
fore also the host with supreme authority. This dignity is confirmed in the
political role Hobbes assigns to each person. As makers and authors of the
state, the subject is above all a founder; the shameful origins of the state,
founded on fear and necessity, are now obscured and salved with the knowl-
edge that each individual should be honoured as the author of peace and
30 Leviathan’s Children

Finally, the subject is above all rational. As we have seen, Hobbes rejects
prudence; natural equality means equality in prudence: ‘A plain husband-
man is more Prudent in affairs of his own house, then a Privy Counseller in
the affairs of another man’.57 The rationality he favours is the instrumental
rationality where reason is subordinate to the passions: ‘For the Thought, are
to the Desires, as Scouts, and Spies, to range abroad, and find the way to the
things Desired’.58 The most reasonable passion, fear, favours the certainty
of contract and law and not the high-minded and unreliable honesty or
honour that regularly lets people down. If the state is created by agreement
or contract, then all of life can adopt this template. Hobbesian subjects will
naturally favour contract in all their dealings. But Hobbes’ psychology sug-
gests that power and the feeling of being alive is most reasonably found in
‘commodius living’ – a situation of physical security and comfort in which
people are free ‘to buy, and sell, and otherwise contract with one another;
to choose their own abode, their own diet, their own trade of life, and insti-
tute their children as they themselves think fit; & the like’.59 Consequently
commercial dealings will characterise most relations between subjects in the
new state.60
We can see the nature of the new hospitality by observing the types of
individuals Hobbes admits to his new state. Hobbes knows that because
of people’s varying ‘dispositions’, there are many ways of ‘taking plea-
sure’, and hence many kinds of human beings: for example, the ‘luxurious’
look for a feeling of life in ‘sensuall pleasures’; those addicted to ‘Gain’
seek it in great wealth and those who crave ‘reputation’ turn to ‘Glory’.61
In his analysis of the ‘three principall causes of quarrell’ – Competition,
Diffidence and Glory – we see that Hobbes wants to accommodate the dif-
fident and competitive while moderating, if not simply removing, the glory
The diffident, according to Hobbes, is one of ‘those men who are mod-
erate’ – wants more power only because he ‘cannot assure the power and
means to live well, which he hath at present, without the acquisition of
more’.63 Diffidence makes a man invade for ‘Safety’ and use Violence to
‘defend’ his body and possessions. Thus it seems that hopelessness of the dif-
fident yields moderation – the diffident will not ordinarily seek to conquer or
master all other human beings. But he is forced to counter the competitive.64
The competitive does not simply desire, like the diffident, to secure and
defend his possessions. He wants more because he ‘cannot be content with a
moderate power’, and so he goes beyond defending his immediate safety and
uses violence to make himself ‘Masters of other mens persons, wives, chil-
dren, and cattell’.65 The competitive seek mastery for ‘Gain’ because they
are hopeful that they have the power necessary to overcome other peo-
ple.66 Yet the competitive never think that ‘Mastery’ is anything other than
a means to gain; they tend not to derive pleasure in exercising their power
Haig Patapan 31

over other human beings except in the sense that it indicates or is a mea-
sure, of gain. Consequently, their need to master is always constrained and
circumscribed by material gain, and they can tolerate others who do not
threaten that gain. By contrast, the glorious seek a type of ‘Joy’, which is an
‘exultation of the mind’ arising from ‘imagination of a mans own power and
ability’.67 For some individuals, intense delight can be found ‘in contemplat-
ing’ one’s ‘own power in the acts of conquest’, which produces great pleasure
at the confirmation to oneself of one’s power.68 But Hobbes notes that glory
seekers often pursue glory ‘farther than their security requires’, creating the
problem that some seek glory even at the risk of their life.69 For these peo-
ple, glory becomes disengaged from its source in the pursuit of the power
needed to preserve their vital motion. The difficulty of acquiring and main-
taining glory, due to our inability to judge or ‘value’ accurately, the problem
of construing ‘signs’ of valuing, and the need of the glory seeker to ‘extort a
greater value from his contemners, by dommage; and from others, by exam-
ple’ means that the glory seeker is compelled to risk himself to show his
power.70 Sustaining the joy that is glory may necessitate harming his body
or undermining his power as property. In the extreme case, the glorious may
risk his own life to show his power. Therefore, the pleasure of glory is not
checked by the moderating demands of security and property in two senses.
The first is in the sense that we have noted – the glorious will illogically sacri-
fice his life for his name. The second is that the pleasure of glory seeks to ever
increase its delectation – glory will in social terms seek ever greater mastery,
at the risk of security. From this perspective war for Hobbes is typically due
to the tendency of the glorious type to challenge and test each other regard-
ing their worth, thereby compelling both the diffident and the competitive
to enter into warfare far beyond what they would ordinarily wage. Hobbes’
solution is to provide for the diffident and the competitive, while undermin-
ing the claims of glorying. As a result the Hobbesian subjects will not be glory
seekers; indeed they will fear and also have contempt for such displays of
pride and hubris. Consequently, the Hobbesian subject will be less inclined
to take offense at slights and more open (within reason) to be hospitable.71
Though Hobbes directs our attention to these three types of individuals,
there is a fourth type who is arguably the most hospitable subject. The scien-
tist does not appear as a prominent type in Hobbes’ general political account
centring on the diffident, competitive and glorious. Yet as we will see, the
scientist appears to excel all three types both in his contribution to society
and in the intensity of his pleasures. Hobbes defines philosophy as:

the Knowledge acquired by Reasoning, from the Manner of the Generation of

any thing, to the Properties; or from the Properties, to some possible Way of
Generation of the same; to the end to bee able to produce, as far as matter, and
humane force permit, such Effects, as humane life requireth.72
32 Leviathan’s Children

The first notable difference between the scientist and the other types
of endeavours concerns the intense pleasure experienced by the scien-
tist. Though anxiety characterises all human beings,73 it would seem that
only in the case of the glorious and the scientist does the mind counter
and alleviate this anxiety with an intense pleasure.74 But unlike the joy
of the glory seeker, the scientist’s joy in apprehending novelty is uncon-
strained by the need to prove power, making his joy intense and potentially
This self-sufficiency does not mean that the scientist is simply removed
and unconcerned with the political. In Hobbes’ account, the scientist is supe-
rior to all three other types of humans in his contribution to political life.
First, scientists or philosophers are the most loyal subjects because ‘Leasure is
the mother of Philosophy; and Common-wealth, the mother of Peace, and
Leasure’.75 The scientist will always favour peace because peace provides the
means for commodious living, which in turn is the necessary foundation
for great and flourishing cities that sustain philosophy.76 As Hobbes puts it,
‘Desire of Knowledge, and Arts of Peace, enclineth men to obey a common
Power: For such Desire, containeth a desire of leisure; and consequently pro-
tection from some other Power than their own’.77 In addition, philosophy
contributes knowledge in the form of Agriculture, Geography, Chronology
and the Arts, and these make the goods of commodious living that lift us out
of our ‘solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short’ natural lives.78 In providing
security and comfort for humanity, philosophy thereby helps to create the
goods that satisfy the desires of the diffident and the competitive. From this
it would seem that, speaking politically, the scientist is the most hospitable
type of human being.
We can conclude from the above discussion that the ‘subjects’, the new
citizens of the state, will predominately be the diffident and competitive,
who are supported by the scientist in their pursuit of both a safe and con-
tented life. The new state will not rely on the fleeting hospitality of the
magnanimous or the pious. It will instead be based on the firm and broad
democratic foundations of a new hospitality, the dignity of individual rights,
the security of the social contract and the prosperity of commercial enter-
prise, nurtured and sustained by a philosophy that takes its bearings from
the application of discovery to the relief of the public weal.

International hospitality

The discussion above has focused on the way Hobbes’ new conception of
power shaped personal hospitality, and how in the innovation of the state
it redefined hospitality as the new civility of the ‘subject’. In this section,
we will explore the consequences of Hobbesian innovation for international
relations. What form of international hospitality does the new political
entity, the ‘state’ usher in?79
Haig Patapan 33

In the Leviathan, near the end of Chapter 30, ‘Of the OFFICE of the Sovereign
Representative’, Hobbes explains why he does not discuss international
politics extensively. The passage deserves quoting at length:

Concerning the Offices of one Sovereign to another, which are com-

prehended in that Law, which is commonly called the Law of Nations,
I need not say any thing in this place; because the Law of Nations,
and the Law of Nature, is the same thing. And every Sovereign hath
the same Right, in procuring the safety of his People, that any par-
ticular man can have, in procuring the safety of his own Body. And
the same Law, that dictateth to men that have no Civil Government,
what they ought to do, and what to avoyd in regard of one another,
dictateth the same to Common-wealths, that is, to the Consciences of
Sovereign Princes, and Sovereign Assemblies; there being no Court of
Naturall Justice, but in Conscience onely; where not Man, but God

This deceptively simply account suggests that international politics is identi-

cal to Hobbes’ well-known depiction of the laws of nature that apply where
there is no ‘Civil Government’, that is, in the state of nature.81 By anal-
ogy, therefore, it would seem that international relations, being identical
to the state of nature, has all those aspects of the state of nature Hobbes
depicts in Chapter 13, ‘Of the NATURAL CONDITION of Mankind, as con-
cerning their Felicity, and Misery’: for example, it is a state of insecurity and
animosity that requires self-reliance; because there is no common power it is
lawless, and therefore ‘Right and Wrong, Justice and Injustice have there no
place’; as a state of war, the ‘two Cardinall vertues’ of war, Force, and Fraud
Hobbes is aware, of course, that there are limits to such an analogical
approach. As he notes, the posture of war between sovereigns, requiring
constant vigilance and spying, does not lead to the incommodities of war
for individuals because sovereigns, in providing a common power within
each state, uphold the ‘Industry of their Subjects’. Thus international pol-
itics as a state of nature allows for or is consistent with the possibility of
industry, cultivation of the earth, navigation, commodious buildings and
the general advancement in arts and letters.82 Nevertheless he seems to
confirm the inherent intractableness, and therefore fundamental dangerous-
ness, of international politics. This ‘minimalist’ understanding of Hobbesian
international relations has been especially influential in the modern ‘realist’
schools of international relations.83 Its limited scope has been challenged,
however, by scholars who suggest that Hobbes’ equation of international
politics with the state of nature in fact yields a more comprehensive range
of duties and responsibilities for sovereigns and therefore inaugurates a new
notion of international hospitality.84
34 Leviathan’s Children

Such a ‘maximalist’ Hobbesian internationalism has as its starting point

an appreciation of the greater efficacy of the laws of nature in interna-
tional relations.85 The analogy between the individual’s place in the state
of nature, and the sovereign’s in international relations does not hold in cer-
tain important respects. Though sovereigns must assure their own safety and
the security of the state, and therefore wars waged for this purpose are just
because there is no other recourse,86 sovereign states are more secure than
individuals in the state of nature (for example, they are not all equal; they
need not sleep; they are not mortal). Moreover, because sovereigns uphold
the ‘Industry of their Subjects’, alleviating their misery, those passions that
incline individuals in the state of nature to peace are less forceful in interna-
tional relations.87 But the absence of a common power in the international
realm also means a greater freedom in international relations so that the laws
of nature need not be silent. As Johnson puts it, ‘peace will not be as urgent
a priority as it is in relations among individuals, but the need to violate the
laws of nature will also not be as urgent’.88
Hobbes’ claim, as we noted above, is that the Law of Nations is identical
to the Law of Nature. Consequently the Law of Nature, and the 19 other
laws it yields, will be evaluated by each sovereign to determine the extent
to which they can safely be followed. Nevertheless, it is possible to extrap-
olate from Hobbes’ account an international realm shaped by such laws
of nature. For example, sovereigns and states may legitimately seek peace
whenever possible simply because peaceful solutions are more expeditious
and less dangerous than recourse to war. Thus, covenants, contract or agree-
ments between states may be entered into, in the spirit of gratitude and
accommodation, even if their breach is not technically unjust. Some such
arrangements, for example providing for ambassadorial immunity, are in the
interest of all sovereigns, allowing free channels of communication between
sovereigns and states.89 In any case, because for Hobbes coerced covenants –
covenants entered into out of fear – are binding, international relations may
be defined by valid contracts between stronger and weaker nations, enforced
with the threat of war.90 Though war is always available to the sovereign, it
should always be for the security and safety of the state, and not the desire
to avenge a past wrong, or out of contumely, arrogance or pride. Indeed,
these principles dictate the way wars should be conducted, limiting as much
as possible unnecessary cruelty in the persecution of war.
This Hobbesian complex of bilateral and multilateral covenants, treaties,
obligations and arrangements provides in some measure the foundation and
framework for a new international hospitality that has as its source the
new, morally neutral entity of the state. In anticipating an international
order that will increasingly be dominated by this entity, it hopes to mod-
erate the dangers of international relations due principally to the ‘glorious
gladiators’, those who seek glory in international war and empire. It will cer-
tainly deny legitimacy to moral wars or crusades based on divine politics.
Haig Patapan 35

The international community will now only condone defensive wars, even
if sovereigns are still the sole judges of such threats to their security. Such
an approach not only is an important contribution to a more peaceful
international order but it also proves to be an essential aspect of securing
domestic peace, in so far as ‘externall violence’ is the principal threat to the
‘everlasting’ commonwealth.91
This approach to international relations, which will require the education
of the sovereigns, will also need to be endorsed by the ‘subjects’ who will
ultimately have significant influence in the initiation and the conduct of
war. Because the sovereign’s success is essentially linked to the strength and
prosperity of the state and its subjects, ‘salus populi’ becomes a powerful nat-
ural check on the sovereign’s actions. In this context, we should note the
importance of Hobbes’ conception of the Rights of Nature for international
relations and how it reinforces the demands for peace. Subjects who gen-
uinely come to view themselves as ‘rights bearers’ will inevitably see all other
human beings, especially those in other countries and nations, in the same
light. The universalism that such rights encourage will tend to undermine
international boundaries and barriers founded upon historical, cultural and
ethical principles. Natural rights will point to the idea of citizen of the world,
favouring a new international hospitality of peace and cooperation.92 Such
subjects will be ever suspicious of sovereigns who initiate wars on any basis
other than self-defence. Educated by Hobbes to fear and suspect power and
glory seeking, they will be ever-vigilant, distrusting the motives of sovereigns
who seem too interested in international aggrandisement. In this way, the
suspicion instilled by the idea of humans as power seekers will not only
assure domestic peace and prosperity but also protect it from the dangers of
external violence.

Leviathan’s children

Hobbes’ political ambition is to protect noble and law-abiding citizens, such

as Sidney Godolphin, who are willing to sacrifice their lives for their country.
To this extent Hobbes himself seems to resemble Godolphin, willing to risk
his own welfare for others. Yet as we have seen and as he frequently admits,
Hobbes’ project is much more novel and ambitious. His intention is noth-
ing less than to educate – in fact sculpt and mould – new human beings,
Leviathan’s children. Leviathan’s children fear their precarious existence and
suspect each other’s motives but rely on their own devices, wrought by their
reason to escape their fraught penury by recognising in each other the essen-
tial equal right of liberty. In this foundational repudiation of pride, they
establish the state that allows them to exercise their liberty in peace and
prosperity at home and internationally. In many respects, it is difficult to
deny that Hobbes has succeeded in his ambitions of introducing a new hos-
pitality into the world. The grand ambition of his vision seems to be fulfilled
36 Leviathan’s Children

not only in practice, in the world of international politics dominated by

states, but especially in the contemporary ubiquity of his concepts of power,
social contract, rights and the state.93
But a lingering sense of unease seems to disturb this apparent success.
Hobbes begins and ends with Godolphin because there is a certain beauty in
the poet who dies for his country. Yet it is also clear that Leviathan’s children,
though displaying all the virtues of Sidney Godolphin, will not necessarily
possess them. Hobbes’ creatures seem too concerned with their own wel-
fare and too suspicious of others to appear as beautiful and hospitable as
Godolphin. They seem to lack Godolphin’s generosity, his courage, in short
his nobility. Godolphin is loveable, but whether Leviathan’s children can
love themselves, remains unclear. We are therefore left with the puzzle of
whether Leviathan’s children, in pursuing their dreams of contented life, are
ultimately sustained by something beyond their reach or understanding, the
noble hospitality of Sidney Godolphin.

1. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, C.B. Macpherson (ed.) (Middlesex, NJ: Penguin Books,
[1651] 1968), p. 75.
2. Ibid., p. 718.
3. Ibid., pp. 718–19.
4. Ibid., p. 719.
5. Ibid., p. 718.
6. Sidney Godolphin, a poet, was killed in action at the age of 33, while advancing
into Devon as a member of Sir Ralph Hopton’s Royalist forces.
7. Hobbes, Leviathan, pp. 728 and 775.
8. Ibid., pp. 728–9. At the very end of his most well-known work, Leviathan, Hobbes
states that having completed his ‘Discourse of Civill and Ecclesiasticall Govern-
ment, occassioned by the disorders of the present time’, he will ‘return to my
interrupted Speculation of Bodies Naturall; (if God give me health to finish it,)
I hope the Novelty will as much please, as in the Doctrine of this Artificial Body
it useth to offend’ (Ibid., pp. 728–9).
9. Hobbes, Leviathan, p. 408.
10. Ibid., p. 379.
11. Ibid., p. 407.
12. Ibid., pp. 82–3. As has often been noted, Hobbes regards his methodological inno-
vation as consisting of applying the principles of mathematics generally, and
geometry more specifically, to human beings. According to him, the results of
such an undertaking – starting with definitions and then adding or subtracting
words until proper conclusions are reached – are irrefutable truths regarding pol-
itics, especially concerning the essential rights of sovereigns and the obedience
owed by subjects.
13. Hobbes, Leviathan, p. 728.
14. Ibid.
15. Ibid., p. 379.
16. Ibid., p. 377. ‘Two sorts of men take up the greatest part of Man-kind’, according
to Hobbes: Those who out of necessity or covetousness keep to their labour or
Haig Patapan 37

trade and others, who out of ‘superfluity, or sloth’ pursue pleasures. Unable to
reflect deeply they receive their notions of duty from the ‘Divines in the Pulpit’,
from their Neghbours or acquaintances, who ‘having the faculty of discoursing
readily’ seem wiser than them. Because Divines and others who show learn-
ing derive their knowledge from Universities, ‘It is therefore manifest, that the
Instructions of the people, dependenth wholly, on the right teaching of Youth in
the Universities’ (Ibid., p. 384).
17. Hobbes’ consistent reference to his teaching as a ‘Novel Doctrine’ shows that his
attempt to refound politics on a rational basis is really a replacement of Scholastic
Doctrine with what appears to be his new scientific piety, with peace as its credo
and power as its theology (Ibid., p. 726). Therefore, his ‘Principles of Reason’
are another contending dogma, and Leviathan is the new Bible of the Hobbesian
world, even containing its own Ten Commandments (Ibid., pp. 380–3).
18. Compare this with his consistent attempt to reject trust and faith in the authority
of books. He says, for example, that ‘they that trusting onely to the authority of
books, follow the blind blindly’ (Ibid., p. 21). Indeed, words ‘are the mony of
fooles, that value them by the authority of an Aristotle, Cicero, or a Thomas, or
any other Doctor whatsoever’ (Ibid., p. 106).
19. Hobbes, Leviathan, pp. 627–81.
20. Ibid., pp. 682–703.
21. Although he does says that the Schoolmen may not have always appropriated
Aristotle’s true teaching because they did not understand his need to write in
such as way as to avoid the fate of Socrates (Ibid., p. 692). He singles out the
famous scholastic Suarez, whom he attacks for writing ‘whole volumes’ of so
much ‘Absurdity’ that Suarez must have been either ‘Mad’ or trying ‘to make
others so’ (Ibid., p. 147).
22. For a comprehensive account of friendship, see Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics
(especially books 8 and 9). For classical thinkers, influenced by Socrates, friend-
ship has an important political dimension. In Plato, friendship has a political
aspect as the fruit of the art of justice in the cities (Cleitophon, 409d; see also
Lysis). Xenophon’s Education of Cyrus shows how friendship is the essence of pol-
itics. According to Aristotle, friendship seems to hold cities together, and law
makers seem to take it more seriously than justice. For ‘when people are friends
there is no need of justice, but when they are just there is still need of friendship’
(Nicomachean Ethics, 1155a 20). It was this personal and political understanding
of friendship that was adopted and developed by Cicero in his famous Amicitia.
23. Hobbes, Leviathan, pp. 160 and 225.
24. Ibid., p. 160.
25. Ibid., pp. 120–1.
26. Ibid., p. 118.
27. Ibid., p. 160.
28. Ibid., pp. 124 and 161.
29. Ibid., p. 161.
30. Ibid., p. 139.
31. Ibid., p. 383.
32. Ibid., p. 190. ‘The Fundamental Law of Nature’ is ‘That every man, ought to endeav-
our Peace, as farre as he has hope of obtaining it; and when he cannot obtain it, that he
may seek, and use, all helps and advantages of Warre’ (Ibid., p. 190; original italics).
33. The ‘Desires, and other Passions of man, are in themselves no Sin’. Ibid., p. 187.
Indeed, it is so true that there is no ‘such thing as . . . simply good’ that ‘even the
38 Leviathan’s Children

goodness of which we ascribe to God Almighty, is his goodness to us’ (Hobbes,

Human Nature, in Thomas Hobbes, The Elements of Law: Human Nature and De
Corpore Politico, J.C.A. Gaskin (ed.) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, [1640, 1650]
1994), VIII, 3.)
34. Hobbes, Leviathan, p. 387.
35. Ibid., p. 704.
36. Ibid., p. 378.
37. See Aristotle’s Politics (1253a 1–3): ‘From these things it is evident, then, that the
city belongs among the things that exist by nature, and that man is by nature
a political animal’ (trans. with introduction, notes and glossary Carnes Lord,
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984).
38. According to Aristotle, ‘It is evident, therefore, that the city is not a partnership
in a location and the sake of not committing injustice against each other and of
transacting business’ (Politics 1280b 32). Therefore, ‘A city is the partnernship of
families and villages in a complete and self-sufficient life. This, we assert, is living
happily and finely. The political partnership must be regarded, therefore, as being
for the sake of noble actions, not for the sake of living together’ (Politics 1281a
39. See Augustine’s City of God IV, 4 etc.
40. Hobbes, Leviathan, pp. 185–6.
41. Ibid., p. 227.
42. Ibid.
43. Ibid., p. 223.
44. Ibid., pp. 239–40. Hobbes also rejects the classical idea of rule of law (Ibid., p. 699).
45. Hobbes, Leviathan, p. 699.
46. Ibid., p. 173.
47. ‘For every man, if he be in his wits, will in all things yield that man an absolute
obediance, by virtue of whose sentence he believes himself to be either saved
or damned’ (Hobbes, De Cive, in Man and Citizen, Bernard Gert (ed. with trans.)
(Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 87–386), p. 385).
48. Hobbes, Leviathan, p. 448.
49. Ibid., p. 610.
50. Ibid., p. 612.
51. Hobbes demonstrates this with reference to the words of the Evangelists, sermons
of the Apostles, the ease of the doctrine and clear Scriptural references (Ibid.,
pp. 615–18).
52. Hobbes, Leviathan, p. 211.
53. Ibid., p. 189.
54. Ibid., p. 190, original italics.
55. The remaining 17 laws are enumerated in Chapter 15: 3. justice; 4. gratitude;
5. compleasance; 6. pardon; 7. to look to the future in revenge; 8. against contu-
mely; 9. against pride; 10. against arrogance; 11. equity; 12. equal use of common
things; 13. the use of lot; 14, primogeniture; 15. mediators; 16. submission to
arbitrement; 17. no man is his own judge; 18. impartiality of judges.
56. The Law of Nature contains the ‘Fundamentall Law of Nature’, which is ‘to seek
Peace, and follow it’, and the Right of Nature, which is, ‘By all means we can, to
defend ourselves’ ( Hobbes, Leviathan, pp. 189–90).
57. Hobbes, Leviathan, p. 138. ‘For there are very few so foolish, that had not rather
governe themselves, than be governed by others’ (Ibid., p. 211). For his more
profound critique of Prudence, see his distinction between ‘Prudence’, based on
Haig Patapan 39

experience, and ‘Science’, which relies on ‘Reason’ and ‘Reckoning (that is, Adding
and Subtracting) of the Consequences of generall names agreed upon’ (see Ibid.,
pp. 97 and 111–15).
58. Hobbes, Leviathan, p. 139.
59. Ibid., pp. 161, 188 and 264.
60. See Macpherson’s critique of Hobbes as the origin of ‘bourgeois equality’ (Ibid.,
p. 51). On this point, see also Leo Strauss, The Political Philosophy of Hobbes, Its
Basis and Its Genesis (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1953).
61. Hobbes, Human Nature, in Thomas Hobbes, The Elements of Law: Human Nature
and De Corpore Politico, J.C.A. Gaskin (ed.) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994).
62. This discussion draws on Haig Patapan and Jeffrey Sikkenga, ‘Love and the
Leviathan: Thomas Hobbes’ Critique of Platonic Eros’, Political Theory: An Inter-
national Journal of Political Philosophy 36:6 (2008), pp. 803–26.
63. Hobbes, Leviathan, p. 161 and Hobbes, Human Nature, p. 3.
64. Hobbes, Leviathan, p. 185.
65. Ibid.
66. Ibid., p. 123.
67. Ibid., p. 125. There are two types of glorying: confidence and vain glory. Con-
fidence is a ‘constant hope of ourselves’ based on ‘the experience’ of our ‘own
former actions’ (Ibid., p. 39). Vain glory is imagining power based ‘on the flattery
or others; or onely supposed by himselfe, for delight in the consequences of it’
(Ibid., p. 39).
68. Hobbes, Leviathan, p. 184.
69. Ibid., p. 185.
70. Ibid.
71. On the problem of glory, see generally Strauss, The Political Philosophy of Hobbes;
Gabriella Slomp, Thomas Hobbes and the Political Philosophy of Glory (Houndmills:
Macmillan Press Ltd., 2000) and the chapters by Hampton, Sacksteder and Altman
in Peter Caws (ed.), The Causes of Quarrel – Essays on Peace, War and Thomas Hobbes
(Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1989).
72. Hobbes, Leviathan, p. 682. Reason allows humans to proceed from elements
to assertions and to reduce consequences to general rules or ‘Theoremes, or
Aphorismes’ (Ibid., p. 113). Reason gives rise to Science, which is ‘the knowl-
edge of Consequences, and dependence of one fact upon another’ (Ibid., p. 115).
Proper reasoning thus results in ‘generall, eternall, and immutable Truth’ (Ibid.,
p. 682). A person who ‘pretends to Reasoning’ is a ‘Philosopher’, and the ‘Regis-
ters of Science, are such Books as contain the Demonstrations of Consequences
of one Affirmation, to another; and are commonly called Books of Philosophy’
(Ibid., pp. 147–8).
73. Hobbes, Leviathan, p. 169.
74. Curiosity itself is ‘a Lust of the mind, that by a perseverance of delight in the
continuall and indefatigable generation of knowledge, exceedeth the short vehe-
mence of any carnall Pleasure’ (Ibid., p. 124). These pleasures of the mind Hobbes
defines as ‘Joy’.
75. Hobbes, Leviathan, p. 683.
76. Ibid., pp. 683–4.
77. Ibid., p. 162.
78. Ibid., p. 186.
79. Note that in raising this question we indirectly examine the hospitality of the
other new entity created by the ‘Art of man’, the ‘Soveraigne’. For a more
40 Leviathan’s Children

extensive discussion of Hobbes’ international relations, see Haig Patapan, ‘Dan-

gerous Passions: Glory and Honor in International Relations’, Air and Space Power
Journal – Africa and Francophonie 2:3 (2011), pp. 54–74.
80. Hobbes, Leviathan, p. 394.
81. Deceptively simple because in reducing the Law of Nations to Hobbesian Law of
Nature he implicitly repudiates stoic notions of ius gentium: see Thomas Pangle
and Peter J. Ahrensdorf, Justice Among Nations: On the Moral Basis of Power and
Peace (Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 1999), pp. 144–53. For Hobbes’ earlier
account of the place of international relations, see his De Cive (in Hobbes, Man
and Citizen).
82. Hobbes, Leviathan, pp. 187 and 186.
83. For the influence of Hobbes on modern realists, such as Morgenthau, Niebhur,
Carr, Butterfield, Osgood, Kennan, Beitz and Kissinger, see C. Navari, ‘Hobbes, the
State of Nature and the Laws of Nature’, in Ian Clark and Iver Neumann (eds.),
Classical Theories of International Relations (Houndmills: Macmillan Press, 1996);
H. Williams, International Relations in Political Theory (Milton Keynes: Open Uni-
versity Press, 1992); and M. Smith, Realist Thought from Weber to Kissinger (Baton
Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1986). On his continuing influence on
neo-realists, such as Walz, see Pangle and Ahrensdorf, Justice Among Nations,
pp. 239–57.
84. It became the basis of the so-called English school of international relations:
see Hedley Bull, ‘Hobbes and International Anarchy’, Social Research 41 (1977),
pp. 717–38; Claire Cutler, ‘The Grotian Tradition in International Relations’,
Review of International Studies 17 (1991), pp. 41–65; Martin Wight, International
Relations: Three Traditions (London: Holmes and Meier, 1992) and the discussion
in Williams, International Relations in Political Theory.
85. I draw on Laurie Johnson, Thucydides, Hobbes, and the Interpretation of Realism
(Northern Illinois: DeKalb, 1993), pp. 87–94. For similar or more ambitious
attempts to develop a Hobbesian law of nations, see Donald W. Hanson, ‘Thomas
Hobbes’s ‘Highway to Peace’, International Organization Spring 38:2 (1984),
pp. 329–54 and Francis Cheneval, ‘The Hobbesian case for Multilateralism’, Swiss
Political Science Review 13:3 (2007), pp. 309–35.
86. Hobbes, Leviathan, pp. 160 and 223.
87. Ibid., pp. 187–8.
88. Johnson, Thucydides, Hobbes, and the Interpretation of Realism, p. 87.
89. Hobbes, Leviathan, p. 293.
90. Ibid., p. 198.
91. Ibid., p. 378.
92. Though Hobbes never envisaged Kantian world government, he certainly estab-
lished the foundations for such a possibility.
93. Even his most vehement critics argue on his terms: see, for example, Rousseau
and Marx, who do not abandon power or contract, and Nietzsche, who founds
his entire philosophy on ‘will to power’.
Right of Entry or Right of Refusal?
Hospitality in the Law of Nature
and Nations
Gideon Baker

This chapter engages the idea of a law of hospitality which was articu-
lated in the natural law tradition from Francisco de Vitoria in the early
sixteenth century to Immanuel Kant in the late eighteenth – Kant’s being
the last significant contribution to this tradition. It argues that the account
of hospitality in the ‘law of nations’ provided by this early modern tra-
dition of thought was bounded by two poles – right of communication
and right of property – which, while mutually constitutive of a law of
hospitality, also continually threatened to unravel it. While any law of hos-
pitality requires that travellers have rights to hospitable treatment, it also
depends upon their hosts having some claim to exclusive property in their
domains or territories. The tension between these two irreducible poles of
hospitality, a feature of hospitality that Jacques Derrida has demonstrated
in quite other contexts, is, it is argued, an enduring feature of otherwise
very different accounts of the law of hospitality in the early modern nat-
ural law tradition.1 Three of the natural lawyers who consider hospitality
in some detail, namely Vitoria, Grotius and Vattel (Vitoria and Vattel are
the focus of the first section), make little headway in stabilising the two
poles of right of communication – right of property in hospitality, despite
tending towards different poles (Vitoria towards right of communication
and Vattel towards right of property). Pufendorf and Kant, the subjects
of sections two and three respectively, make more headway in stabilising
their discussions of hospitality, Pufendorf by prioritising property and Kant
in the name of communication. However, the price paid for this stabilisa-
tion of the terms of international hospitality in these two accounts is fatal
for the law of hospitality itself – in Pufendorf’s case because hospitality is
reduced to charity, thereby ceasing to function as right of nature and in
Kant’s case because, though it is a matter of right, hospitality is instrumen-
talised, operating as the means to the accomplishment of a cosmopolitan

42 Right of Entry or Right of Refusal?

constitutional condition under which such a right of hospitality would be

rendered obsolete.
After Kant, hospitality, along with the natural law tradition in which it
was embedded, largely disappears from accounts of the international, and
this is typically held to be due to its eclipse by the rising nationalism and
legal positivism of the early nineteenth century – the latter view leading
to the rejection of natural rights as, in Bentham’s well-known phrase, so
much ‘nonsense on stilts’.2 The trend towards construction of a historical
sociology, rather than a natural law, of hospitality begins even earlier, in
the Scottish Enlightenment’s dismissal, reflecting aspects of Montesquieu’s
critique,3 of hospitality as bucolic backwardness characterised by the idle
and wasteful indulgence of feudal elites prior to the emergence of a more
‘cultivated’, commercial age.4 We do not encounter much thought of inter-
national hospitality again until its reappearance, if only implicitly, in the
refugee and asylum provisions of international law after 1945. Perhaps this
is unsurprising since current international law is built, amongst other things,
on an idea of human rights which is itself to some extent a reactivation of
natural law themes.5
The importance of hospitality to early modern accounts of the interna-
tional stemmed from the widely held view that, as an outworking of innate
human sociability, there was a natural right of communication.6 Hospital-
ity, the welcome of the stranger, was thereby seen as a key tenet of the
law of nature and nations. Anthony Pagden has described an ‘evolving’
European idea, from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, of a common
human identity or ‘world civilization’ made up of differing societies that
nonetheless all subscribed to certain ‘natural’ rules or objectives which set
the terms of ‘natural rights’. Crucially, this implied something like a right of
free passage.7 Pagden reads the early sixteenth century Spanish scholastic,
Francisco de Vitoria, as marking the point at which the Aristotelian, specif-
ically Thomist, account of the loss of mankind’s original liberties is initially
interpreted as an incomplete process in which the ‘right of natural partner-
ship and communication’ is retained.8 Vitoria, claims Pagden, is thus the
first to turn hospitality from an ancient Greek custom to a right under the
law of nations. Pagden also reminds us of the ancient roots of this right
of communication in the humanist tradition going back to the Stoics, who
worked with the idea of a common law for all humanity.9 Thus, Grotius
utilised both Vitoria’s neo-Thomist reasoning and various Stoic thinkers,
including Seneca, in order to develop his own account of a principle of
‘natural society and communication’ as set out in The Freedom of the Seas
(1607). Grotius drew on the Stoic sense that a world of widely distributed
goods and the communication and commerce this necessitated were an
expression of divine purpose. After Grotius we get Vattel’s ‘ties of the uni-
versal society which nature has established among men’ and, finally, Kant’s
Stoic-influenced (by Cicero, in particular) right of communication under the
Gideon Baker 43

cosmopolitan law of hospitality as set out in Perpetual Peace.10 In short, for

the natural law tradition stretching from Vitoria to Kant (with the excep-
tion of Pufendorf), the right of communication and, stemming from this,
the right of hospitality, is a key tenet of the law of nature itself. Because
the right of communication arises from the very nature of humans as social
animals, hospitality is seen as a perfect right that no human agency can
abrogate, including, fatally, native hosts of inhospitable – as in colonising –
European guests.11
It is of course possible to see the natural lawyers’ discourse on hospital-
ity as less tied to imperial imperatives than Pagden does. A different reading
would point to a gradual move away from an initial emphasis on the per-
fect right of hospitality enjoyed by European guests on savage shores (which
reflected concerns arising out of the European voyages of discovery in the
early sixteenth century) and towards a more universalistic account of an
imperfect right which hosts are morally bound to honour in the case of
necessitous guests only (such as the shipwrecked and others whose death
will result if a welcome is refused). Also, while Vitoria sees the natural
law of hospitality as implying rights of residence, later theorists, including
(in)famously Kant, agree that we are talking about a right of visitation only.
In Georg Cavallar’s view, there is evolution here, and it is marked by the pro-
gressive ‘thinning out’ of the (cosmopolitan) concept of justice implied by
hospitality, a justice which starts off thickly embedded in particular, natural
law-based, accounts of hospitality, and reaches its cosmopolitan ‘climax’ in
Kant’s ‘thin conception of political justice’.12
There is a danger with reading hospitality in the natural law tradition in
this way or even in the other direction – as driven by the attempt to legiti-
mate European appropriation. As Ian Hunter notes, whether read negatively
as justifying colonialism or positively as containing the seeds of cosmopoli-
tan ideals, ‘critical’ accounts of the law of nations in early modernity equally
project a history of what this law ‘should have been or could have become,
as opposed to a history of what it contingently happened to be’.13 Critics
on either side of the natural law debate thus share a metaphysical assump-
tion ‘that there is a global principle of justice capable of including European
and non-European peoples within the “universal history” of its unfolding’.14
Complementing these contextualising insights of intellectual history, the
argument here is that if there is a universal and enduring feature of the nat-
ural lawyers discourse on hospitality, then it takes the form of an absence
rather than a presence – the repeated failure to finally stabilise the right to
property with that of communication in hospitality.15 This is a tension that
no theorist is able to resolve or even to contain precisely because, while prop-
erty and communication constitute the possibility of hospitality, they also
undermine one another.
Unlike contextual history, which limits itself to showing the local and par-
ticular in the so-called global and universal, such an analysis helps to explain
44 Right of Entry or Right of Refusal?

a feature of international theory today – the invisibility of or inattention to

hospitality that we find in it. It will be argued that it was precisely the inabil-
ity of the natural lawyers to stabilise the terms of hospitality, the fact that it
remained an enduring problem for them, that ensured its visibility. But with
the stabilisation of the terms of hospitality, following either a Pufendorfian
prioritisation of property (realists) or a Kantian lionisation of communica-
tion (idealists), hospitality ceases to be seen as at issue in the international
and drops out of sight accordingly. In other words, disciplinary interna-
tional relation’s tendency towards one or the other pole of the binary of
communication—property renders hospitality largely invisible.16 For realists,
focused on sovereign property, the fact that hospitality remains a significant
norm and practice in international relations (from international refugee and
asylum law to summit meetings, state visits and exchange of diplomats) is
simply overlooked.17 For idealists of the neo-Kantian variety, convinced of
the transcendent role of global communication, the divisions of property
in international politics are something to go beyond. But with this valori-
sation of communication over property, neo-Kantian discourse, following
Kant himself, arguably anticipates a world politics without foreigners and
thus without hospitality. This has been unremarked on in the literature to
date, and the explanation for this must be that liberal cosmopolitan dis-
course is just as inattentive to the conditions of possibility of hospitality as
realist discourse is to hospitality’s effects. Given that hospitality, as welcome
of the foreigner, is arguably the very principle of ethics itself, such neglect
deserves to be overcome.18

Unstable hospitality: Vitoria and Vattel

Given in 1539 at the University of Salamanca, Francisco de Vitoria’s lec-

tures On the American Indians engage the question of the rightful basis of
Spanish dominion over ‘these barbarians in the New World, commonly
called Indians’.19 Vitoria argues in these lectures that the Indians have ‘true
dominion’ over their goods and lands: first, because heretical beliefs do not
invalidate ownership (‘For the Lord maketh his sun to rise on the evil and
on the good’); second, because the argument from de facto Spanish power
would by extension imply that ‘a robber would have right over other men’
and, third, because the barbarians ‘are not in point of fact madmen, but
have judgement like other men’.20 Vitoria also dismisses the argument for
usurpation based on the Holy Roman Emperor being master of the world.
‘Even those who attribute dominion of the whole world to the emperor’,
says Vitoria, ‘do not claim that he has it by property, but only that he has
it by jurisdiction. Such a right does not include the licence to turn whole
countries to his own use . . . ’.21 ‘It is clear from all that I have said that the
Spaniards, when they first sailed to the land of the barbarians, carried with
them no right at all to occupy their countries’.22 Under the law of nations,
Gideon Baker 45

only lands and goods which belong to no owner can pass to the occupier.
Having established that the Indians have dominion, Vitoria is thereby able
to state that their goods ‘do not fall under this title’.23 The right to property
is hereby universalised. Christian nations are not the only ones entitled to
their domains; the Spanish are thereby guests in other people’s homes.
In which case, by what right were the Spanish in the Americas at all given
that they were not invited? The possible ‘just titles’ for Spanish colonisation
that Vitoria considers start with that of ‘natural partnership and communica-
tion’, a precept of ‘the law of nations’ ‘which either is natural law or derives
from it’.24 Vitoria’s right of hospitality here is constituted by a range of spe-
cific rights. These are, first ‘the right to travel and dwell in those countries,
so long as they do no harm to the barbarians, and cannot be prevented by
them from doing so’.25 Second, ‘The Spaniards may lawfully trade among
the barbarians, so long as they do no harm to their homeland’.26 Third,
‘if there are any things among the barbarians which are held in common
both by their own people and by strangers, it is not lawful for the barbar-
ians to prohibit the Spaniards from sharing and enjoying them’.27 Fourth,
‘if children born in the Indies of a Spanish father wish to become citizens
(cives) of that community, they cannot be barred from citizenship or from
the advantages enjoyed by the native citizens born of parents domiciled in
that community’.28
Although Vitoria clearly has serious doubts about Spanish conduct and
certainly does not claim unconditional rights for his compatriots, who must
do no harm, he thereby defends a right of hospitality. This right, if not
unlimited, is perfect in the sense that it creates non-voluntary obligations
on hosts – there is no communal right of inhospitality: ‘to refuse to wel-
come strangers and foreigners is inherently evil’.29 It is worth considering in
more detail Vitoria’s attempt to rule out the possibility that the American
Indians might justly close their doors to the Spanish. Vitoria starts by argu-
ing that it is universally considered inhuman to ‘treat strangers and travellers
badly without some special cause, humane and dutiful to behave hospitably
to strangers. This would not be the case if travellers were doing something
evil by visiting foreign nations’.30 In addition, at the beginning of the world
all was held in common; people could visit and travel through all lands as
they wished. The ‘division of property’ characteristic of the rise of nations
in no way invalidates this original ‘free mutual intercourse’.31 Besides, that
which does no harm is lawful; therefore benign guests cannot lawfully be
turned away. To banish a visitor is anyway tantamount to exile, which is
considered a punishment for the most serious crimes. Indeed, to expel from
or prevent entry to a territory is nothing less than an act of war, and ‘the bar-
barians have no just war against the Spaniards, assuming they are doing no
harm’.32 Bolstering his argument with classical, scriptural and ecclesiastical
injunctions to hospitality, Vitoria concludes that ‘the barbarians are obliged
to love their neighbours [the Spanish] as themselves and may not lawfully
46 Right of Entry or Right of Refusal?

bar them from their homeland without due cause’.33 As hospitality is thus a
law of nature it is also inalienable – any positive human law which sought
to bar foreigners would simply be without foundation, ‘without the force of
law’.34 The right of hospitality may therefore be enforced by Vitoria’s com-
patriots if it is not upheld since anyone whose right has been infringed may
justly resort to war.
In the context of the ongoing Spanish conquest of the Americas and
notwithstanding his ‘harm’ principle, the fact that Vitoria’s right of hos-
pitality is both a right to dwell and one that does not require the consent
of the native inhabitants appears to place it within a discourse legitimating
colonial appropriation. Indeed, Vitoria’s contemporary, Domingo de Soto,
wondered why native Americans were constrained to offer hospitality to
gold-mining Spaniards when ‘neither can the French enter into Spain for
the same purpose, nor can we enter France without the permission of the
French’.35 One reason stands out: despite having undermined the right to
property by emphasising a very extensive, indeed perfect, right of commu-
nication, Vitoria could not plausibly have applied this to relations between
Europeans. Such generous hospitality could seem reasonable only in regard
to Europeans as travellers to savage shores. In which case, as another of
Vitoria’s contemporaries, theologian Melchor Cano, put it, the problem was
that the Spanish had no more gone to America as mere ‘travellers’ than had
Alexander the Great on his sojourns, and ‘We would not be prepared to
describe Alexander the Great as a traveller’.36
Yet although the right of communication is perfect and extensive in
Vitorian hospitality, the parallel right to property, thin though it is, desta-
bilises this right. The Indians have dominion over their lands even if they
cannot claim exclusive property rights in them. Though the Spanish can
stay indefinitely and help themselves to ‘common’ property such as gold in
the ground, they are still ‘guests’ in some sense. Without going as far towards
the pole of communication as Vitoria, this unresolved tension between right
of communication and right of property in Vitorian hospitality is repeated
later in the accounts given by Hugo Grotius and Emmerich de Vattel. In The
Freedom of the Seas (1609), Grotius, despite universalising the right to prop-
erty, continues to hold the Aristotelian notion of natural sociability and so
makes hospitality a perfect – that is, enforceable – right.37 He thereby also sets
in motion a profound indeterminacy between natural sociability and private
property in hospitality. But it is in Vattel that we see this indeterminacy at its
most obvious. In his Law of Nations (1758), Vattel devotes a chapter to ‘Rules
with Respect to Foreigners’, specifying that he means to treat not foreign res-
idents but ‘only those foreigners who pass through or sojourn in a country,
either on business, or as travellers’.38 At the beginning of this chapter, Vattel
states his intention for it, which includes drawing a distinction between the
requirements of ‘humanity and justice’ and the ‘rules of the law of nations’
that would have made no sense to Vitoria:
Gideon Baker 47

the intention of this chapter is not so much to show what humanity and
justice requires towards foreigners, as to establish the rules of the law of
nations on the subject – rules tending to secure the rights of all parties,
and to prevent the repose of nations being disturbed by the quarrels of

Vattel is quick to establish that property comes before communication: ‘the

lord of the territory may, whenever he thinks proper, forbid its being entered,
he has, no doubt, a power to annex what conditions he pleases to the per-
mission to enter. This . . . is a consequence of the right of domain’.40 Yet Vattel
immediately complicates this succinct statement of hospitality as an imper-
fect duty by then magnifying its importance: ‘Can it be necessary to add,
that the owner of the territory ought, in this instance, to respect the duties
of humanity?’.41
Like the other natural lawyers, Vattel goes on to mention the inhospitality
of the Chinese and Japanese without in any way condemning it; property
or ‘domain’ trumps hospitality here.42 Yet Vattel directly thereafter cites
Grotius to the contrary, agreeing with him that, given universal abhorrence
at inhospitality, those tribes that treat strangers ill exclude themselves ‘from
the great society of mankind’. ‘All other nations’ thereby have ‘a right to
unite their forces in order to chastise them’.43 After Vitoria and Grotius,
Vattel’s account of hospitality is built upon a right of communication itself
premised upon human sociability:

Being received in a foreign country, in virtue of the natural society, the

communication, and commerce which nations are obliged to cultivate
with each other, he [the travelling foreigner] ought to be considered there
as a member of his own nation, and treated as such.44

Vattel also continues the scholastic theme of a primordial communism when

‘men had, without distinction, a right to the use of every thing, as far as was
necessary to the discharge of their natural obligations’. Against this back-
drop, the introduction of ‘domain and property’ cannot have taken place
without the following ‘tacit restriction’:

that every man should still preserve some right to the things subjected
to property, in those cases where, without this right, he would remain
absolutely deprived of the necessary use of things of this nature. This
right is a necessary remnant of the primitive state of communion.45

From this it follows, Vattel reasons, that ‘notwithstanding the domain of

nations’, ‘each nation still retains some right to what is possessed by others’
in those things required for the fulfilment of their natural obligations.46 The
‘right of passage’ is one ‘remnant’ of this primitive state of communion, ‘in
48 Right of Entry or Right of Refusal?

which the entire earth was common to all mankind, and the passage was
everywhere free to each individual according to his necessities. Nobody can
be entirely deprived of this right’.47 ‘The introduction of property cannot
be supposed to have deprived nations of the general right of traversing the
earth for the purposes of mutual intercourse, of carrying on commerce with
each other, and for other just reasons’.48
Kant would soon appear to build his account of a cosmopolitan right of
hospitality on a near identical argument. Just as Kant’s foreigner cannot be
turned away if doing so will cause his destruction, so too for Vattel, ‘Extreme
necessity revives the primitive communion, the abolition of which ought
to deprive no person of the necessities of life’; ‘every man has a right to
dwell somewhere upon earth’.49 Also at one with Kant’s understanding of
cosmopolitan law as relating to rights (of hospitality) held by individual
subjects in relation to foreign states, Vattel is clear that the right to the neces-
sities of life ‘belongs to individuals, when a foreign nation refuses them a just
assistance’. But unlike Kant, whose right of hospitality is imperfect, Vattel
retains the Vitorian (and Grotian) emphasis on the perfect right of guests
to forcibly demand hospitality when it is denied to them, though only in
the case of necessity, a proviso absent in Vitoria given that right is always
perfect for him. For Vattel, contra Vitoria, ‘The right of innocent use’, that
right relating to the use of inexhaustible things such as rivers and ports, ‘is
not a perfect right, like that of necessity’ and can be legitimately withheld by
its owner.50 Notwithstanding this distinction, because the right of necessity
is a perfect right, hospitality can still be forcibly taken, narrowing the gap
between Vitoria and Vattel’s accounts. Indeed, in the following passage, and
despite his earlier assurance that ‘the lord of the territory may, whenever he
thinks proper, forbid its being entered’, necessity makes a perfect right of
hospitality where European travellers are concerned:

Captain Bontekoe, a Dutchman, having lost his vessel at sea, escaped in

his boat, with a part of his crew, and landed on an Indian coast, where the
barbarous inhabitants refusing him provisions, the Dutch obtained them
sword in hand.51

Is Vattel being ‘Eurocentric’ here, or is it because his discourse is casuistical

that he refuses to accept that principles such as hospitality apply uniformly
in all circumstances?52 In the case of Captain Bontekoe, the travellers, regard-
less of their being European, find themselves in extremis. Yet despite his
casuistry, which actually only highlights it, we are beginning to see a ten-
sion running through Vattel’s entire argument, and it is not much helped
by the distinction between perfect and imperfect right. Though nobody, on
the one hand, can be ‘entirely deprived’ of the primitive right of passage,
though the exercise of such a right is only ‘limited’, not abrogated, by the
introduction of domain and property, yet, on the other hand, ‘The effect
Gideon Baker 49

of property is, to give the proprietor’s advantage a preference over that of all
others’.53 He is ‘bound to grant a passage for lawful purposes’ only ‘whenever
he can do it without inconvenience to himself’.54 Yet this apparent resolu-
tion in favour of property over communication is repeatedly undermined:
when refused admission to a territory by its owner, ‘forcing a passage’, is still
rightful ‘in spite of him’ if one has ‘some reason more cogent than all his
reasons to the contrary. Such is the right of necessity’.55 At this point, like
Vitoria, Vattel appears to leave the final judgement on when hospitality can
legitimately be denied up to the guest to determine. The implication that
Europeans can continue to be the arbiters of their own reception might also
be thought the same as in Vitoria, except that, unlike Vitoria, Vattel is at
this point discussing ‘rights which belong to all nations’ rather than rights
which Europeans have in the Americas. Furthermore, another example that
Vattel gives in order to clarify his discussion appears to give the final trump
card to the host community when self-preservation is at stake:

Thus, a vessel driven by stress of weather has a right to enter, even by

force, into a foreign port. But, if the vessel is affected with the plague, the
wonder of the port may fire upon it and beat it off, without any violation
either of justice or even of charity, which, in such a case, ought doubtless
to begin at home.56

However understandable this course of action, it would still have constituted

a violation of natural law for Vitoria. Vattel’s right of passage is ultimately
less stringent, not to mention much less extensive, than Vitoria’s right of
In the end, and despite the undoubted subtlety and flexibility of his casu-
istical method, Vattel cannot allow himself to let hospitality undermine
property. In concluding his discussion of the ‘rights which belong to all
nations’, ‘it is the nation in whom the property is vested that is to deter-
mine whether the use which others wish to make of what belongs to her be
really innocent . . . . The domain gives only the right of judging, in particular
cases, whether the use be really innocent’.58 While the right of necessity can
be utilised by the unwelcome guest in extremis (and, perhaps instructively,
Vattel’s only example of this right in operation relates to Europeans in the
Indies), the right of hospitality is for the host to judge and his obligation is
a matter of conscience only:

In explaining the effects of domain we have said above that the owner
of the territory may forbid the entrance into it, or permit it on such
conditions as he thinks proper. We were then treating of his external
right, – that which foreigners are bound to respect. But now that we are
considering the matter in another view, and as it relates to his duties
and to his internal right, we may venture to assert that he cannot,
50 Right of Entry or Right of Refusal?

without particular and important reasons, refuse permission, either to

pass through or reside in the country, to foreigners who desire it for law-
ful purposes. For, their passage or their residence being in this case an
innocent advantage, the law of nature does not give him a right to refuse
it: and, though other nations and other men in general are obliged to
submit to his judgement, he does not the less offend against his duty, if
he refuses without sufficient reason: he then acts without any true right;
he only abuses his external right.59

There is a natural law of hospitality here, but it is for states to decide when
and how it operates. Hospitality as an imperfect right is transformed into
the gift of the sovereign.60 And yet, while the sovereign himself cannot
ultimately be bound by the law of hospitality, every hospitable citizen ‘dis-
charges his duty to mankind, while at the same time render[ing] essential
services to his country’.61 Vattel’s assumption seems to be that hospitality
can unite twin duties to humanity and nation, but, on the basis of the man-
ifest indeterminacy of his own cases, we might fairly say that this optimism
seems misplaced. Like Vitoria and Grotius before him, Vattel ultimately
cannot decide between right of communication and right of property in

The stabilisation of hospitality via property: Pufendorf

Samuel von Pufendorf is notable as the first of the natural lawyers to

stress the right of any community to refuse visitors. As Pufendorf writes
in The Law of Nature and Nations (1672), though we ought to offer hospi-
tality where it will do us no harm, ‘Reason forbids that any one should
raise a lasting Structure or Edifice . . . without express Allowance from the
Sovereign’.62 Against the tendency of the Ancients to elevate the ‘Right of
Hospitality’ to the ‘most sacred Friendship’, hospitality obligates only if
‘the Stranger be absent from his own House on an honest, or on a neces-
sary Account; as also that we have no Objection against his Integrity, or
Character, which might render our Admission of him, either damaging or

Now although Inhospitality be commonly, and for the most part justly
censured as the true Mark of a savage and inhuman Temper, yet the Point
will now and then bear a dispute, especially as to the Case of those who
wander into foreign countries purely on account of Curiosity.63

Pufendorf seeks to move international hospitality from a perfect to an imper-

fect duty analogous to friendship – while it may be desirable, it is not
enforceable, no right comes attached to it:64
Gideon Baker 51

The Duties here meant, by such as could not have been extorted by Force
or Law, are such as are not absolutely necessary for the Preservation of
Mankind, and for the Support of Human Society in general, although they
serve to embellish it, and render it more commodious. Such are the Duties
of Compassion, Liberality, Beneficence, Gratitude, Hospitality, and in one
word all that is contain’d under that comprehensive Name of Charity, or
Humanity, as it is oppos’d to rigorous Justice properly so call’d, the Duties
of which, generally speaking, have their Foundation in Agreement.65

Hospitality, for Pufendorf, is charity, and charity can of course be refused.

The agreement of Vitoria and Grotius on a right of international hospital-
ity (the former in the name of mission, the latter in the name of trade) of
course ruled out such a right of refusal – though guests should be hospitable
in not appropriating the homes of their hosts, no host has the right to close
his door. The bases of Pufendorf’s ‘right’ of communal inhospitality do not
issue in any concern with colonial appropriation, of course, but rather in the
break from the old (Aristotelian) school’s search for the good in the nature
of things brought about by his attempt to restrict or ‘detranscendentalise’
natural law by limiting it to the positive laws of a territorial sovereign.66
Only by containing law within spatial boundaries – namely, by denying that
the law of nations has the status of law at all – can the destabilising effects
of trans-territorial allegiances (especially religious affiliations given their key
role in the civil and international conflicts of Pufendorf’s time) be brought
under control. This hardening of the meaning of sovereignty in Pufendorf is
echoed in his treatment of property. Like the other natural lawyers, in The
Whole Duty of Man (1691) Pufendorf held that, originally, there was common
dominion and that property is established first by use but otherwise remains
in common.67 But unlike Grotius, whom he defines himself against on this
point, Pufendorf does not believe that, following the establishment of pri-
vate property, this right of common use revives under dire necessity. This
would undermine both the security of property and the ability of property
holders to differentiate between deserving and undeserving cases. Perhaps
most importantly, a revival of the natural right to common property in
the case of necessity would remove the opportunity for property holders
to show mercy to the needy and for the needy to respond with gratitude.68
After all, ownership was established, on the one hand, in order to provide
the owner with the opportunity to show largesse to others and thereby put
them under obligation to him. On the other hand, ‘all this Merit and Obli-
gation is cut off, when we give another only what he might otherwise, as
his Right and Due, violently take from us’.69 Humanitarian duty and the
right to common property in extremis are, for Pufendorf, incompatible. The
implication of Pufendorf’s account of property for hospitality is therefore
the same as his account of sovereignty: on both accounts, hospitality shifts
from being a right held by travellers in need of shelter to a compassionate
52 Right of Entry or Right of Refusal?

duty owed by hosts. No longer a part of natural law, hospitality becomes,

with Pufendorf, a humanitarian duty.
Pufendorf also revises Grotius’ neo-scholastic account of human sociabil-
ity. Pufendorf does not see sociability as a natural disposition but rather as a
moral duty to achieve civil peace in the context of a quite unsociable state
of nature. ‘[T]his is a fundamental Law of Nature, That EVERY MAN OUGHT,
the Welfare of Mankind’.70 Attending to the welfare of mankind requires us
to go beyond the no-harm principle in conferring positive benefits where so
doing will not harm us in any way. ‘That every Man ought to promote the Good
of another, as far as conveniently he may’ is in order that in mutually com-
municating good offices to others, ‘common brotherly Love may be kept up
among Men’.71 Such sociability requires, first, following Virgil and Grotius,
‘the liberty of Sailors, to touch and to rest a little on any shore’; second,
‘the admission of Strangers, and the kind Reception and Entertainment of
Travellers’ and, third, after Grotius, ‘the allowing of a perpetual Habitation
to Strangers, who being driven by Violence out of their own Country, are
forced to seek out a new Seat’ (that is, as long as they submit to their new
sovereign).72 Just as the humanitarian kindness shown by benefactors and
the gratitude shown in return form the social bonds that dampen our natural
(Hobbesian) disputatiousness, ties which would be quite impossible without
the introduction of private ownership, so too, it seems, the pacifying ties
of international hospitality for Pufendorf are born of the hierarchy of host
and guest which is first established by the host’s ownership.73 Though hosts
should show charitable hospitality in attending to the fundamental injunc-
tion of the law of nature to promote peace, guests cannot claim hospitality
as right.
This host- rather than guest-centric framing of hospitality makes it
obvious to Pufendorf that:

supposing that any one Nation, contented with what it finds at home,
utterly refrains from foreign Travel, it does not appear what Obligation
such a State can have to admit those who would visit it, without a
necessary or weighty Cause.74

Even non-European societies that failed Pufendorf’s European standards of

statehood have this right of closure extended to them. Like Gentili before
and Vattel and Kant after him, Pufendorf endorsed Chinese isolationism in
this regard.75 Equally, Spanish hospitality rights in the Americas as defended
by Vitoria are rejected for mistakenly prioritising ‘natural partnership and
communication’ over rights of ownership. Europeans have no right to
visit and dwell (nor trade) with other peoples any more than the reverse.
Large numbers of guests may anyway conflict with the sovereign’s duty of
protection of his subjects as established in natural law:
Gideon Baker 53

this natural Communication [of Vitoria’s] does not hinder a just Proprietor
from communicating his Goods by such Methods, and upon such Con-
siderations as he finds necessary. And further, that it seems very gross and
absurd, to allow others an indefinite or unlimited Right of travelling and
living amongst us, without reflecting either on their Number, or on the
Design of their coming.76

Vitoria’s claim that ‘If the Indians had amongst them any Rights and Privileges
allow’d in common to natives and Foreigners, in these they ought not to hin-
der the Spaniards from their Share’ is also rejected on the grounds that it is
within the rightful gift of property holders to be ‘more liberal to one than
to another’ just as the owner of a garden may grant special privileges to one
neighbour over another.77 Although Pufendorf does not, as Diderot and Kant
do, use inhospitality explicitly to condemn European conquest, for Cavallar,
his insistence that foreign states may only intervene – first, on behalf of
their own citizens, second, when these citizens are harmed and third, when
they have arrived as ‘innocent guests or driven by storms’ – implicitly allows
for the same.78 However, as Cavallar also notes, Pufendorf’s interest in non-
European affairs is limited and his examples are mostly taken from classical
antiquity. We should not read into his defence of sovereign closure a critique
of European colonialism but rather see in it the reordering of natural law in
which, contra the Schoolmen, ‘the People’s Safety is the supreme Law’ which
the sovereign must enact in positive law.79
Counterpoised to his sovereign right of communal inhospitality,
Pufendorf continues to insist that hospitality expresses moral obligations
to foreigners: ‘it is barbarous to treat in the same cruel manner, those who
visit us as Friends, and those who assault us as Enemies’.80 But is hospitality
really reducible to the moral virtue of the host? At the limits of his account,
Pufendorf seems to allow for the rights of guests too – acknowledging that,
finding himself in extreme necessity, the shipwrecked traveller may ‘forcibly’
‘relieve himself’ out of the abundance of his host.81 Elsewhere, Pufendorf
summarises this right of necessity thus:

in case of extreme Necessity, the Imperfect Right that others have to the
Duty of Charity from us, becomes a Perfect Right; so that Men may by
force be obliged to the performance of these Duties at such a time . . . 82

What are we to make of this seeming collapse of imperfect right back into
perfect right in the case of strangers in extreme need of hospitality (especially
since, as we saw above, no such right revives in the case of the poor having
extreme need of property)? Does it destabilise the entire edifice of perfect–
imperfect right which, as Cavallar sees it, enables Pufendorf to be the first
to find a solution to the problem of hospitality as set out in the natural law
tradition since Vitoria?83 For Cavallar, by distinguishing between the realm
54 Right of Entry or Right of Refusal?

of love of humanity and rights and consigning hospitality to the former,

Pufendorf is able to avoid many of the inconsistencies that dogged former
accounts of hospitality rights under the law of nations. But does Pufendorf’s
inclusion of a right of necessity fatally undermine this achievement? In the
final analysis, probably not. Cavallar is no doubt correct that this right does
not undermine the overall direction of Pufendorf’s argument: ‘communi-
ties have a perfect right to refuse visitors’.84 Cases of exception owing to
extreme exigency (‘the law of necessity’) are classic instances of casuistical
reasoning, drawn from the theological tradition (e.g. It is wrong to steal but
not necessarily during a famine).85 Although he broke so decisively with the
scholastics who practiced it, this flexibility in application of first principles,
characteristic of casuistry, is likely still at work in Pufendorf’s account of a
right of necessity for the shipwrecked (as it probably was, later still, in the
work of Vattel as we saw above).86 Besides, in general, perfect right only exists
for Pufendorf within a civil condition under a sovereign because rights are
wholly dependent on obligation and obligation only exists where there is a
superior capable of issuing coercive laws with ‘just cause’ for doing so.
Yet we should note, along with Cavallar, that the price paid for this
conceptual stability, for this construction, is that hospitality becomes a host-
centric category and, in this sense, Pufendorf can be read as anticipating the
demise of the law of hospitality:

As to our main Question [regarding hospitality rights], it is look’d on by

most as the safest way of resolving it, to say, That it is left in the power
of all States, to take such Measures about the Admission of Strangers, as
they think convenient.87

To the extent that he does manage to stabilise his account of hospitality,

Pufendorf does so in the name of property. The ties of obligation and grat-
itude that bind the wealthy and the poor domestically also link hosts and
guests internationally; both thus serve to pacify the otherwise fractious state
of nature which obtains both in the absence of the sovereign and between
sovereigns, a state Pufendorf came to believe in via his reading of Hobbes.
But though it may be nobly humanitarian, as charity hospitality can no
longer function as a law of nature and nor did Pufendorf want it to.

The stabilisation of hospitality via communication: Kant

Kant’s Third Article of Perpetual Peace (1795) states that ‘The Law of World
Citizenship Shall be Limited to Conditions of Universal Hospitality’. Echo-
ing the right of communication upheld from Vitoria onwards, Kant’s cos-
mopolitan right of hospitality as laid out in Perpetual Peace entails a ‘right of
resort’ or visitation. This amounts to a right to offer oneself for exchange or
community, a communicative offer which Kant appears not to want to limit
Gideon Baker 55

given that his phraseology covers cultural and economic exchange as well
as civil association.88 Identifying hospitality with communicative rights also
makes sense in the context of Kant’s wider communicative claims to free-
dom of expression in Metaphysics of Morals and to the ‘freedom of the pen’
in Theory and Practice. A subjective cosmopolitan right to hospitality therefore
appears to complement these other two subjective rights to communication
which are, respectively, human and civil rights.89
While the ‘right of strangers’ allows foreigners to ‘attempt to enter into
relations with the native inhabitants’, the ‘right of a guest to be entertained’
requires a ‘special friendly agreement’ that cannot be the subject of universal
right.90 This right of host communities to refuse hospitality if by so doing
they do not threaten the destruction of their guest is the subject of intense
debate, though it is hardly a dilemma new to Kant, as we have seen. While
Derrida, in particular, has chosen to read this limitation as but one chapter
in a long story of European inhospitality towards guests, we might see it
rather as an attempt to extricate a cosmopolitan right of hospitality from
European justifications for colonialism given that the:91

inhospitable conduct of the civilized states of our continent, especially

the commercial states, the injustice which they display in visiting foreign
countries and peoples (which in their case is the same as conquering them)
seems appallingly great.92

For Niesen, there is, first, a systematic reason for Kant’s treating colonialism
under cosmopolitan law. This is that Kant had already defined international
law as the law of nations, such that relations between states and non-state
peoples could not be covered by it. Unlike states, non-state peoples are not
protected by Kant’s international law against intervention.93 Cosmopolitan
law has to make good on this lack. Second, argues Niesen (and this point is
especially important for our discussion here), Kant must have realised that
his own doctrine of private law, unless limited by a higher cosmopolitan law
(namely, the limits of hospitality), could easily legitimate colonial appropri-
ation given the steps it makes from private law to rights to set up a civil
condition or state. This is that Kant argues in Metaphysics of Morals for right-
ful, if provisional, appropriation of unowned objects in the state of nature
(since such appropriation must by definition be unilateral) and marries this
to a right to coerce all neighbours who might dispute my property claims
into a civil condition (since otherwise there can be no hope of anyone agree-
ing to respect my ownership arrived at in this unilateral way).94 Only by
such an imperfect process, Kant reasons, might public law finally regulate
property rights rightly. But, as an unintended consequence of this logic, the
claim of settlers to presumptively unowned territory could, on Kant’s private
law terms should, move easily from colonial trading post to the full politi-
cal domination of native inhabitants: just ‘one claim to private possession
56 Right of Entry or Right of Refusal?

of one object is both necessary and sufficient to unleash a state-building

development that must not be stopped until a general determination of
property rights in a civil condition has been achieved’.95 In this context,
Kant’s prohibition, also in Metaphysics of Morals, of any right of colonialists
to establish civil settlements by violence, may be instructive.96 Kant appears
to be denying that the dynamic of property appropriation can legitimately
be coercively introduced by outsiders even if a ‘state of nature’ prevails there
and perhaps introduces his limitation on the law of hospitality for this very
Niesen’s argument is that if Kant did not intend thus to neutralise private
law as a driver of colonial appropriation by limiting cosmopolitan hospital-
ity, then how else are we to understand his, otherwise puzzling, endorsement
of Japanese and Chinese isolationism? Niesen suggests that the largely over-
looked contradiction in Perpetual Peace between hospitality as a ‘right to
visit’ and the fact that Kant seems quite happy with Chinese and Japanese
wholesale restrictions on visitation (both of their own citizens and of for-
eigners) can only be explained if we see that Kant envisages restrictions on
attempts at communication of the commercial kind: only communicative
offers of a non-economic nature are protected under cosmopolitan law.98
If Kant had intended cosmopolitan hospitality as a right to free trade, as
many assume,99 then surely China and Japan’s stance would have been
objectionable to him?
How does Kant justify his right of hospitality? Again, there has been
significant recent debate surrounding this issue. For Kleingeld, Kant’s
innate human right to external freedom implies hospitality, since the
former entails both a right of communication and a right to be wher-
ever nature or chance has determined.100 Benhabib follows suit in mak-
ing a strong connection between the innate human right to freedom in
Kant and his right of cosmopolitan hospitality.101 Kant certainly seems
to argue along these lines, stating in Metaphysics of Morals that, ‘if even
only one of these three possible forms of rightful state [the civil, inter-
national and cosmopolitan] lacks a principle which limits external free-
dom by means of laws, the structure for all the rest must inevitably
be undermined, and finally collapse’.102 Yet Niesen is not so sure that
this argument alone will suffice, pointing out that the strategy of deriv-
ing hospitality from innate external freedom appears to restrict hos-
pitality to the involuntary contact characteristic of the shipwrecked.103
The argument from nature or chance in the determination of one’s
whereabouts, in short, does not work for voluntary contact. While this
might not be a problem for Benhabib, given her focus on the desper-
ate and dispossessed seeking asylum, Kant’s idea of hospitality is one
of a much more expansive global communication and, moreover, of a
right of communication, in which case voluntary contact seems just as
important to it.104
Gideon Baker 57

The rational idea, as discussed above of a peaceful (if not exactly ami-
cable) international community of all those of the earth’s peoples who
can enter into active relations with one another is not a philanthropic
principle of ethics, but a principle of right. Through the spherical shape
of the planet they inhabit (globus terraqueus), nature has confined them
all within an area of definite limits. Accordingly, the only conceivable
way in which anyone can posses habitable land on earth is by possess-
ing a part within a determinate whole in which everyone has an original
right to share. Thus all nations are originally members of a community
of the land. But this is not a legal community of possession (communio)
and utilisation of the land, nor a community of ownership. It is commu-
nity of reciprocal action (commercium), which is physically possible, and
each member of it accordingly has constant relations with all the others.
Each may offer to have commerce with the rest, and they all have a right
to make such overtures without being treated by foreigners as enemies.
This right, insofar as it affords the prospect that all nations may unite
for the purpose of creating certain universal laws to regulate the inter-
course they may have with one another, may be termed cosmopolitan (ius

To Niesen’s mind, following Flikschuh, Kant’s argument in the Metaphysics

of Morals from the ‘original community of land’ is a much surer ground
for hospitality than innate rights since it enables the claim that unilateral
acquisition, rather than nature or ‘right’, ‘obligates individuals and nations
towards each other’.106 Given the unilateral quality of property acquisi-
tion, such appropriation remains provisional prior to the establishment, not
only of a domestic civil condition, but also, by extension (given original
‘possession in common’), to the founding of no less than a cosmopoli-
tan constitution by which existing ownership might finally be ratified or
rectified.107 Unlike the argument from right, working from the fact of appro-
priation allows a cosmopolitan legal order to be implied by human actions
(unilateral acquisition) rather than ‘nature’. Such cosmopolitan right, rather
than being an abstract property of humanity as such, is socially medi-
ated by membership of particular political communities – it is precisely
our membership of communities constituted by or dispossessed by acts of
appropriation that then provides us with duties and rights of hospitality,
Put more generally, hospitality thus obligates those who stay at home as
much as those who travel abroad since my contingent act of appropriation
of a native soil is as much a background condition of the traveller’s home-
lessness as is his travel. Everybody, both at home and aboard, is affected
by territorial ownership and this ownership has yet to be redeemed in a
global civil condition. Until that day, ‘The final justification of hospitality
would then lie in the responsibility of cosmopolitan citizens to change that
58 Right of Entry or Right of Refusal?

structure towards permanent justifiable relations of property distribution’.109

This is perhaps why Kant writes of the right of hospitality in Perpetual Peace
as ‘the right of a stranger’, since, sharing original ownership with us, the
foreigner has a certain residual right to our territory, an authority which is
expressed in the limited right of hospitality he has in it: ‘for all men are
entitled to present themselves in the society of others by virtue of their
right to communal possession of the earth’s surface’.110 Kantian cosmopoli-
tan hospitality thereby moves from being a justification for global trade to
something much more radical: ‘the (re)distribution of property claims’.111
On such a reading, one of Derrida’s critiques of Kant’s right of hospitality –
that it presupposes the place of welcome – misses the mark.112 For Niesen
and Flikshcuch, Kantian hospitality stands as a limit on property holdings in
the sense that it both recognises their provisional nature in the absence of a
global civil settlement and provides the conditions (global communication)
by which such a settlement might come about.
From a very different perspective on Kant’s political writings, Hunter has
also argued that Kant’s account of rightful appropriation of the earth’s sur-
face (property, in our terms here) is provided by his notion of universal
communication in a ‘perfect civil union of the human race’.113 Hunter’s case,
however, is that this is because Kant’s metaphysics, upon which his politi-
cal essays are superstructural, makes this order of priority (communication
first, property second) necessarily so. Hunter argues that, though it makes
no explicit appearance in them, Kant’s three essays on cosmopolitan peace
(Universal History, Theory and Practice and Perpetual Peace) are underlined by
a central theme of his highly esoteric metaphysics: the question of ‘how a
universe of intelligible beings (‘pure intelligences’) can form a legal com-
munity, understood as a community formed for the rightful possession of
an external world of things’.114 Kant’s answer to this question is given by
the notion that ‘relations of reciprocal coercion permit the free choices of
each to be reconciled with the free choices of all in a common will’. This
principle then forms the basis of Kant’s famous ‘universal principle of right’,
namely that ‘Any action is right if it can coexist with everyone’s freedom
in accordance with a universal law’.115 Without the rightful possession of
things being conceived as the reciprocal possession that intelligible beings
exercise over each other’s wills, possession would be reduced to the phys-
ical attachment of these beings to material things in time and space. This
would be incompatible with Kant’s metaphysics by which intelligible beings
are spontaneously capable of conforming their wills to and through pure
thought rather than having their wills constrained by dependence on corpo-
real things. ‘Were (property) right to be based on the physical possession of
things in space, it would destroy the pure reciprocity of willing that permits
the pure intelligences to possess things “rightfully” – that is, non-spatially
or noumenally – as members of a spiritual or intellectual world’.116 As Kant
puts it:
Gideon Baker 59

Wherever power reaches, freedom can be limited not through nature

and the conditions of possession that lie in it, but only through and
from agreement with the freedom of others . . . The common will is thus
the condition of all acquisition and of that which is mine and thine in

For Kant, then, right or justice is necessarily cosmopolitan; territorial forms

of right are merely the hurdles that the dialectic of history has placed in
the way of the achievement of (noumenal) universal community in the
phenomenal world.118 Starting with empirical possession as Kant’s ‘sorry
comforters’ do, we are incapable of seeing ‘the purely “intellectual” rela-
tions among “pure intelligences” that makes external possession possible’.119
Indeed, even Kant’s seeming agreement with the other natural lawyers on
originary common possession of the earth is treated in his Rechtslehre ‘as an
analogy supplied by nature for the ideal unity of wills that would make this
taking-possession rightfully possible’.120 While for the natural lawyers orig-
inal collective ownership is a primordial right which only survives in some
modified form (hence the right of hospitality), for Kant it points us towards
a future right that it only anticipates (which might then explain the nega-
tive formulation of Kant’s claim, in Perpetual Peace, that ‘no-one originally
has any greater right than anyone else to occupy any particular portion of
the earth’121 ). Rather than trying to derive rightful possession from empirical
possession, originary or not, in Critique of Practical Reason Kant suggests that
‘the opposite procedure is followed and all the conditions of intuition that
ground empirical possession must be removed (abstracted from) in order to
extend the concept beyond empirical possession’.122 Kant’s doctrine of right
thereby treats ‘the synthetic dimension of this doctrine (empirical possession
of the earth’s surface) as the product of the analytic or a priori dimension
(the unity of intelligible wills)’. It is thus not empirical common possession
of the earth which justifies the idea of the common will but vice versa: ‘by
treating it as a pure duty to be acted on, [Kant] views the a priori idea of a
common will as something that transcends empirical possession’.123 Com-
munication comes decisively before property and this drives Kant’s political
thought towards necessarily cosmopolitan conclusions:

In deriving the concept of right from transcendental recollection of twin

inborn ideas – of the original common possession of the earth, and the
a priori general will that effects its rightful distribution – Kant is com-
pelled to conceive the juridical-political order in cosmic terms . . . [T]he
concept of a political territory is incapable of formulation within the core
concepts of Kant’s legal metaphysics. So too the only legitimate source
of juridical and political authority for Kant is the reciprocally unified
common willing of a universal community of pure intelligences formed
through their occupancy of the globe.124
60 Right of Entry or Right of Refusal?

As Hunter notes, putting Kant’s anxieties about the prospect of colonial

expansion in the context of his wider thought, despite acknowledging that
the issue of the territorial aspect of the empirical acquisition of the earth is
the ‘hardest of all to solve’, Kant continues to insist that if it is to be fully
rightful, then the scope of original acquisition must become cosmopolitan:
‘But even if it is solved through the original contract, such acquisition will
always remain only provisional unless this contract extends to the entire
human race’.125 The significant implication of this insight for our study is
that the law of nations, including that of hospitality, have only, and only
could have, a provisional status in Kant’s metaphysics.
On the strength of Hunter’s account of the thoroughly metaphysical bases
of Kant’s prioritisation of (necessarily global) communication over property,
we gain a much clearer understanding of the instrumental quality of Kant’s
right of hospitality. For Kant the telos of hospitality is clearly in sight:

In this way, continents distant from each other can enter into peace-
ful mutual relations which may eventually be regulated by public laws,
thus bringing the human race nearer and nearer to a cosmopolitan

Contra Derridean hospitality, which is the very principle of ethics itself,

Kant’s universal hospitality is here characterised as no end in itself but as
a staging post to cosmopolitan right.127 Indeed, it is by comparison ‘with
this ultimate end’ that, first, the inhospitality of European guests in con-
quering rather than visiting foreign countries is exposed and, second, by
which Chinese and Japanese isolationism is revealed as both prudent and
legitimate.128 ‘The peoples of the earth have thus entered in varying degrees
into a universal community’, and both European inhospitality and East
Asian openness to such inhospitable guests would threaten this nascent
cosmopolitan bond.129 After all, Kant states in what has become the most
famous phrase of Perpetual Peace, on the basis of the hospitality that enables
the communication necessary for embryonic universal community, things
have already ‘developed to the point where a violation of rights in one part
of the world is felt everywhere’.130
In sum, if this ordering of Kantian hospitality in terms of communication
over property is correct then Kant is the mirror of Pufendorf in achieving a
greater degree of stabilisation of the two poles of communication – property
in hospitality in the name of a right of communication. Yet making interna-
tional hospitality instrumental to the achievement of a cosmopolitan civil
condition under which it would be redundant is also effectively to deny that
it is a law of nature. Kant only succeeds in stabilising right of communica-
tion – right of property in hospitality by sacrificing hospitality itself, and
this in two senses: First, if the right of hospitality derives from the lack of
legitimacy of exiting territorial holdings, then once ownership of the earth’s
Gideon Baker 61

surface is legitimated in a cosmopolitan civil order (this argument applies if

Kant had a worldwide federation of republics in mind as the instantiation of
this order), the normative basis of a right of hospitality is removed – every-
one is now rightly entitled to be where they are, but, by extension, have no
right to be elsewhere. Second, in a cosmopolitan political community (this
version of the argument applies if Kant had a world republic in mind) there
are no longer national thresholds to cross, and thereby no requirement for
a right of universal hospitality held by individuals in their relations with
foreign states. International hospitality is clearly anachronistic in a world in
which foreigners have been replaced with co-legislators.


Derrida has drawn our attention to the ‘double bind’ of hospitality,

expressed here as the paradox that hospitality is constituted both by prop-
erty and by the openness or communication (the welcome of the stranger)
that threatens or may even destroy it. Evidence of this aporia of hospital-
ity is found in abundance in the natural law tradition from Vitoria to Kant.
Though this tradition largely (with the instructive exception of Pufendorf)
saw the right of communication as a law of nature arising from innate
human sociability, the hospitality that this implied proved destabilising of
the property claims by which hosts establish their domain as proper to them.
As we have seen, all our theorists struggled with this tension, though this
struggle took very different forms, from the concern that the law of hospital-
ity might thereby legitimate colonial appropriation to fears for how it could
threaten sovereignty and the civil peace that this provides. Rather than look-
ing for evolution in the theory of international hospitality, we might then
do better to chart the various ways in which the natural lawyers of early
European modernity grappled with the ‘double bind’ of hospitality. While
a genealogy of the ‘law of hospitality’ in the early modern period undoubt-
edly uncovers discontinuity rather than the singular curve of evolution, one
thing remains the same – no matter whose hands it is in, hospitality keeps
on deconstructing. The tension between right of property and right of com-
munication which produces the possibility of international hospitality also
threatens its very existence.
Moreover, we have seen that attempts to get beyond this binary of com-
munication – property, far from resolving this paradox at the heart of
international hospitality, were actually fatal to it. Starting with Pufendorf,
the tension in hospitality between the right to property (a sovereign com-
munity’s right to its territory) and the right of communication is resolved
in favour of the former. But the cost of the stabilisation effect achieved
by Pufendorf in his prioritisation of property over communication is that
Pufendorfian hospitality becomes charity, thereby forming part of the ‘sorry
comfort’ of which Kant would later so famously accuse him (along with
62 Right of Entry or Right of Refusal?

Grotius and Vattel) in the context of Kant’s critique of notions of right based
on, and therefore limited by, territory. For Kant, explicitly, hospitality is not
‘concerned with philanthropy, but with right’ and a cosmopolitan right at
that.131 But, as we have also seen, while in Kant Pufendorf’s imperfect right
of hospitality is rearticulated as cosmopolitan right, yet Kant, too, does not
escape the double-bind of right of property versus right of communication
in hospitality. For Kant’s right of hospitality, it turns out, is strictly limited
to a right to make contact which may largely be refused. Thus, although
Kant arguably reverses the Pufendorfian prioritisation of property over com-
munication, the communication he has in mind has been accused of being
paltry stuff and doing little, if anything, to challenge right defined territori-
ally. To the extent that this is true, it is perhaps because Kant saw the fearful
consequences of a right of hospitality put at the hands of European ‘guests’.
On this reading, Kant, like Diderot, is aware of the paradox that hospitality
is always liable to destroy itself – as when the French explorer Bougainville’s
generous reception by the Tahitians became the opportunity for French colo-
nial appropriation of their island, an inhospitality which Diderot laments in
The Supplement to the Voyage of Bougainville (1772).132
However, the persuasive argument for Kant’s prioritisation of commu-
nication over property with which our discussion finished, implies that
hospitality is the driver, in Kant, of nothing less than a future global civil
condition under which humanity’s ownership of the earth’s surface might be
finally legitimate. But on this reading of his politics, Kant only gets ‘beyond’
the binary of property – communication by overcoming hospitality itself.
The universal right of hospitality is only necessary because existing pos-
session of territory remains to be fully legitimated. Once a cosmopolitan
civil condition (here: world federation of republics) is achieved and holdings
become truly rightful, the normative foundation of Kant’s right of strangers
is thereby removed. Alternatively, if the telos of hospitality is nothing less
than a world republic, then the right of hospitality is purely provisional – it
is only necessary because of the lack of global citizenship, because the inter-
national has not yet been domesticated and brought fully under the rule of
right, because territorial definitions of rights have still to give way to cos-
mopolitan right. Yet a transitional right of hospitality is no longer a natural
law of hospitality.
As much when the constitutive opposition of communication – prop-
erty is transcended in the name of the former as the latter, it destroys that
which it makes possible. Hospitality cannot live without the destabilising
but productive tension between communication and property that is not
so much a problem for as the very stuff of it. Focused only on one or
the other of the poles of communication – property, mainstream interna-
tional relations theory can’t ‘see’ hospitality – neither its effects (realists)
nor its conditions of possibility (idealists). Realist discourse, which finds an
antecedent in Pufendorf’s prioritisation of domain but which departs from
Gideon Baker 63

him in forgetting the duties of hospitality by divorcing sovereignty from any

conception of wider law, simply overlooks that the sociable welcome of the
foreigner in hospitality is an enduring feature of a supposedly anarchic inter-
national realm.133 Idealist (neo-Kantian) discourse, meanwhile, in seeking a
‘beyond’ to the distribution of property characteristic of the international in
the name of global communication, echoes Kant in consigning hospitality
in world politics to an uncertain future. The exclusion of exclusion para-
doxically robs inclusion of its meaning. Hospitality is just as irreducible to
communication as it is to property – requiring hosts and foreigners, neither
of whom come into being without the property that is the home. The ques-
tion – right of entry or right of refusal? – which heads this discussion has a
definite, if indeterminate, answer: in hospitality, there must be both.


This chapter first appeared as an article in Review of International Studies 37:3

(2011). As there, I would like to thank Ian Hunter, Richard Devetak and
Georg Cavallar for their helpful feedback on an earlier version. Though none
of them would read the law of nature and nations as I do here, I am grateful
for their constructive criticisms.

1. Jacques Derrida, Adieu: To Emmanuel Levinas, P. Brault and M. Nass (trans.)
(Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999); Jacques Derrida, Of Hospitality,
R. Bowlby (trans.) (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000); and Jacques
Derrida, On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness, M. Dooley and M. Hughes (trans.)
(London: Routledge, 2001).
2. Anthony Pagden, ‘Human Rights, Natural Rights, and Europe’s Imperial Legacy’,
Political Theory 31:2 (2003), pp. 171–99; Georg Cavallar, The Rights of Strangers:
Theories of International Hospitality, the Global Community, and Political Justice
Since Vitoria (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002).
3. Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, Vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws (London:
T. Evans, 1777 [1748]), pp. 144–5.
4. David Hume, Political Essays (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994
[1748]), p. 122; Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth
of Nations (New York: Random House, 1994 [1776]), pp. 440–1. However, see
Rousseau for a characteristically contrary view to his enlightenment contempo-
raries (Jean-Jacques Rousseau, ‘The Levite of Ephraim’, in C. Kelly and E. Grace
(eds.), Rousseau on Women, Love, and Family (Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College
Press, 2009 [1762]), pp. 178–93).
5. Pagden, ‘Human Rights, Natural Rights’.
6. The emphasis on sociability obviously had a strongly theological dimension, as
in Vitoria’s argument that human communication and cooperation are God’s
will. Thanks to an anonymous reviewer for this point.
7. Ibid., p. 184.
64 Right of Entry or Right of Refusal?

8. Ibid., p. 185. See also Brain Tierney, The Idea of Natural Rights (Cambridge:
Eerdmans, 1997), pp. 272 and 300–1.
9. Pagden, ‘Human Rights, Natural Rights’, p. 186.
10. Ibid., pp. 186–7; Martha Nussbaum, ‘Kant and Stoic Cosmopolitanism’, The
Journal of Political Philosophy 5:1 (1997), pp. 1–25.
11. Pagden, ‘Human Rights, Natural Rights’, p. 186.
12. Cavallar, The Rights of Strangers, p. 396.
13. Ian Hunter, ‘Global Justice and Regional Metaphysics: On the Critical History
of the Law of Nature and Nations’, in S. Dorsett and I. Hunter (eds.), Law
and Politics in British Colonial Thought: Transpositions of Empire (Houndmills:
Palgrave/Macmillan, 2010), p. 1.
14. Ibid., p. 2.
15. Although our thinkers assume, or so I argue, something like these two ‘rights’,
I am not claiming that these are the terms in which they couch their own argu-
ments on hospitality. ‘Right of communication’ and ‘right of property’ is rather
my own reconstruction of the key terms of the natural lawyers’ various discus-
sions of hospitality, as I read them. This reconstruction is then directed towards
deconstructive rather than historical understanding – that is, I seek to draw out
paradoxes at the heart of the thought of hospitality rather than to add to our
knowledge of how this thought has been differently articulated in diverse spatio-
temporal contexts. This deconstructive reading does not claim that hospitality
is a trans-historical concept, but rather that otherwise very different answers
to the question of how to receive the stranger nonetheless share an inability
to harmonise the ‘communication’ and ‘property’ that all talk of hospitality
always already assumes. Thanks to an anonymous reviewer for encouraging me
to clarify my point of departure.
16. Within the discipline, though instructively not in its mainstream, three recent
exceptions to this rule stand out: Roxanne Lynn Doty, ‘Fronteras Compasivas
and the Ethics of Unconditional Hospitality’, Millennium 35:1 (2006), pp. 53–74;
Dan Bulley, ‘Negotiating Ethics: Campbell, Ontopology and Hospitality’, Review
of International Studies 32:4 (2006), pp. 645–63; and Nicholas Onuf, ‘Friendship
and Hospitality: Some Conceptual Preliminaries’, Journal of International Political
Theory 5:1 (2009), pp. 1–21.
17. Onuf, ‘Friendship and Hospitality’, pp. 16–17.
18. Derrida, On Cosmopolitanism, p. 16 and Adieu, p. 50;
19. Francisco de Vitoria, Political Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
1991), p. 233.
20. Ibid., pp. 250; 243–6; 248.
21. Ibid., p. 258.
22. Ibid., p. 264.
23. Ibid., p. 265. For an extended discussion of Vitoria’s account of property, see
Tierney, The Idea of Natural Rights, pp. 260–4.
24. Vitoria, Political Writings, p. 278. Vitoria singles out language and friendship
as indicating that human beings are meant for social life. He, of course, cites
Aristotle’s zoon politikon on this point (Tierney, The Idea of Natural Rights,
p. 291).
25. Vitoria, Political Writings, p. 278.
26. Ibid., p. 279.
27. Ibid., p. 280.
28. Ibid., p. 281.
Gideon Baker 65

29. Ibid.
30. Ibid., p. 278.
31. Ibid.
32. Ibid.
33. Ibid., p. 279.
34. Ibid.
35. In Cavallar, The Rights of Strangers, p. 111.
36. In Pagden, ‘Human Rights, Natural Rights’, p. 185. For more on the inhospitality
of the conquistadores, see Gideon Baker, ‘The Spectre of Montezuma: Hospitality
and Haunting’, Millennium 39:1 (2010).
37. Hugo Grotius, ‘The Freedom of the Seas’, in L.E. van Holk and C.G. Roelofsen
(eds.), Grotius Reader (The Hague: T.M.C. Asser Instituut, 1983 [1609]), pp. 11;
63–4; and 8–9, respectively.
38. Emmerich de Vattel, The Law of Nations, J. Chiity (trans. and ed.) (New York:
AMS Press, 1863 [1758]), p. 171.
39. Ibid.
40. Ibid.
41. Ibid.
42. Ibid.
43. Ibid., p. 173.
44. Ibid.
45. Ibid., p. 177.
46. Ibid.
47. Ibid., p. 179.
48. Ibid., p. 183.
49. Ibid., pp. 178 and 180.
50. Ibid., p. 181.
51. Ibid., p. 178.
52. On Vattel’s uses of casuistry, see Ian Hunter, ‘Vattel’s Law of Nations: Diplo-
matic Casuistry for the Protestant Nation’, Grotiana 31: 1 (2010), pp. 108–40.
In some senses, casuistry is similar to deconstruction – concepts like hospitality
are revealed as not identical with or sufficient unto themselves. They always still
require a decision to be made, and for casuistry this is shown through sensitivity
to particular cases.
53. de Vattel, The Law of Nations, p. 179.
54. Ibid., p. 183.
55. Ibid., pp. 179–80.
56. Ibid., p. 180.
57. This tension between property and communication continues in Vattel’s dis-
cussion of rights of shelter held by exiled and banished peoples (see Ibid.,
p. 180).
58. de Vattel, The Law of Nations, p. 182.
59. Ibid., p. 184.
60. Ibid., p. 185.
61. Ibid., p. 185–6.
62. Samuel von Pufendorf, On the Law of Nature and Nations, B. Kennett
(trans.) and Barbeyrac (ed.) (Clark, NJ: The Lawbook Exchange, 2005 [1672]),
p. 244.
63. von Pufendorf, On the Law of Nature and Nations, p. 244.
64. Cavallar, The Rights of Strangers, p. 201.
66 Right of Entry or Right of Refusal?

65. Samuel von Pufendorf, The Whole Duty of Man, According to the Law of Nature,
A. Tooke(trans.) and I. Hunter and D. Saunders (eds.) (Indianapolis, IN: Liberty
Fund, 2003 [1691]), p. 50n.
66. Martti Koskenniemi, ‘Miserable Comforters: International Relations as New Nat-
ural Law’, European Journal of International Realtions 15:3 (2009), p. 397; Ian
Hunter, ‘Spatialisations of Justice in the Law of Nature and Nations: Pufendorf,
Vattel and Kant’, unpublished research paper, available at UQ e-space (http://, p. 23.
67. Pufendorf, The Whole Duty of Man, pp. 128–32.
68. John Salter, ‘Grotius and Pufendorf on the Right of Necessity’, History of Political
Thought 26:2 (2005), pp. 284–302.
69. Pufendorf, On the Law of Nature and Nations, p. 208.
70. Pufendorf, The Whole Duty of Man, p. 56.
71. Ibid., p. 104.
72. Pufendorf, On the Law of Nature and Nations, pp. 243–5.
73. Salter, ‘Grotius and Pufendorf’, p. 297.
74. Pufendorf, On the Law of Nature and Nations, p. 245.
75. Cavallar, The Rights of Strangers, p. 204.
76. Pufendorf, On the Law of Nature and Nations, p. 245; see also p. 246.
77. Ibid., p. 245.
78. Cavallar, The Rights of Strangers, pp. 206–7.
79. Pufendorf, On the Law of Nature and Nations, p. 739.
80. Ibid., p. 245.
81. Ibid., p. 207.
82. Pufendorf, The Whole Duty of Man, p. 50n.
83. Cavallar, The Rights of Strangers, p. 205. In the case of the necessitous poor
under civil law, Salter (‘Grotius and Pufendorf’) argues that Pufendorf’s right
of necessity does undermine the coherence of his distinction between perfect
and imperfect right. But we are considering international law here, where, for
Pufendorf, things are clearly very different.
84. Cavallar, The Rights of Strangers, p. 204.
85. Thanks to Ian Hunter for drawing this to my attention.
86. Though see (Koskenniemi, ‘Miserable Comforters’, p. 399) for an opposing view
87. Pufendorf, On the Law of Nature and Nations, p. 245; see also p. 246.
88. Peter Niesen, ‘Colonialism and Hospitality’, Politics and Ethics Review 3:1 (2007),
p. 92.
89. Niesen, ‘Colonialism and Hospitality’, p. 92.
90. Immanuel Kant, ‘Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch’, in H.B. Nisbet (trans.)
and H.S. Reiss (ed.), Kant: Political Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1991), p. 106.
91. See Derrida, Adieu, p. 68; Derrida, Of Hospitality, pp. 27 and 71–3; Jacques
Derrida, ‘Hostipitality’, Angelaki 5:3 (2000), pp. 3–4; and Derrida, On Cosmopoli-
tanism, pp. 11, 22 and 27. For an overview of Derrida on Kant’s right of
hospitality, see Baker, ‘The Spectre of Montezuma’, pp. 5–7. For a contrary view
to Derrida’s, see Garrett W. Brown, ‘The Laws of Hospitality, Asylum Seekers and
Cosmopolitan Right: A Kantian response to Jacques Derrida’, European Journal of
Political Theory 9:1 (2010), pp. 308–27.
92. Kant, ‘Perpetual Peace’, p. 106.
93. Niesen, ‘Colonialism and Hospitality’, p. 94.
Gideon Baker 67

94. Immanuel Kant, ‘The Metaphysics of Morals’, in H.B. Nisbet (trans.) and H.S.
Reiss (ed.), Kant: Political Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
1991), p. 138.
95. Niesen, ‘Colonialism and Hospitality’, p. 94.
96. Kant, ‘The Metaphysics of Morals’, pp. 172–3.
97. Niesen, ‘Colonialism and Hospitality’, p. 95.
98. Ibid., pp. 98–100.
99. E.g. Seyla Benhabib, The Rights of Others: Aliens, Residents and Citizens
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), p. 38.
100. Pauline Kleingeld, ‘Kant’s Cosmopolitan Law’, Kantian Review 2:1 (1998),
pp. 73–90.
101. Benhabib, The Rights of Others. See also Sharon Anderson-Gold, Cosmopolitanism
and Human Rights (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2001).
102. Kant, ‘The Metaphysics of Morals’, p. 137.
103. Niesen, ‘Colonialism and Hospitality’, p. 101.
104. Ibid., p. 102.
105. Kant, ‘The Metaphysics of Morals’, p. 172.
106. Niesen, ‘Colonialism and Hospitality’, p. 102. Katrin Flikschuh, Kant and Mod-
ern Political Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 141.
See also Sankar Muthu, ‘Justice and Foreigners: Kant’s Cosmopolitan Right’,
Constellations 7:1 (2000), pp. 34–5.
107. Niesen extends Flikschuh’s ‘unilateral appropriation’ to include ‘colonial
usurpation’. Unlike the former, the latter is not even in principle ratifiable in
a global civil constitution and would instead have to be rectified.
108. Niesen, ‘Colonialism and Hospitality’, p. 103; Garrett W. Brown, ‘Kantian Cos-
mopolitan Law and the Idea of a Cosmopolitan Constitution’, History of Political
Thought 27:4 (2006), p. 664; Flikschuh, Kant and Modern Political Philosophy.
109. Niesen, ‘Colonialism and Hospitality’, p. 103.
110. Kant, ‘Perpetual Peace’, p. 106.
111. Niesen, ‘Colonialism and Hospitality’, p. 105; cf. F.H. Hinsley, Power and the
Pursuit of Peace (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1963).
112. Derrida, ‘Hostipitality’, p. 4.
113. Hunter, ‘Kant’s Cosmopolitanism from a Historical Viewpoint’, in B. Hindess
and R.B.J. Walker (eds.), The Cost of Kant (forthcoming).
114. Ibid., p. 10.
115. Immanuel Kant, ‘Critique of Practical Reason’, in M.J. Gregor (trans. and ed.),
Practical Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), p. 230.
116. Hunter, ‘Kant’s Cosmopolitanism from a Historical Viewpoint’, p. 17.
117. Kant, in Ibid., p. 17.
118. Hunter, ‘Kant’s Cosmopolitanism from a Historical Viewpoint’, p. 11.
119. Ibid., p. 21.
120. Ibid., p. 23.
121. Kant, ‘Perpetual Peace’, p. 106.
122. Kant, ‘Critique of Practical Reason’, p. 252.
123. Hunter, ‘Kant’s Cosmopolitanism from a Historical Viewpoint’, p. 23.
124. Ibid., pp. 27–8.
125. Kant, ‘The Metaphysics of Morals’, p. 418.
126. Kant, ‘Perpetual Peace’, p. 106.
127. Derrida, Adieu, p. 50; Derrida, On Cosmopolitanism, p. 16. For exemplary
recent statements of hospitality as instrumental to cosmopolitan right from
68 Right of Entry or Right of Refusal?

a Kantian perspective, see Brown, ‘Kantian Cosmopolitan Law’ and Garrett

W. Brown, ‘Moving from Cosmopolitan Legal Theory to Legal Practice: Models
of Cosmopolitan Law’, Legal Studies 28:3 (2008), pp. 430–51.
128. Kant, ‘Perpetual Peace’, pp. 106 (emphasis added) and 107.
129. Ibid., p. 107.
130. Ibid., pp. 107–8.
131. Ibid., p. 105.
132. Denis Diderot, ‘Supplement to the Voyage of Bougainville’, in J.H. Mason
and R. Wokler (trans. and ed.), Denis Diderot: Political Writings (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1992). For an extended discussion of hospital-
ity in Diderot’s Supplement, see Jimmy Klausen’s ‘Of Hobbes and Hospitality
in Diderot’s Supplement to the Voyage of Bougainville’, Polity 37:2 (2005),
pp. 167–92.
133. Onuf, ‘Friendship and Hospitality’.
From Hospitality to the Right of
Immigration in the Law of
Nations: 1750–1850
Georg Cavallar

Introduction: the dawn of an epoch, between

1750 and 1850

Recent years have witnessed a surge of interest in cosmopolitan theories,

fuelled in part by the end of the Cold War, hopes of post-national or
cosmopolitan forms of loyalty, economic as well as cultural globalisation,
and migration. The new buzz word ‘cosmopolitanism’ has begun to mean
almost anything, and it is therefore useful to distinguish between differ-
ent types or forms: human rights or moral cosmopolitanism, political or
legal cosmopolitanism, cultural cosmopolitanism and economic or commer-
cial cosmopolitanism. This taxonomy of cosmopolitanisms can be further
refined, for instance, we could refer to Christian cosmopolitanism, roman-
tic cosmopolitanism, patriotic cosmopolitanism, the cosmopolitisme littéraire
towards the end of the eighteenth century, or republican cosmopolitanism.1
Cosmopolitan legal theory is one section of this thriving discourse, focus-
ing, among others, on issues such as: Which normative principles should
be operative? What is the scope of legal cosmopolitanism? What kind of
institutionalisation does it imply? How do we move from cosmopolitan
legal theory to legal practice?2 In this chapter, I want to focus on the issue
of hospitality as a part of cosmopolitan legal theory. In connection with
the cosmopolitan discourse, there has been a renewed interest in aspects
of hospitality, partly triggered by the publications of Jacques Derrida (who
emphasises the moral dimension of hospitality).3 In particular, my focal
point is on the decisive Sattelzeit (Reinhart Koselleck) or Epochenschwelle
(Hans Blumenberg) of European history, the 100 years between 1750 and
1850.4 This dawn of an epoch was supposedly a zone of transition, with the
right of hospitality being replaced by the laws of immigration.
I assume this to be the conventional picture: The nineteenth century
with its emphasis on state sovereignty, legal positivism, nationalism and the

70 From Hospitality to the Right of Immigration

society of civilised (European) states is perceived as a kind of fall from the

cosmopolitan heights of the previous centuries, especially the cosmopolitan
eighteenth century.5 As a consequence, international legal theory appar-
ently moved from a generous right of hospitality to laws of immigration,
which were, by implication, restrictive and state-centred rather than flexible
and international. In this chapter, I want to unsettle this picture, but not
destroy it. There were indeed paradigmatic changes in the 100 years after
1750, for instance the development from a dualistic concept of law to the
science of jurisprudence focused on positive legislation (see section one).
However, natural law theories up to the eighteenth century were not nec-
essarily cosmopolitan, endorsing a right of hospitality. This assumption is
probably the result of our binary thinking, contrasting the positivist nine-
teenth century with the natural law thinking of previous centuries. I argue
that an early form of state-centred legal positivism can be detected since the
middle of the seventeenth century, forming a strong current in international
legal theory.
I distinguish among three ‘schools’ in terms of hospitality rights: the impe-
rialist school, the society of states school and the cosmopolitan school.
My chapter will outline these three schools (see section one) and con-
tinue with an overview of some selected authors of the Epochenschwelle.
These authors will illustrate the generic trends up to the 1850s (see section
two). I conclude with some suggestions concerning the implications of my
historical analysis.

Hospitality up to Christian Wolff (c. 1750)

I can only offer a brief outline here and suggest a new way to make sense
of an often confusing variety of approaches in natural law thinking and
what we nowadays call international legal theory from about 1530 to 1750.6
I see the issue of hospitality as embedded in more comprehensive legal or
normative theories, and focus on these respective theories in the follow-
ing paragraphs. As just mentioned, I distinguish among three ‘schools’ in
terms of hospitality rights: the imperialist school, the society of states school
and the cosmopolitan school. Writers of the imperialist school believed in
a thick conception of the good and subscribed to a material end, which
trumped the rights of a community or state in case of conflict. Accord-
ing to this school, hospitality was an extensive natural right and could be

Francisco de Vitoria (1539): the Catholic ambassadors of Christ

The term ‘imperialist school’ is somewhat misleading with respect to the
Second Scholastic, as the theological dimension was dominant, and the
consequences of the close cooperation with the Spanish crown (and the sub-
sequent result of Spanish imperialism) were apparently unintended. Vitoria’s
Georg Cavallar 71

thick conception of the good is based on and coincides with the Gospel and
the teachings of Catholic Christianity. The main aim of his famous lecture
De Indis (1539) is to justify preaching the Gospel and bringing salvation to
the natives. The Spaniards are the ambassadors of Christ, who are therefore
protected by the law of nations (ius gentium, roughly the basic norms of con-
duct shared by [almost] all [civilised] nations or gentes). The right to travel
and to communicate, based on natural law and the law of nations in this
sense, is merely a means to an end, namely the spreading of the Gospel,
not an end in itself (this is one key difference to the cosmopolitan school).
In addition, Vitoria conceptualises hospitality as a perfect right of the visi-
tors, who have – in a famous passage – the consent and the sanction of ‘the
whole world’ on their side.7 Perfect right implies implementation by force if
This looks like mere ideology, but there are at least two elements which
prevent Vitoria’s theory from becoming just that: the ideas of justice and
of natural rights. Vitoria not only realises that minimal standards of jus-
tice are the necessary condition of a successful mission but also understands
that some form of natural justice is part and parcel of the Christian concep-
tion of the good. The lecture illustrates Vitoria’s honest struggle with this
tension between material ends (the spreading of Christianity) and formal
justice (for instance, the prohibition of unjustified use of force against the
natives or the reciprocity of conduct). In addition, Vitoria does not hesi-
tate to apply the idea of natural rights, which goes back to twelfth century
jurisprudence, to the natives – apparently fully aware of how this application
would complicate arguing for the express theological aim of his lecture.8
The right to preach the Gospel is a prerogative of the Christian, in partic-
ular Catholic, Europeans and thus does not allow for any form of reciprocity
or natural equality in this respect (though it does allow for it if non-religious
issues like property are concerned). In Vitoria, peace is not just a political
concept defined as the absence of war or as cooperation on an equal foot-
ing; it is above all a theological category. Genuine peace is only possible in a
community aiming at salus aeterna. War can be legitimate to preserve peace
in this theological sense.9

Hugo Grotius and the interests of the VOC

Grotius is a more straightforward representative of the imperialist school
than Vitoria or other members of the Second Scholastic. In contradistinc-
tion to his lasting reputation as a champion of cosmopolitanism, peace and
trans-border cooperation, recent studies have stressed the predominance of
a material end in Grotius’ writings, especially in De Jure Praede (written in
1604–1608). This end was Dutch colonialism, in particular, the interests
of the United Dutch East India Company (VOC or Vereenighde Oostindische
Compagnie). According to Richard Tuck, Martine van Ittersum and others,
the book aimed at vindicating the VOC’s privateering campaign in the East
72 From Hospitality to the Right of Immigration

Indies. Grotius employed the language of natural law and rights and various
philosophical sources to offer convincing arguments for this political goal.
For instance, Grotius used and abused Stoic philosophy to justify alliances
with native rulers against Christian colonial rivals, to legitimise punishment
of transgressors of natural law or to defend Dutch interests in free trade
and navigation.10 There is no doubt that Grotius’ revised theories of nat-
ural rights, of natural law and of the law of nations were original, could
be (and actually were) read in isolation from their colonial contexts and
contemporary polemics and were tremendously influential.
This also holds true of what Grotius wrote about hospitality and the free-
dom of the seas (a formal principle which again served Dutch interests
against the Portuguese and Spanish colonial possessions). Closely following
Vitoria and other members of the Second Scholastic like Francisco Suárez,
Grotius claimed that the rights to travel and trade were natural, perfect
and enforceable and did not require consent. Grotius termed the first one
the ‘law of human fellowship’, called it ‘absolutely just’ and agreed with
Vitoria. Originally there had been no private ownership (dominium) but com-
mon possession (communio) and only in the course of history did common
possession become modified in certain areas in favour of private property.
If someone wanted to pass over a territory under the dominium of a peo-
ple, various conditions could be imposed and precautions could be taken
in order to protect the owner. However, the right of passage itself could
be demanded and enforced if refused. The rights to travel and trade were
universal and thus pertained ‘equally to all peoples’.11 Any defense of exclu-
sive rights or privileges such as those propagated by the Spanish or the
Portuguese was therefore bound to fail. These sweeping provisions served
a new goal, no longer (only) the spreading of the Christian faith, but above
all Dutch commercial interests and imperial power.

The society of states school

This school endorsed an international legal theory which is closest to con-
temporary understanding. It was state-centred, emphasised the sovereign
right of each community to restrict or prohibit immigration and turned
hospitality into an imperfect (moral) duty. Apart from Jean Bodin, the two
crucial authors establishing this tradition were in all likelihood Thomas
Hobbes and Samuel Pufendorf.12 The key and long-term changes were the
First came the development of a dualistic concept of law after 1750: in
contrast to the jurists (and theologians like Francisco Suárez) of preceding
centuries, jurists now distinguished clearly between natural law and positive
law (lex). The latter was more and more identified with the will of the leg-
islator (a triumph of voluntarism) and seen as ‘value-free’, that is, as quite
independent of the idea of natural justice and natural law. Second was the
growing autonomy of jurisprudence: it now distinguished itself from the
Georg Cavallar 73

moral philosophy of theologians like Vitoria (see Alberico Gentili for an early
distinction) or that of the academics (Schullehrer; see Christian Thomasius).
Pufendorf’s natural law philosophy, for instance, was based on the principle
of ‘sociability’ (socialitas) and rejected an ethical understanding of natural
law. As a consequence, his theory was criticised by eclectic philosophers as
reductionistic.14 One result of jurisprudence’s autonomy was the weaken-
ing of moral theology. Third was a new and more comprehensive natural
law theory. This was the conditio sine qua non of any attempt to establish
the autonomy of jurisprudence. Natural law was no longer ‘written into the
hearts of people’ and inborn but derived from human nature with the help
of ‘right reason’ and ‘universally valid’. The science of natural law focused on
external, enforceable actions, the rights and duties of citizens and the obliga-
tion of the ruler to guarantee external peace and security (pax et securitas), the
sole end of the state. This modified natural law theory went hand in hand
with a new political anthropology, which emphasised self-love, sociability
(no longer seen as an innate human feature but as artificial and historical)
and possible conflict. Fourth came the secularisation of politics or its ‘decon-
fessionalisation’ or ‘desacralisation’ (Ian Hunter). The weakening of moral
theology was part of this process. In Hunter’s words:

Pufendorf’s civil philosophy [ . . . ] sought to complete the desacralisation

of civil governance by transforming the pedagogies through which young
Protestant intellectuals – jurists in particular – acquired their sense of self
and relation to the world. His Epicurean anthropology was designed to
form civil intellectuals who would confine the pursuit of moral truth to
a private domain, while placing their political rights and expertise at the
disposal of a sovereign who governed without regard for such truth.15

The project of a single moral philosophy unifying church and state, morality
and politics was abandoned. The goal was a government neutral in confes-
sional terms. Still, authors like Pufendorf kept a kind of backup theology,
with the divine will as the ultimate source of civil obligations.
The consequences of this new legal philosophy were far-reaching. In the
first place, it meant the end of traditional jus gentium as a source of law
that (almost) all gentes (peoples) had in common.16 This was a result of the
dualistic concept of law (natural or rational versus positive), which left no
room for the older version of jus gentium. Hobbes, for instance, derived the
law of nature only from reason, and he identified the law of nations with
the law of nature. On this basis, Hobbes saw the international realm as a
state of nature. Second, this law of nations was seen as a distinct field of law
applying to a unique set of legal subjects, that is, to sovereign rulers or states
(civitates) only. Pufendorf, for instance, conceptualised the sovereign state
as a composite moral person (persona moralis composita), constituted by the
union of individuals under a government.
74 From Hospitality to the Right of Immigration

The second consequence was a state-centred political philosophy. This was

a result of the dualistic concept of law, of the secularisation of politics, of the
new natural law theory focusing on external actions of individuals and on
the rights and duties of citizens and of the aforementioned reconstruction
of states as moral or legal entities. Pufendorf’s goal was not securing indi-
vidual spheres of freedom or developing a comprehensive concept of the
good but separating political and religious spheres, establishing the primacy
of the former and justifying the ‘absolute’ state as a guarantee of domes-
tic peace, security and tranquillity.17 The historical context of the society of
states school is fairly obvious. It is a century of European confessional divi-
sion, strife, civil war and war, especially the Thirty Years’ War. Under these
circumstances political and legal philosophies neutral in confessional terms
and the training of confessionally neutral jurists and politicians definitely
made sense.18
We would expect from the society of states school an overwhelming
emphasis on positive legislation, state sovereignty and voluntary contracts
in the sphere of what is nowadays called international law (or the new
state-centred law of nations), and this is exactly what we get. A brief look
at Pufendorf and his ideas on the right of hospitality illustrates the point.
The perfect right of ownership trumps the imperfect right to visit, trade
and settle in foreign countries. A perfect right (ius perfectum) is precise,
enforceable and necessary if society is to exist at all. Perfect rights are usu-
ally based on contract, promises or agreements. By contrast, an imperfect
right (ius imperfectum) allows for some latitude, cannot be enforced and goes
beyond mere rules of coexistence, aiming at ‘improved existence’. Pufendorf
calls these moral obligations ‘works of humanity or of love’. The imper-
fect duty to come to someone’s aid and to offer shelter and hospitality are
cases in point.19 Pufendorf does not see imperfect rights as less important or
qualitatively inferior to perfect ones.
The perfect right of ownership is trumps: The property holder simply has
‘the final decision on the question, whether he wishes to share with oth-
ers the use of his property’.20 Pufendorf dismisses not only Vitoria’s first just
title of ‘natural partnership and communication’ and the right to preach the
Gospel but also Grotius’ arguments on behalf of Dutch commercial interests.
There is no longer any natural, enforceable right to trade. The native com-
munities have to grant permission and may renounce it if it conflicts with
the duty of self-preservation, defined and interpreted as they see fit. State or
community rights trump those of the global moral community. In the nine-
teenth century, lawyers would distinguish between international morality
and international law along these lines.

The cosmopolitan school

This school posits a formal end of international society: peaceful inter-
action and exchange, based on reciprocity and equal spheres of external
Georg Cavallar 75

freedom and focuses on individuals and their rights rather than states. Rep-
resentatives go beyond the state-centred approach of the second school and
emphasise natural human rights of global reach but try to avoid the impe-
rialist and hegemonic implications of the first school. Hospitality, Vitoria’s
right to travel and to communicate is now an end in itself, no longer a means
to something else. I consider Christian Wolff as the first important represen-
tative of this school. He developed a new concept of law (lex) as a binding
body of rules no longer connected with the feature of the legislator (as in
Hobbes and Pufendorf). The decisive criterion is the obligatory force of the
law, with the law of nature based on the essence of man and of things (and
not on God’s will).21
This new concept helped Wolff to reject both Pufendorf’s identification of
the law of nations with the law of nature and his dualistic concept of law.
Wolff himself distinguished between four levels in his Ius gentium (1749):
The natural or necessary law of nations (ius gentium naturale vel necessar-
ium) was the application of natural law to nations (gentes). The volitional or
voluntary law of nations (ius voluntarium) was precariously located between
natural and positive law, based on right reason and the presumed consent
of nations. It specified ‘what nations ought to consider as law among them-
selves, although it does not conform in all respects to the natural law of
nations, nor altogether differ from it’. Wolff seemed to argue that acts which
violate the obligatory law of nature are ‘not indeed allowed, but endured’.22
Wolff divided positive law into stipulative law (ius gentium pactitium) which
derived from pacts or stipulations, thus from express consent and customary
law (ius gentium consuetudinarium) based on tacit consent, that is, long usage,
custom or das Herkommen.23 Wolff accepted both forms of positive law as
part of the body of the law of nations. However, he assumed a clear hierar-
chy. Nations form a universal commonwealth termed civitas maxima whose
norms are identical with the volitional law of nations.
Wolff distinguished the juridical notion of a civitas maxima from the ‘great
society (societas magna) . . . made up of the whole human race’.24 The idea of a
great society revived the Stoic notion of humans as sharing certain biological
and moral qualities, and thus being related to each other. The civitas max-
ima, by contrast, was an ideal or fiction which structured the legal sphere
and outlined how humans ought to interact with each other.25 Natural or
necessary law was logically prior to all other types of law, even to voluntary
law, which depended on ‘the free will of nations’ but had to be compatible
with natural law.26 The idea of a civitas maxima, a hypothetical society or
commonwealth based on tacit consent, underlined this primacy of natural
law and was logically prior to the society of sovereign states. Pufendorf had
implied that the establishment of particular societies rendered the notion of
an original commonwealth obsolete. In a passage apparently directed against
Pufendorf and the society of states school, Wolff argued that if we consider
the great society
76 From Hospitality to the Right of Immigration

which nature herself has established among men, to be done away with
by the particular societies which men enter when they unite into a state,
states would be established contrary to the law of nature, in as much
as the universal obligation of all toward all would be terminated; which
assuredly is absurd.27

The law of nature included universal obligations towards all people, such
as mutual assistance. This obligation was only partially fulfilled by unit-
ing into a state. Wolff continued: ‘After the human race was divided
into nations, that society which before was between individuals continues
between nations’. The regulative idea of civitas maxima was based on natural
law, right reason and on the implicit consent of all peoples, ‘as if they had
signed a contract’, ‘as if by agreement’. Based on implicit consent and the
equality of nations, this cosmopolitan world order was binding like positive
law, could not be revoked by unilateral decision and amounted to ‘a kind of
democratic form of government’.28
In agreement with some previous authors like Vitoria and Pufendorf, Wolff
accepted the true ownership of natives. Like Pufendorf, he rejected any
exclusive rights for Europeans. The right of each nation to own one’s ter-
ritory effectively abandoned Vitoria’s first title. Nations may decide ‘not to
tolerate missionaries’, since their purpose is ‘urging their religion upon the
inhabitants’.29 As in Pufendorf, Wolff’s system of natural law allowed for
a clear distinction between the spheres of law and religion. For authors
of the Second Scholastic, a thick conception of the good had trumped
considerations of reciprocity. In Vitoria or Francisco Suárez, for instance,
missionaries representing Catholic Christianity had a right to preach every-
where, and as it was the only true religion, standards of reciprocity did
not apply: unbelievers had no right to preach their faith in Catholic terri-
tories. This was the central dilemma of Vitoria’s lecture: divine command
took precedence over ius gentium and natural law and established privi-
leges for Catholic Christians. This hierarchy could not easily be reconciled
with the assumed natural equality of political communities and their inde-
pendence and dominium. Wolff opted for natural equality, independence
and dominium, rejected any thick concept of the good (religions are legally
equal) and reasoned that European arguments based on civilisation were also
Although Wolff differed profoundly from Pufendorf and rejected the soci-
ety of states school, their respective theories of hospitality rights drew similar
conclusions. As pointed out, Wolff distinguished between necessary or nat-
ural and positive law. One type of the latter is stipulative law (ius gentium
pactitium) which derives from pacts or stipulations, thus from express con-
sent. Wolff’s account of hospitality builds upon these distinctions. In the first
place, states have perfect duties towards themselves, such as self-preservation
Georg Cavallar 77

and self-perfection, and towards others, such as non-interference.30 There

are also imperfect duties which cannot be enforced, such as the duty to help
other nations or communities. However, these are subordinate to the perfect
ones. Likewise, duties towards oneself prevail over duties towards others.31
Thus, foreigners can be prohibited to enter the territory of a sovereign
commonwealth.32 Like authors before him, Wolff used Chinese isolationist
policy as an example. The Chinese had a perfect right to restrict or altogether
refrain from international trade and commerce ‘for the purpose of preserving
their interests’.33
A major shortcoming of Wolff’s regulative idea of civitas maxima was that
it did not have any bearing on the right of hospitality: Wolff refused to
qualify or soften the principle of state sovereignty here, and was thus actu-
ally close to both Pufendorf and Vattel. Things are different (and more
Kantian) if we look at the forgotten Disquisitio de civitate gentium (1749–
1757) of Johann Heumann.34 He combined Wolff’s idea of civitas maxima
with contractual theory (and its version in Saint-Pierre): peace has to be
established by law, and ‘perpetual’ peace is only possible through a global
contract, which ultimately has to provide for mechanisms of law enforce-
ment, analogous to the pax civilis. Entering the league is voluntary but
once communities have become members, they are obliged by the force
of law to obey its laws and judgements. Heumann endorsed Saint-Pierre’s
Hobbesian principle that the European states ‘have to leave the state of
nature’ and turned it into a legal duty pertaining to all communities and
states. There were just a few steps from Heumann to Kant, steps taken by

Changes in the right of hospitality after Wolff

(c. 1750–1850)

Gottfried Achenwall and Johann Stephan Pütter (1750): the eclipse

of imperfect duties towards strangers
Achenwall (1719–1772) and Pütter (1720–1807) wrote a widely used text-
book on natural law, Elementa iuris naturae (1750), which incorporated
elements of Grotius, Wolff, Thomasius and Gundling.36 It distinguished law
from morality, positive from natural laws (§ 210), saw self-preservation (con-
servatio sui) and non-interference as the fundamental principles of law (§
213) and assigned perfect and enforceable rights and duties to them (§§
183, 185, 220). Wolff’s striving after perfection belonged to the imperfect
rights and duties (§§ 6–17). Since the law of nations and natural law coin-
cide, just as in Pufendorf (§ 899), the principles of ius gentium are (again)
self-preservation and non-interference, that is, ‘do not disturb the preserva-
tion of other nations (gentes)’ (§ 907; cf. §§ 908 and 917). This implies legal
78 From Hospitality to the Right of Immigration

equality (§ 919), natural legal freedom (§§ 895 and 920; both are not inalien-
able) and owning one’s territory (§§ 929–30). Therefore, no people is allowed
to enter or transverse foreign territory, unless this people consents to it (§
935). This right of property is not qualified; even territories of ‘barbarians’
must not be occupied (§ 939); the right of innocent use (innoxiae utilitatis
principum), discussed at length in some previous authors, is simply dropped
(§ 935). The category of imperfect duties towards strangers is missing – it is
part and parcel of ‘ethics and politics’ (§ 208) and perhaps part of the ‘prac-
tical European law of nations’ (ius gentium Europaearum practicum, § 976),
promised at the end of this book.
‘Natural law developed in the eighteenth century into increas-
ingly more specialized governmental sciences such as Cameralism and
Polizeywissenschaft – a science of politics as a technology of government’.37
Achenwall and Pütter’s natural law theory included elements of reason of
state (ratio status; § 207), especially in cases of ‘extreme necessity’, when
the nation was entitled to violate perfect duties in the name of the more
basic right of public self-preservation (§ 911; cf. §§ 203–5). The authors did
not endorse the primacy of natural law, but rather its opposite, the pri-
macy of positive legislation. The yardstick is the salus publica, the common
welfare as interpreted by the sovereign and she may order actions ‘which
are not prescribed by natural law’ (§ 695).38 If one compares Achenwall’s
and Pütter’s textbook to Wolff, one can see that the category of imperfect
duties towards strangers has vanished. This eclipse goes hand in hand with
a stronger emphasis on positive legislation.

Emer de Vattel (1758): the waning of imperfect

duties, continued
Vattel was a so-called disciple of Wolff and partly followed him. He deepened
the distinction between necessary and voluntary law of nations: the former
became the ‘inner law of conscience’, deleting the dimension of external
actions, while the latter coincided with customary law and no longer with
the laws of Wolff’s hypothetical and normative universal commonwealth.
Vattel did not inaugurate the era of positivism, but also rejected Wolff’s pri-
macy of natural law and the civitas maxima. This turned into a mere moral
‘universal society’. Sovereign states had a right to refuse visitors. Prudence
and charity, the imperfect duties of humanity on the one hand and the
right of ownership on the other had to be weighted against each other.39
As in Pufendorf, immigration was a matter of discretion, but there was a
liberal twist in the theory of civil society. Once foreigners were admitted
into the country, the sovereign had a duty to protect them.40 The moral
concept of the société humaine replacing Wolff’s civitas maxima implied that
humans were bound by conscience to assist each other as long as this imper-
fect duty of mutual assistance was compatible with the perfect duties towards
Georg Cavallar 79

Denis Diderot (1772 and 1780): the spirit of ancient

hospitality revived
As a philosopher, Diderot did not explicitly contribute to international legal
discourses of his time and apparently had little impact on them. However,
he can be interpreted as a creative and progressive representative of the cos-
mopolitan school, positioned between Wolff, Heumann, Rousseau and Kant.
Though partly following familiar distinctions, Diderot added a new element
to this debate. In his contributions to Histoire philosophique et politique des
établissements et du commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes (edited by Abbé
Guillaume-Thomas Raynal; revised and enlarged edition 1780), he offered an
explicit attack on European colonialism.42 Diderot supported familiar hospi-
tality rights and distinguished between a right of necessity, a right to visit, a
right to be a guest and the right of settlement. If travellers wanted to settle
in a foreign country, it was up to the natives to grant permission.43 The right
to visit was only a perfect one if the traveller’s life was at stake. The right
to be a guest, by contrast, was imperfect and contingent upon the consent
of the parties involved. Diderot, while also celebrating the feats of Chinese
civilisation, did not miss the opportunity to point out that the Chinese
politicians who had chosen isolation were ‘not unjust’, given the tiger-like
propensities of the Europeans. Diderot even used a familiar argument of nat-
ural law doctrine, namely that pre-emptive strikes and aggressive responses
(of native populations) might be legitimate in case of an ‘overwhelming
power’ (potential tremenda) which in all likelihood would be a threat in the
future (here, he referred to European states). If countries were partly popu-
lated, the Europeans could possess the deserted fraction, provided they were
peaceful and did not destroy the livelihood of the aborigines.44 Commerce
as the exchange of goods was ambivalent as it could be one of the sources of
human happiness and freedom. The actual history of European commercial
expansion, however, was one of unmitigated moral disaster and vehemently
criticised.45 Diderot also noted the older understanding of commerce as any
form of exchange, including and especially that of ideas, and this found his
unmitigated support.46
Diderot’s normative ideal was the peaceful exchange of ideas and of com-
modities, possible intermarriages which might lead to the creation of a new
people and what he saw as the spirit of ancient hospitality. As in Smith and
others (and later Ward), hospitality was historicised. Diderot tended to ide-
alise it, claiming that it was universally practiced in the ancient world and
‘was almost the only thing that attached nations to each other. It was the
source of the longest lasting and the most respected friendship, contracted
between families who were separated by immense regions’.47 Diderot per-
ceived the history of hospitality as a history of decline, and the key factors
were modern technology as well as a form of moral disorientation. The latter
was a result of European travellers finding themselves so far away from home
80 From Hospitality to the Right of Immigration

that they felt ‘outside the network of reciprocal relationships and expec-
tations that had once given them the cultural contexts for their actions,
beliefs, and values – for their moeurs’.48

Karl Anton Freiherr von Martini (1791): a natural lawyer’s turn to

incipient positivism
The spirit of Martini’s writings is very different from Diderot’s. He belongs
to the ‘younger’ natural law theory since 1780, with a new focus on the
individuals and their rights and a new function for natural/rational law.
Gradually, natural law was merely supposed to replenish or complete posi-
tive legislation. Disciplinary demarcations were set up, for instance, between
political science, moral philosophy, philosophical legal theory and natural
law.49 Influenced by Wolff, Karl Anton Freiherr von Martini (1726–1800)
was one of the liberal-minded catholic reformers of the Habsburg monar-
chy during the reigns of Maria Theresia, Joseph II and Leopold II.50 Martini’s
works were based on his university lectures and served as textbooks for
roughly 40 years in the territories of the monarchy. The second part of
his Erklärung der Lehrsätze über das allgemeine Staats- und Völkerrecht (1791)
covered his international legal theory. Martini worked with the domestic
analogy: relations among states were compared with and were similar to
relations among individuals before the establishment of civil society. For
various reasons, however, natural duties among states were not as strict as
those among individuals, and this applied to both perfect and imperfect
duties. Dropping Wolff’s elaborate distinctions and following the society
of states school, Martini distinguished between natural and positive law of
nations. The natural law of nations was natural law ‘applied to the business
(Geschäfte) of nations’51 – a definition going back to Hobbes and Pufendorf.
Martini continued on their path. There was no general (allgemeines) pos-
itive law of nations only a particular, namely European, law of nations,
which included the American free states, presumably because they were of
European descent.52 Martini did not even endorse the minimalist notion
of a European international community as Vattel had done (which was, as
it were, an extremely thinned down version of Wolff’s more daring civitas
maxima). Martini criticised both Wolff and Vattel in this respect. States had
no legal authority over other states, which were ‘by nature’ independent.53
Martini also closely followed the society of states school in terms of hospi-
tality rights. Each nation had a right to refuse entry to foreigners. Martini
criticised Grotius, whose opinion on duties towards strangers was, according
to Martini, too ‘vague (unbestimmt)’.54

Immanuel Kant (1795 and 1797): a philosophical argument for the

cosmopolitan school
Much has already been said on this topic, so I will focus on one issue
only: Kant and his predecessors.55 Kant attacked the society of states school,
Georg Cavallar 81

denouncing Pufendorf – together with Grotius and Vattel – as a ‘sorry com-

forter’. However, this should not lead us to believe that Kant dismissed all
its tenets. He endorsed the secularisation of politics, his legal theory focused
on external actions, jurisprudence was an autonomous discipline separate
from theology and law was divided into positive and rational law. Kant did
not dismiss state sovereignty out of hand, rather, it enjoyed legitimacy, if
only provisionally. However, he differed from the society of states school
with the thesis of the provisional quality of sovereignty and the dismissal of
hospitality as an imperfect moral duty.
Kant sided with the cosmopolitan school of authors such as Wolff, who
managed to avoid being labelled a ‘sorry comforter’ by Kant, as he had
posited a civitas maxima, akin to Kant’s own long-term goal of a (limited)
republican world government. However, there are Kantian modifications:
a clear-cut distinction between norms and facts, between the rational idea
and the will of the majority, between pure practical reason and the prac-
tice of ‘more civilized nations’. These distinctions illustrate Kant’s new and
revolutionary methodological approach, the programme of a pure practical
philosophy or ‘completely isolated metaphysics of morals, mixed with no
anthropology, theology, physics, or hyperphysics and still less with occult
qualities’.56 Kant distinguished between the principle of consistency and that
of universality.The former translated into the principle of right, namely, the
external freedom of choice of each person should coexist with that of every-
one else under a system of constraints ‘in accordance with a universal law’.57
According to the principle of universality, this system of mutual constraints
should demarcate everyone’s external freedom equally. Kant thus arrived
at rightful external freedom under laws of justice or civil liberty and legal
Large sections of the third definitive article in Perpetual Peace criticised
European colonialism, which suggests that Kant also dismissed the impe-
rialist school. Scattered passages in other writings openly attacked central
tenets of this school, such as the agricultural argument or titles based on
the superiority of European civilisation (at times it seems that Kant believed
in its superiority, but denied that any rightful claims could be derived from
it).58 Pufendorf had conceptualised hospitality as an imperfect moral duty.
Achenwall, Pütter, Vattel and others stand for the eclipse of imperfect duties
towards strangers and the rise of ‘international morality’. Kant, by contrast,
claimed that we were talking about a right, not morality, since right delin-
eated external spheres of freedom and was connected with coercion. Any
form of rightful/rechtmässige contact was based on the mutual prohibition of
injury: neminem laedere. Kant, for instance, famously believed that European
colonial endeavours were so unjust and violent that Chinese and Japanese
inhospitality was justified. Cosmopolitan right was designed to overcome
the state of nature among states, non-state communities and individuals,
thus complementing (not replacing) domestic and international right. All
82 From Hospitality to the Right of Immigration

persons ‘who can mutually affect one another must belong to some civil
constitution’.59 All spheres of external freedom had to be subject to the rule
of law.
In terms of content, Kant’s cosmopolitan right followed what authors
before him had written about the subject. Diderot, for instance, antici-
pated Kant’s distinction between the right to visit and the right to be a
guest. Others had also criticised colonialism, defended Chinese or Japanese
isolationism or attempted to balance the rights of visitors with those of
the natives. Kant’s demarcation of spheres of freedom was probably more
precise. The originality of Kant’s contribution lies in his revision of the tradi-
tional argument from original ownership, his new justification of hospitality
rights and the thinness of his account. Diderot, for instance, was deeply pes-
simistic that European incursions and atrocities could be stopped.60 Though
Kant found clear words denouncing British and Dutch colonialism, Diderot’s
pessimism and cynicism were absent.
My short overview demonstrates that most authors after Wolff discussed
here can be assigned to the society of states school, namely Achenwall
and Pütter, Vattel and Martini. Writers like Heumann and Diderot kept
the cosmopolitan school alive, but were rather marginal. Perhaps it is safe
to assume that the imperialist school receded into the background. The
society-of-states school was further bolstered by developments I am going
to discuss next.

Major changes around 1800: the historical turn, the turn

to European international law and the breakthrough of
legal positivism

It goes without saying that binary thinking should be avoided here.

Changes were a matter of gradual shifts rather than sudden revolutions.
The historische Rechtsschule in the first half of nineteenth-century Germany
(founded by Carl von Savigny) had its roots in the ‘discovery’ of history in
the eighteenth century. The turn to European law of nations had been fore-
shadowed by various authors before the 1800s, and we can detect forms of
legal positivism in the writings of the society of states school, for instance
Pufendorf. It might be said that isolated bits and pieces finally surfaced and
developed into fully recognisable theories. I start with the turn to history
and to the European law of nations.
An Enquiry into the Foundation and History of the Law of Nations in Europe
(1795) by Robert Plumer Ward (1765–1846) is usually considered the first
historical study of the law of nations.61 Ward doubted that the law of nations
was universal, as European codes were not. This law became a historical
phenomenon, subject to change depending on geography and historical
periods. What was called for was an ‘enquiry [ . . . ] into the history of
Man’.62 Ward was obviously influenced by the ‘philosophical historians’ of
Georg Cavallar 83

the Enlightenment such as Montesquieu, Adam Smith, David Hume, Lord

Kames, Adam Ferguson, Edward Gibbon or John Millar.63 When writing
about Christianity as the gentle civiliser and moraliser of nations, Ward
noted the many examples of hospitality among Germanic tribes during the
migration of peoples in the fifth century A.D. ‘The laws of several of their
states, made express provisions to enforce the rights of hospitality, and var-
ious histories might be related to show how those rights were respected.’64
The term ‘right’ is somewhat misleading: in the first place, hospitality was
a virtue, a personal quality of individuals and perhaps an established cus-
tom rather than something akin to what has been called a ‘right’ since
twelfth century jurisprudence. According to Ward, inhospitality rather than
hospitality was the rule in the Middle Ages, and Ward noted examples of
communities where strangers could be enslaved or killed.65
The new focus on Europe was probably prepared by the various col-
lections of state treaties since the middle of the seventeenth century by
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716), Jacques Bernard (1658–1718), Jean
Dumont (1666–1727), Friedrich August Wilhelm Wenck (1741–1810) and
others. Their main focus was on the droit public de l’ Europe and diplomatic
practice. Several authors had prepared the ground for an almost exclusive
focus on Europe: Vattel claimed that the idea of a universal commonwealth
was redundant because Europe was already ‘a sort of Republic’. There was no
general positive law of nations, Martini asserted, only a particular, namely
European, law. Johann Jacob Moser (1701–1785) based the law of nations on
contracts, actual practice and equity law, customary among civilised, that is,
European sovereign states.
Georg Friedrich von Martens (1756–1821), who was deeply influenced by
Moser, became well known for his collection of treaties, the Recueil des prin-
cipaux traités (1791), and his main work, Précis du droit des gens moderne de
l’Europe fondé sur les traités et l’usage (1789), edited in German under the
title Einleitung in das positive Europäische Völkerrecht (1796), is usually con-
sidered as the final breakthrough of legal positivism.66 Martens also moved
from generic ius inter gentes to state-centred European law of nations and
from natural and volitional law to positive law.67 While he did not deny
that there was a ‘pure natural law of nations’ (reines natürliches Völkerrecht),
natural and volitional laws of nations coincided with international moral-
ity or Völkermoral.68 Martens’ paragraph on the right of immigration (now
the traditional concept of hospitality was really dead) reads like a succinct
summary of previous authors’ key statements as well as legal practice (the
only explicit sources here).69 His starting point was the perfect right of the
sovereign territorial state or nation to prohibit entry, passage or permanent
residence of foreigners, for whatever reasons. The only exceptions were cases
of necessity such as distress at sea (these were obvious remnants of natu-
ral law doctrine, now justified by state practice). This was not the end of
the story. Martens continued with European legal practice, which allowed
84 From Hospitality to the Right of Immigration

subjects ‘in general and without express permission’ to enter, pass through or
stay in other countries, except in times of war. This liberal practice was usu-
ally based on contracts, and it was up to the sovereign to impose limitations,
such as introducing passports or denying entry to certain groups of people.
Martens’ summary was constructed on and synthesised an impressive list of
bilateral treaties as well as on authors such as Moser.
Probably the most widespread story of the rise of legal positivism focuses
on two British authors, Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) and John Austin
(1790–1859), with Bentham (1789) using the term ‘international law’ instead
of ‘the law of nations’ and changing the boundaries of the discipline. How-
ever, if the interpretation offered here (based on Jan Schröder and others)
is correct, Bentham merely repeated two familiar assumptions of the society
of states school: international law was only about the rights and obligations
of states among themselves and not about those including individuals, and,
as a consequence, cases involving foreign transactions adjudicated by local
courts were not decided by the norms of the law of nations but by internal
rules.70 Austin (1832) followed suit, also drawing a sharp distinction between
international and domestic spheres and declaring that international law was
not really law in the strict sense, since law was set by sovereign authority,
which was absent in the international realm.71
As pointed out, this familiar story about Bentham and Austin may have to
be revised as a form of incipient positivism can be found since Hobbes and
Pufendorf. Austin’s claim that the so-called ‘law of nations consists of opin-
ions or sentiments current among nations generally’ was similar to Moser
and Martens.72 The turn to positive European law of nations goes back to the
1780s. The novel element in Austin (and in legal science of the early nine-
teenth century in general) was a fresh attempt to ‘determine the province of
jurisprudence’, as indicated in the title of Austin’s lectures. Jurisprudence’s
sole focus was positive law, though drawing clear disciplinary boundaries
was difficult since this type of law was intimately ‘allied or related’ to other
types, such as the laws of God or positive moral rules.73 The generic shift
is indicated by the replacement of the umbrella term ‘natural law’ with
‘philosophy of (positive) law’.74

Henry Wheaton (1836): the triumph of state-centred

international law
Wheaton, whose Elements of International Law (1836) became one of the stan-
dard textbooks of the nineteenth century, incorporated essential changes
in international legal theory into his own approach: there was no uni-
versal law of nations (with quotations from Grotius [which is a bit odd],
Bynkershoek, but also Montesquieu; Ward could be added); international
law was not proper law (quotes from Rayneval, Bentham and Austin [which
comes as a surprise, since Austin was widely unknown in the first half of
the century]); finally, natural law was no longer considered a source of
international law.75 Changes were reflected in a new perspective on piracy:
Georg Cavallar 85

pirates were still ‘the enemies of all mankind’, but not because they violated
standards of natural law (an argument found in Grotius, for instance) but
because pirates were not ‘authorized by any sovereign State’.76 State-centred
international law gave rise to the concept of ‘private international law’ reg-
ulating the interactions of private individuals and corporations. Sovereign
states had the ‘exclusive power of legislation’ over citizens and aliens alike,
including the right to naturalise foreigners. Rights of immigration were not

August Wilhelm Heffter (1844): an international lawyer joins

the camp of cosmopolitans
In Contemporary European Law of Nations (1844), Heffter (1796–1880) dis-
tinguished between ius gentium and the ius publicum europaeum, which was
limited to Christian nation states within and outside of Europe.78 As we
have seen, this followed international legal theory of his time. Heffter parted
company when positing a natural community of humankind and claiming
that the law of nations should serve as the basis of the ‘general devel-
opment of humankind (allseitige Entwickelung des Menschengeschlechts)’. He
mentioned Suárez as the founder of this ‘brilliant’ idea.79 This turns him into
a cosmopolitan-minded international lawyer with a Christian background.
In a manner reminiscent of the society of states school, the basic ‘freedom
of intercourse’ was qualified, for instance by the duty of self-preservation.
States may even favour some nations over others. Trade and interaction
were forbidden if they violated ‘general human rights’, for instance in case
of slavery.80 Heffter held that governments decided if and how long aliens
might stay in their respective territories. However, isolationist policies and
arbitrary rejection of individuals violated the ius publicum europaeum.81 Non-
European communities enjoyed the same legal rights, one of them being
the ‘right of mutual interaction’.82 In a manner reminiscent of Diderot and
Kant, Heffter criticised European colonialism and distinguished between a
right to visit and a right to be a guest, claimed that there was only a right
to visit or to attempt communication and insisted that territory had to be
ceded voluntarily.83
There is a long quotation in Wheaton, which shows that Heffter was an
accepted legal authority in the nineteenth century. Wheaton noted that
Heffter defended an older version of ius gentium, based on the idea of a law
‘common to all mankind, and which no people can refuse to acknowledge’.
Heffter started with a highly Kantian definition of law as ‘the external free-
dom of the moral person’, which enabled him to disassociate his definition
of law from those who identified it with a sovereign authority, as in Hobbes,
Pufendorf or Austin:

A nation associating itself with the general society of nations, thereby

recognizes a law common to all nations by which its international rela-
tions are to be regulated. It cannot violate this law, without exposing
86 From Hospitality to the Right of Immigration

itself to the danger of incurring the enmity of other nations, and without
exposing to hazard its own existence. The motive which induces each par-
ticular nation to observe this law depends upon its persuasion that other
nations will observe towards it the same law. The jus gentium is founded
upon reciprocity of will. It has neither lawgiver nor supreme judge, since
independent states acknowledge no superior human authority. Its organ
and regulator is public opinion: its supreme tribunal is history, which
forms at one the rampart of justice and the Nemesis by whom injustice
is avenged. Its sanction, or the obligation of all men to respect it, results
from the moral order of the universe, which will not suffer nations and
individuals to be isolated from each other, but constantly tends to unite
the whole family of mankind in one great harmonious society.84

The passage is a fascinating example of how international lawyers since the

sixteenth century have struggled to find a basis of legal obligation. The tradi-
tional answer, that obligation was ultimately grounded in God’s will – which
Pufendorf also subscribed to – had disappeared in Heffter’s era. Was it now
public opinion (the organ and regulator of international law), the threat
of punishment (suggested at the beginning of the quote) or was there just
formal reciprocity without proper sanction (the power of reason)? Heffter
offered a Hegelian solution, referring to the tribunal of history. The result
was a curious mix of Kant and Hegel. Kant’s formal approach was kept (exter-
nal freedom, reciprocity), but supplemented with Hegelian philosophy of
history. Some elements of the cosmopolitan school can be detected, such
as reciprocity, equal spheres of external freedom, peaceful interaction and
normative individualism. Wheaton quoted Heffter at length, since he was
a ‘distinguished public jurist’,85 but he did not endorse his colleague’s cos-
mopolitan overtones. Heffter’s system was simply presented as a divergent
legal opinion.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the society of states school ulti-
mately prevailed, while the cosmopolitan school became attractive for some
philosophically minded scholars and the imperialist school remained agree-
able because of the racist, Eurocentric, nationalist and imperialist tendencies
of the age. Swiss-born Johann Caspar Bluntschli (1808–1881), for instance,
can be assigned to the society of states school, but his writings also sug-
gest that the tenets of the imperialist school (a thick concept of the good,
no full reciprocity, a perfect and enforceable right to travel) had kept their
attractiveness.86 Friedrich von Martens (1845–1909) in turn developed a the-
ory that revolved around the international community of civilised – that
is, European – states.87 Interestingly, Martens criticised Bluntschli’s ‘noble
and lofty cosmopolitanism’ as he had wrongly identified international law
with the ‘law of the whole human race’. According to Martens, however,
uncivilised nations were not fit for legal reciprocity, and thus Bluntschli’s
international law of global reach was impracticable and utopian.88 Martens
Georg Cavallar 87

obviously missed the imperialist tendencies in his colleague’s theory or read

them as ‘cosmopolitan-minded’.


I have offered a selective list of authors to illustrate the generic trends in

international legal theory from 1750 to 1850. Scholars have never disputed
the ‘profound changes’ in those 100 years.89 In my analysis, I sought to
show how these changes influenced the thinking on hospitality. We should
definitely avoid a simplistic story, namely a development from natural law
to legal positivism, from hospitality to a restrictive right of immigration,
from cosmopolitanism to closed state borders, but the general trend is obvi-
ous: the majority of authors, among them Pufendorf, Achenwall and Pütter,
Vattel, Martini, Martens, Bentham, Austin and Wheaton, belonged to, or
were close to, the society of states school. Major changes took place within
the cosmopolitan school, but only two, perhaps three of the authors dis-
cussed here managed to influence mainstream international legal theory,
namely Wolff, Kant and Heffter, while the cosmopolitan elements of their
respective systems of ideas were probably ignored.
There is no stark contrast between the eighteenth and nineteenth cen-
turies in several respects. A form of early legal positivism can be found
since Pufendorf, even among lawyers like Martini assigned to the natu-
ral law tradition, and my brief sketch suggests that the society of states
school was dominant in international legal theory during both centuries.
As a consequence, we find a firmly entrenched sovereign right to exclude
aliens after 1650 (together with the ius emigrandi of the droit public de l’
Europe). Thus, a 1972 opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court, referring to the
‘ancient’ right of states to exclude all aliens if they prefer to do so, has
some historical evidence on its side.90 James Nafziger, who challenged the
U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in an article, found an obvious pattern of free
movement in the law of nations and legal theory and showed that exten-
sive restrictions on immigration were a product of late nineteenth-century
state practice.91 There is also some truth in this assessment. Population
increase, extended migration, political upheavals, the rise of racist theories
and several other factors led to a series of restrictions on immigration in
Western countries, especially since the 1840s.92 However, the legal princi-
ples justifying these policies were available and mainstream long before that
This also holds true for the eighteenth century, which is usually charac-
terised as ‘cosmopolitan’, a cliché in need of profound qualification, perhaps
revision.93 Cosmopolitanism might have been a so-called project of some
philosophers but apparently failed to deeply influence international legal
theory. The widespread focus on the ‘classical authors’ of international
legal theory – Vattel and Kant for the eighteenth century – is misleading.
88 From Hospitality to the Right of Immigration

‘Minor’ authors like Achenwall, Martini and Moser were probably as influ-
ential because of their university lectures and perhaps more representative
of main trends.94 In addition, there was a split between les philosophes on
the one hand and international lawyers on the other – which is surpris-
ing, since philosophers often did influence the latter, especially in terms of
I have pointed at a certain tendency to reinterpret representatives of
the imperialist school as cosmopolitans; Vitoria and Grotius are cases in
point.96 As mentioned, Martens labelled Bluntschli a cosmopolitan, though
he was probably an imperialist. Representatives of the philosophically ori-
ented law of nations leaned towards or founded the cosmopolitan school
(Wolff, Diderot and Kant are outstanding examples), but they never became
mainstream, in contrast to the society of states school, which was usually
endorsed by (natural and international) lawyers. Kant’s overwhelming pres-
ence in current hospitality discourses is an indicator of how ‘Kantianized’
parts of Western academic communities have nowadays become, a fact
deplored by Ian Hunter.97 A fine example is Derrida’s paper on hospi-
tality, delivered in Frankfurt an der Oder in 1996 and quoting Kant at
length.98 However, this clouds how marginalised the cosmopolitan school
actually was.

1. This chapter builds on my own The Rights of Strangers: Theories of International Hos-
pitality, the Global Community, and Political Justice Since Vitoria (Aldershot: Ashgate,
2002) and Imperfect Cosmopolis: Studies in the History of International Legal Theory
and Cosmopolitan Ideas (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2011). See Imperfect
Cosmopolis, Chapter 1 for an extensive introduction.
2. See, for instance, Garrett W. Brown, ‘Moving from Cosmopolitan Legal Theory to
Legal Practice: Models of Cosmopolitan Law’, Legal Studies 28 (2008), pp. 430–51;
and Robert Post (ed.), Another Cosmopolitanism (Oxford: Oxford University Press,
3. Jacques Derrida, Of Hospitality (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000);
On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness (London: Routledge, 2001); Gideon Baker,
‘Cosmopolitanism as Hospitality: Revisiting Identity and Difference in Cos-
mopolitanism’ (manuscript), The Politics of Hospitality: Sovereignty and Ethics in
Political Community, Chapter 3 (ms). Garrett Wallace Brown, ‘The Laws of Hos-
pitality, Asylum Seekers and Cosmopolitan Right: A Kantian Response to Jacques
Derrida’, European Journal of Political Theory 9 (2010), pp. 1–20 is a succinct critique
of Derrida from a Kantian perspective. Nicholas Onuf, ‘Friendship and Hospi-
tality: Some Conceptual Preliminaries’, Journal of International Political Theory 5
(2009), pp. 1–21 is a useful discussion of the concept of hospitality in Aristotle,
Kant, Derrida and others.
4. Reinhart Koselleck, ‘Einleitung’, in Otto Brunner, Werner Conze and Reinhart
Koselleck (eds.), Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe: Historisches Lexikon zur politisch-
sozialen Sprache in Deutschland (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1979), 1:XV; Hans
Blumenberg, Aspekte der Epochenschwelle (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1976);
Georg Cavallar 89

Peter Seele, Philosophie der Epochenschwelle (Berlin and New York: Walter de
Gruyter, 2008).
5. I presume my own Rights of Strangers; pp. 6 and 370–2 is an illustrative example
of this picture.
6. I offer more detailed analyses in my Rights of Strangers, in Imperfect Cosmopolis,
Chapters 2 and 6, and in the recent essay, ‘From Francisco de Vitoria to Alfred
Verdross: Continuity and Discontinuity in the Debate on the Rights of Non-
European Peoples’, in Matthias Lutz-Bachmann (ed.), Die Normativität des Rechts in
der spanischen Spätscholastik (Stttgart: frommann-holzboog, 2011, in preparation).
7. Francisco de Vitoria, ‘On Civil Power’, in Anthony Padgen and Jeremy Lawrance
(ed.), Political Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 1–44,
at p. 40.
8. On Vitoria and nautral rights, see especially Brian Tierney, ‘The Idea of Natu-
ral Rights – Origins and Persistence’, Northwestern Journal of International Human
Rights 2 (2004), pp. 2–12.
9. Francisco de Vitoria, ‘On the American Indians’, in Political Writings, pp. 233–92,
at pp. 283–6; cf. Heinz-Gerhard Justenhoven, Francisco de Vitoria zu Krieg und
Frieden (Köln: Bachem, 1991), pp. 103–7 and 165–81.
10. Richard Tuck, The Rights of War and Peace: Political Thought and the International
Order From Grotius to Kant (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999); Martine Julia
van Ittersum, Profit and Principle: Hugo Grotius, Natural Rights Theories and the Rise
of Dutch Power in the East Indies 1595–1615 (Leiden: Brill, 2006); and Edward
Keene, Beyond the Anarchical Society: Grotius, Colonialism and Order in World Pol-
itics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). Recent secondary literature
is listed in Martine Julia van Ittersum, ‘The Wise Man is Never Merely a Private
Citizen: The Roman Stoa in Hugo Grotius’, De Jure Praedae (1604–1608), History
of European Ideas 36 (2010), pp. 1–18, at 2. The thrust of these works contrasts
with my own naiveté in Rights of Strangers, pp. 138–55, where I express only some
scepticism towards the end of my analysis.
11. Hugo Grotius, Commentary on the Law of Prize and Booty [1603], Gwladys
L. Williams (trans.) (New York: Oceana Publishing, 1964), Chapter 12, pp. 216–20
with all quotations, the last one p. 218. I have also used the online ver-
sion Martine Julia van Ittersum (ed.) (Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund, 2006); De
Jure Belli ac Pacis Libri Tres [1625; The Law of War and Peace]. vol. II, trans.
Francis W. Kelsey. 3 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1925; reprint New York:
Oceana Publications, 1964), 2.2.13, p. 198 (on the right of passage). I have also
used the online-version Richard Tuck (ed.), from the edition of Jean Barbeyrac
(Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund, 2005).
12. On Hobbes, see, among others, Dieter Hüning (ed.), Der lange Schatten des
Leviathan (Berlin: Duncker und Humblot 2005); Patricia Springborg (ed.), The
Cambridge Companion to Hobbes’s Leviathan (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 2007); David Armitage, ‘Hobbes and the Foundations of Modern Inter-
national Thought’, in Annabel Brett and James Tully with Holly Hamilton
Bleakley (eds.), Rethinking the Foundations of Modern Political Thought (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 219–35; and Horst Dreitzel, ‘The Recep-
tion of Hobbes in the Political Philosophy of the Early German Enlightenment’,
History of European Ideas 29 (2003), pp. 255–89. A recent and helpful volume on
Pufendorf is Dieter Hüning (ed.), Naturrecht und Staatstheorie bei Samuel Pufendorf
(Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2009, with more secondary literature). Not to be missed:
Ian Hunter, Rival Enlightenments: Civil and Metaphysical Philosophy in Early Modern
90 From Hospitality to the Right of Immigration

Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), Chapters 2 and 4. See

also Fiammetta Palladini, ‘Pufendorf Disciple of Hobbes: The Nature of Man and
the State of Nature: The Doctrine of Socialitas’, History of European Ideas 34 (2008),
pp. 26–60; and Martti Koskenniemi, ‘Miserable Comforters: International Rela-
tions as New Natural Law’, European Journal of International Relations 15 (2009),
pp. 395–422, at 396–403. – My account leaves out the vexed question of the rela-
tionship between Hobbes and Pufendorf; see especially Palladini, ‘Pufendorf’ and
Dreitzel, ‘Reception of Hobbes’, pp. 270–2.
13. My summary is based on the indispensable work of Jan Schröder, See especially
his Recht als Wissenschaft: Geschichte der juristischen Methode vom Humanismus bis
zur historischen Schule (1500–1850) (München: Beck 2001); Rechtswissenschaft in
der Neuzeit: Geschichte, Theorie, Methode. Ausgewählte Aufsätze 1976–2009, Thomas
Finkenauer, Claes Peterson and Michael Stolleis (eds.) (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck,
2010); and ‘The Concept of (Natural) Law in the Doctrine of Law and Natural
Law of the Early Modern Era’, in Lorraine Daston and Michael Stolleis (eds.),
Natural Law and Laws of Nature in Early Modern Europe (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008),
pp. 57–71. See also Hunter, Rival Enlightenments, Chapter 4.
14. Dreitzel, ‘Reception of Hobbbes’, p. 274.
15. Hunter, Rival Enlightenments, p. xii.
16. See especially Jan Schröder, ‘Die Entstehung des modernen Völkerrechtsbegriffs
im Naturrecht der frühen Neuzeit’ (2000), in Rechtswissenschaft, pp. 259–82;
Armitage, ‘Hobbes’, pp. 223–6; and Penelope Simons, ‘The Emergence of the Idea
of the Individualized State in the International Legal System’, Journal of the History
of International Law 5 (2003), pp. 293–336.
17. Hunter, Rival Enlightenments, p. 195, Thomas Behme, ‘Ziele und Grenzen der
Staatsgewalt bei Samuel Pufendorf’, in Hüning, Naturrecht und Staatstheorie,
pp. 51–70, at pp. 68–9.
18. Hunter, Rival Enlightenments, pp. 8–13; Schröder, Recht als Wissenschaft, pp. 98–9;
Martin Heckel, Deutschland im konfessionellen Zeitalter (Göttingen: Kleine
Vandenhoeck Reihe, 1983); and Koskenniemi, ‘Miserable Comforters’,pp. 396–7.
19. Samuel Pufendorf, On the Duty of Man and Citizen According to Natural Law [1673],
James Tully (ed.) and Michael Silverthorne (trans.) (Cambridge [England] and
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 1.9, pp. 68–76 is a very succinct
introduction. See also The Law of Nature and Nations [1672], C.H. Oldfather and
W.A. Oldfather (trans.) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934; reprint New York: Oceana
Publications, 1964), 1.1.19 and 20, pp. 18–20; 1.7.7, pp. 118–19; 1.7.9, p. 119;
3.4.1, p. 379. See Emmanuelle Jouannet, Emer de Vattel et l’émergence doctrinale
du droit international classique (Paris: Pedone, 1998), pp. 164–219 and Jerome
B. Schneewind, The Invention of Autonomy: A History of Modern Moral Philosophy
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 133–4.
20. Pufendorf, Law of Nature, 3.3.9, p. 364. See Ibid., pp. 364–5. for the following.
There is a useful discussion of Pufendorf’s position and his criticism of Vitoria
in Barbara Arneil, ‘John Locke, Natural Law and Colonialism’, History of Politi-
cal Thought 13 (1992), pp. 594–600. In an excellent analysis, Tuck, Rights of War,
pp. 152–65 shows how Pufendorf departs not only from Grotius but also from
Gentili with respect to sociability, property and international punishment. See
also Paul Keal, European Conquest and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: The Moral
Backwardness of International Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
2003), pp. 96–7.
21. Schröder, ‘Concept of (Natural) Law’, pp. 66–7.
Georg Cavallar 91

22. Christian Wolff, Ius gentium methodo scientifica pertractatum, in quo ius gentium
naturale ab eo, quod voluntarii, pactitii et consuetudinarii est, accurate distinguitur
[1749], Joseph H. Drake (trans.) (reprint New York: Oceana Publications, 1964),
‘Prolegomena’, §§ 4, 20 and 21. This passage follows my essay: ‘The Law of
Nations in the Age of Enlightenment: Moral and Legal Principles’, Annual Review
of Law and Ethics 12 (2004), pp. 213–29, at 219–22.
23. Wolff, Ius gentium, §§ 23 and 24.
24. Ibid., § 11, note. The distinction is pointed out by Wolfgang Röd, Geometrischer
Geist und Naturrecht: Methodengeschichtliche Untersuchungen zur Staatsphilosophie
im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert (München: Verlag der bayerischen Akademie der
Wissenschaften, 1970), p. 139.
25. Wolff, Ius gentium, §§ 9–22. The most reliable interpretations are Walter Schiffer,
The Legal Community of Mankind (New York: Columbia University Press, 1954),
pp. 63–78; Nicholas Greenwood Onuf, The Republican Legacy in International
Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 60–70; and Francis
Cheneval, Philosophie in weltbürgerlicher Bedeutung: Über die Entstehung und die
philosophischen Grundlagen des supranationalen und kosmopolitischen Denkens der
Moderne (Basel: Schwabe, 2002), pp. 132–213.
26. Wolff, Ius gentium, ‘Preface’, p. 6.
27. Ibid., prol., § 7 note. The following quotation ibid.
28. Christian Wolff, Grundsätze des Natur und Völckerrechts worinn alle Verbindlichkeiten
und alle Rechte aus der Natur des Menschen in einem beständigen Zusammenhange
hergeleitet werden [1754], in Gesammelte Werke, vol. 19 (reprint Hildesheim: Georg
Olms Verlag, 1980), § 1090; Wolff, Ius gentium, prol., §§ 9 and 19. Cheneval,
Philosophie, p. 206: ‘Seine civitas maxima ist [ . . . ] ganz klar ein erster Versuch
der Begründung einer menschenrechtlich verfassten Rechtsgemeinschaft und
globalen Demokratie.’
29. Wolff, Ius gentium, § 297.
30. Ibid., §§ 28 and 29, pp. 20–1; 255, pp. 130 and 269, pp. 137–8.
31. Ibid., § 157, pp. 85 and 159, pp. 85–6; § 206, p. 107.
32. Ibid., § 296.
33. Paras. 75 §, p. 44; § 187 note, p. 98.
34. Johann Heumann von Teutschenbrunn, ‘Disquisitio de civitate gentium’, in
Exercitationes juris universi praecipue Germanici, vol. 2 (Altdorf: Johann Adam
Hessel, 1749–1757). My interpretation follows Cheneval, Philosophie, pp. 332–51.
35. See my own ‘Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778)’, in Bardo Fassbender and
Anne Peters (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), ‘Educating Émile: Jean-Jacques Rousseau
on cosmopolitanism’, European Legacy 17: 4 (2012); and Cheneval, Philosophie,
pp. 351–99.
36. Gottfried Achenwall and Johann Stephan Pütter, Anfangsgründe des Naturrechts
(Elementa iuris naturae; 1750), Jan Schröder (ed. and trans.) (Frankfurt am Main
and Leipzig: Insel, 1995). The paragraphs in the text refer to this edition, transla-
tions are my own. See the remarks in Dreitzel, ‘Reception of Hobbes’, pp. 284–6
and the excellent essay by Jan Schröder, ‘Gottfried Achenwall, Johann Stephan
Pütter und die “Elementa Iuris Naturae” ’, in Achenwall and Pütter, Anfangsgründe,
pp. 331–51.
37. Koskenniemi, ‘Miserable Comforters’, p. 402.
38. Jan Schröder, ‘Achenwall’, p. 347 and ‘ “Naturrecht bricht positives Recht” in der
Rechtstheorie des 18. Jahrhunderts’, in Schröder, Rechtswissenschaft, pp. 283–96.
92 From Hospitality to the Right of Immigration

39. Emer de Vattel, The Law of Nations or the Principles of Natural Law [1758], Charles
G. Fenwick (trans.) (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Foundation, 1916), ‘Introduc-
tion’, § 16, pp. 6–7; 1.19.230, p. 92; 2.10.135–7, pp. 154–5. I have also used the
new edition, The Law of Nations, or, Principles of the Law of Nature, Applied to the
Conduct and Affairs of Nations and Sovereigns, B. Kapossy and R. Whatmore (ed. and
intro.) (Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund, 2008). Useful and recent introductions to
Vattel are the following: Simone Zurbuchen, ‘Vattel’s Law of Nations and Just War
Theory’, History of European Ideas 35 (2009), pp. 408–17; and Karl-Heinz Ziegler,
‘Emer de Vattel und die Entwicklung des Völkerrechts im 18. Jahrhundert’, in
Markus Kremer and Hans-Richard Reuter (eds.), Macht und Moral – Politisches
Denken im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2007), pp. 321–41.
40. Vattel, Law of Nations, 2.8.100, p. 144; 2.8.104, p. 145.
41. Ibid., ‘Preface’, p. 11a; ‘Introduction’, §§ 10–13, pp. 5–6; 3.12.189, pp. 304–5.
42. Denis Diderot, ‘The Supplément au Voyage de Bougainville [1772]’, in John Hope
Mason and Robert Wokler (trans. and eds.), Political Writings (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1992), p. 42; ‘Extracts from the Histoire des Deux
Indes [1780]’, in Political Writings, pp. 178 and 186; ‘Observations sur le Nakaz’
[1767], in Political Writings, pp. 159 and 134–5. The basic text is: Guillaume-
Thomas Raynal, Histoire philosophique et politique des établissements et du commerce
des Européens dans les deux Indes, 10 vols. (Genève: Jean-Leonard Pellet, 1780).
For interpretations, see Lectures de Raynal: l’Histoire des Deux Indes en Europe et en
Amérique au XVIII siècle, Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink (ed.), Manfred Tietz, Studies on
Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, vol. 286 (Oxford: The Voltaire Foundation at
the Taylor Institution, 1991) and especially Sankar Muthu, Enlightenment against
Empire (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2003), pp. 72–121, to
whom I am much indebted.
43. Denis Diderot, ‘Extracts from the Histoire’, in John Hope Mason and Robert
Wokler (trans. and eds.), Political Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1992), p. 175.
44. Ibid., pp. 175–7.
45. Ibid., pp. 178–9; 197, and 173 and the discussion in Muthu, Enlightenment,
pp. 87–104.
46. Muthu, Enlightenment, p. 98 and Cavallar, Rights of Strangers, pp. 71–4.
47. Raynal, Histoire, IX, 5, translated in Muthu, Enlightenment, p. 85.
48. Muthu, Enlightenment, p. 86.
49. See the summary in Annette Brockmöller, Die Entstehung der Rechtstheorie im 19.
Jahrhundert in Deutschland (Baden-Baden: Nomos, 1997), pp. 36–42. The impor-
tant historians are Diethelm Klippel and Jan Schröder: Diethelm Klippel (ed.),
Naturrecht im 19. Jahrhundert. Kontinuität – Inhalt – Funktion – Wirkung (Goldbach,
1997); and Jan Schröder, Recht als Wissenschaft, especially pp. 97–187.
50. The two key works are the following: Karl Anton Freiherr von Martini,
Lehrbegriff des Natur-, Staats- und Völkerrechts (1783; reprint Aalen: Scientia,
1969) and Erklärung der Lehrsätze über das allgemeine Staats- und Völkerrecht
(1791; reprint Aalen: Scientia, 1969). The definitive study is Michael Hebeis,
Karl Anton von Martini (1726–1800): Leben und Werk (Frankfurt am Main et al.:
Lang, 1996).
51. Martini, Erklärung, II, §§ 13–15; the quotation at II, § 17.
52. Ibid., II, § 22.
53. Ibid., II, §§ 19–20; II § 29.
54. Ibid., II §57. See also II § 87.
Georg Cavallar 93

55. Brown, ‘Cosmopolitan Legal Theory’; Pauline Kleingeld, ‘Kant’s Changing Cos-
mopolitanism’, in Kant’s Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Aim.
A Critical Guide, Amélie Oksenberg Rorty and James Schmidt (eds.) (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 171–86 and my own Imperfect Cosmopolis,
Chapter 4.
56. Immanuel Kant, ‘Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals’, in Mary
J. Gregor (trans. and ed.), Practical Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge Univer-
sity Press, 1996), p. 64; 4: 410 (the second reference is to the Akademie-
57. Immanuel Kant, ‘The Metaphysics of Morals Part I: Metaphysical First Principles
of the Doctrine of Right’ [1797], in Practical Philosophy, p. 387; 6: 230.
58. For an extensive analysis, see Cavallar, Rights of Strangers, pp. 359–68.
59. Kant, ‘Perpetual Peace’, in Practical Philosophy, p. 322; 8: 349.
60. Muthu, Enlightenment, pp. 117–18.
61. Robert Ward, An Enquiry into the Foundation and History of the Law of Nations in
Europe from the Time of the Greeks and the Romans to the Age of Grotius, 2 vols.
(London: Allen and Unwin, 1795); Arthur Nussbaum, A Concise History of the Law
of Nations (New York: Macmillan, 1954), p. 293; C.F. Amerasinghe, ‘The Historical
Development of International Law – Universal Aspects’, Archiv des Völkerrechts 39
(2001), pp. 367–93, at 367.
62. Ward, Enquiry, vol. 1, pp. 130 and 60. See also Ibid., pp. XV, XX, XIII–XIV and 131.
63. See Johnson Kent Wright, ‘Historical Writing in the Enlightenment World’, in
Martin Fitzpatrick, Peter Jones, Christa Knellwolf and Iain McCalman (eds.), The
Enlightenment World (London and New York: Routledge, 2007), pp. 207–16; and
Karen O’Brien, Narratives of Enlightenment. Cosmopolitan History from Voltaire to
Gibbon (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997).
64. Ward, Enquiry, vol. 1, pp. 232–3. See Ibid., pp. 228–31 on the impact of
65. Ibid., pp. 234–5.
66. Nussbaum, History, pp. 139 and 172; Karl-Heinz Ziegler, Völkerrechtsgeschichte: Ein
Studienbuch (München: Beck, 1994), pp. 201–2.
67. Georg Friedrich von Martens, Einleitung in das positive europäische Völkerrecht
auf Verträge und Herkommen gegründet (Göttingen: Nabu Press, 1796), §§ 2–3;
Nussbaum, History, pp. 172–3; and Walter Habenicht, Georg Friedrich von Martens
(Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1934), pp. 67–74.
68. Martens, Einleitung, VI, X; § 1 and § 117, §§ 122 and 136; § 5. See also Nussbaum,
History, pp. 174–5; and Habenicht, Martens, pp. 77–81.
69. Martens, Einleitung, § 74, with the following quotations.
70. Jeremy Bentham, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789),
J.H. Burns and H.L.A. Hart (ed.) (London: The Athlone Press, 1970), pp. 293–300.
See the interpretation in Mark W. Janis, An Introduction to International Law,
second edition (Boston: Aspen, 1993), pp. 227–35.
71. John Austin, The Province of Jurisprudence Determined (1832), Wilfrid E. Rumble
(ed.) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 110–11, 123–4 and 285.
72. Austin, Province, p. 124. This, ‘familiar story’ is told in my own Rights of Strangers,
pp. 370–1, for instance Austin knew Martens’ writings; see Province, for instance
pp. 182–3.
73. Austin, Province, pp. 110 and 288.
74. Gustav Hugo, Lehrbuch des Naturrechts, als einer Philosophie des positiven Rechts
(Berlin: Springer, 1799); Schröder, Recht, pp. 200–4; Diethelm Klippel, ‘Naturrecht
94 From Hospitality to the Right of Immigration

und Rechtsphilosophie in der ersten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts’, in Otto Dann
and Diethelm Klippel (eds.), Naturrecht – Spätaufklärung – Revolution (Hamburg:
Felix Meiner Verlag, 1995), pp. 270–92; Heinhard Steiger, ‘Völkerrecht und
Naturrecht zwischen Christian Wolff und Adolf Lasson’, in Diethelm Klippel (ed.),
Naturrecht im 19. Jahrhundert. Kontinuität – Inhalt – Funktion – Wirkung (Goldbach:
Keip Verlag, 1997), pp. 45–74, at pp. 46 and 67.
75. Henry Wheaton, Elements of International Law (1836), in The Classics of Interna-
tional Law, vol. 19 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1936), §§ 11, 12 and 15.
76. Ibid., §§ 124 and 122.
77. Ibid., §§ 19, 77, 82, 85 and 115.
78. August Wilhelm Heffter, Das europäische Völkerrecht der Gegenwart [1844], eighth
edition, by Heinrich Geffcken (Berlin: Verlag Müller, 1888), pp. 1–22 and
79. Heffter, Das europäische Völkerrecht, pp. 3–4.
80. Ibid., pp. 62–5.
81. Ibid., p. 140.
82. Ibid., p. 48.
83. Ibid., pp. 157 and 118–19. See also the interpretation in Fisch, Expansion, pp. 284
and 315–16.
84. Heffter, Völkerrecht, § 2, quoted in Wheaton, Law, § 10, pp. 14–15.
85. Wheaton, Law, § 10, p. 13.
86. For an introduction, see Cavallar, Imperfect Cosmopolis, Chapter 6.
87. Friedrich von Martens, Völkerrecht: Das internationale Recht der civilisirten Nationen
(Berlin: Weidmann, 1883), §§ 3 and 4, pp. 18 and 21; § 53, p. 231.
88. Martens, Völkerrecht, § 41, p. 184.
89. Steiger, ‘Völkerrecht’, p. 45 refers to, profound change (tiefgreifenden Wandel)’;
see also Jan Schröder, ‘Die deutsche Rechtswissenschaft des 19. Jahrhunderts:
Theorie und Verbindungen zur Rechtspraxis’, Zeitschrift für neuere Rechtsgeschichte
28 (2006), pp. 33–47.
90. Kleindienst v. Mandel, 408 U.S. 753, 765 (1972), with the full text at http://, visited 14 September 2007.
91. James A.R. Nafziger, ‘The General Admission of Aliens under International Law’,
American Journal of International Law 77 (1983), pp. 804–47, especially 808–9 and
92. See my own ‘Zwischen Integration und Abgrenzung: das Fremdenrecht als Teil
der Europa-Ideen’, in Markus Kremer and Hans-Richard Reuter (eds.), Macht und
Moral – Politisches Denken im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer
2007), pp. 143–60, at pp. 150–2.
93. See Imperfect Cosmopolis, passim.
94. Jan Schröder, ‘Naturrecht als Lehrfach an den deutschen Universitäten des 18.
und 19. Jahrhunderts’, in Rechtswissenschaft in der Neuzeit, pp. 297–311.
95. Jan Schröder, ‘Definition und Deskription in der juristischen Methodenlehre der
frühen Neuzeit’, in Ibid., pp. 179–89.
96. See for instance James Brown Scott, The Spanish Origin of International
Law: Francisco de Vitoria and his Law of Nations (Oxford: Clarendon Press,
97. Ian Hunter, ‘Kant’s Regional Cosmopolitanism’, at
Hunter.pdf, accessed 12 February 2010; ‘Global Justice and Regional Metaphysics:
On the Critical History oft he Law of Nature and Nations’, in S. Dorsett and
Ian Hunter (eds.), Law and Politics in British Colonial Thought: Transpositions
Georg Cavallar 95

of Empire (Houndmills: Palgrave/Macmillan, 1010), at http://espace.library.uq., accessed 12 Febru-
ary 2010.
98. Jacques Derrida, ‘Die Gesetze der Gastfreundschaft’, http://www.kuwi.euv-
Derrida_in_FFO.pdf, accessed 23 May 2010.
Part II
The Ethics of Global Hospitality
Between Naturalism and
Cosmopolitan Law: Hospitality
as Transitional Global Justice
Garrett Wallace Brown

Totus orbis habet potestatem legis ferendi

The above quote by Francisco de Vitoria upholds an idea that has consis-
tently underpinned the moral requirements of cosmopolitan legal theory.
It is a principle that demands that justice should be a universal and equal
concern for all humanity, one which should be impartially applied at the
global level as a normative commandment for all human law. It is in relation
to this cosmopolitan vision that Vitoria uttered these words, maintaining the
normative idea that ‘the whole world has the power to enact laws’.1 In other
words, Vitoria argued that natural reason, public reason and law are compat-
ible, consistent and necessary at the global level; that the ethical treatment
of all human beings is a moral requirement of universal justice and that it is
a further requirement for international law to mirror this sense of mutually
consistent justice.
As in the time of Vitoria and the School of Salamanca, the last decade
has witnessed a renewed and reinvigorated debate about cosmopolitan legal
theory and its relevance to contemporary global politics and international
law. Nevertheless, within this contemporary debate, many cosmopolitan
theorists are guilty of resting their more elaborate institutional models on
the assumption of an already existing and thoroughgoing practice of cos-
mopolitan law. This is often done without detailed consideration regarding
the jurisprudentia entrenched within this assumed legal foundation. In order
to respond to this, the purpose of this chapter is to explore the concept
of hospitality and cosmopolitan law as it has evolved through three of its
most influential periods and to examine how this history of ideas underpins
contemporary cosmopolitanism. Through this exploration, this chapter will
illustrate how cosmopolitan law acts as the necessary juristic foundation for
institutionally based forms of contemporary cosmopolitanism and to estab-
lish the normative grounds which this jurisprudentia has inherited. To do

100 Between Naturalism and Cosmopolitan Law

so, the chapter is divided into three sections. The first section will provide
insights into the historical development and normative components that
underpin the cosmopolitanism put forward by Greco-Roman thought. From
this discussion, the second section will further outline the contributions
made by the School of Salamanca and discuss how this movement built
upon not only Greco-Roman thought but also on how it provided a nec-
essary conduit to Immanuel Kant and the Enlightenment. Building upon
these key legal traditions, section three outlines the idea of cosmopolitan
law as championed by Kant and illustrates how his vision of hospitality
and cosmopolitan law has influenced the legal theory of contemporary
cosmopolitans. The chapter will conclude by pointing out that cosmopoli-
tan law acts as the necessary foundational element in all forms of applied
cosmopolitan theory but that its recommendations for how to move the-
ory to practice remain incomplete. From this, the conclusion will highlight
why additional work on cosmopolitan jurisprudence is needed and how the
notion of hospitality as a form of transitional global justice might be able
to fill the lacuna towards which a more robust cosmopolitan legal condition
can be generated.

The Greco-Roman idea of hospitality and

cosmopolitan law

The cosmopolitan idea that every human being is a member of a universal

fraternity seems to be an idea as old as history itself. The beginnings for
this idea can be traced as far back as 1375 BC, where Egyptian inscriptions
written by Akhnaton suggest his belief in a universal monotheism, where
all humans have equal moral duties to one another regardless of race or
nationality.2 In addition, various iterations of cosmopolitan thinking can be
seen to run through the varied and often incomplete philosophical works of
many Phaeacians, Hebrews, Chinese, Ethiopians, Assyrians and Persians.3
Nevertheless, for the purpose of this chapter, it is from ancient Greece
that the more systematic origins of cosmopolitan thought and cosmopoli-
tan legal theory can be seen to have originated. As the works of Diogenes
Laertius suggest, the origin of the word cosmopolitan is attributed to the
Cynic Diogenes of Sinope, who repudiated the idea of city-state particular-
ism by claiming that he was not a citizen of any one community but that he
was kosmopolites, ‘a citizen of the world’.4 Nevertheless, it would be incorrect
to suggest that Diogenes believed that humanity as a species had equal legal
obligations and duties as universal citizens. For as far as we know, Diogenes
seemed to have a conception of cosmopolitanism that focused on a univer-
sal commitment to hospitality. This is because the statements of Diogenes
can be seen as a rejection of coercive and arbitrary communal laws inflicted
upon visiting individuals by city-states, instead advocating universal duties
to treat everyone as if they shared a common humanity. As has been argued,
Garrett Wallace Brown 101

Diogenes was making a claim for hospitable treatment as a visiting stranger

by saying that ‘I am not a citizen of any of your Greek cities’ and was making
this claim often against a society that scornfully rejected him.5 If anything,
Diogenes universalism seems to be primarily in relation to the ethics of hos-
pitality and acceptance, in that ‘the morally good are all friends’ and because
of this all humans, regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, place of origin
or city-state affiliation should be free from inhospitable treatment, as if they
were common citizens of the world.
Although Diogenes viewed cosmopolitanism as a concept of universal hos-
pitality, we can see a more positivistic reformulation of his cosmopolitan
thinking only two generations later in the works of Zeno of Citium. For
it is in the works of Zeno that a relationship between moral cosmopoli-
tanism (the idea that all individuals have equal moral worth based solely on
their humanity alone) and legal cosmopolitanism (the idea that this moral
belief should guide all human law) is arguably mentioned for the first time.6
As Zeno states, ‘the world should no longer be separate states, but one great
City under one universal law, where all citizens and members are one of
another’.7 Nevertheless, what is not clear in the works of Zeno is the degree
to which this universal law is meant to be metaphorical or practical. It is not
clear whether the ‘city under one law’ is a metaphor for universal brotherly
love and hospitality, as Zeno often suggests, or is a moral principle meant to
thoroughly underpin a form of cosmopolitan human law.8 This is confused
further by the words assigned to Zeno by Plutarch, in which Zeno is reported
to have said that ‘we should regard all men as our fellow-citizens and local
residents, and there should be one way of life and order, like that of a herd
grazing together and nurtured by a common law’.9
Although we cannot know Zeno’s true intentions, what is important in the
history of ideas is that he offers a more thorough discussion of cosmopoli-
tanism as a potential political and legal project. In doing so the basic tenets
of hospitality advocated by Diogenes and other Cynics are seemingly trans-
formed and combined into notions of legal obligation, based on a universal
city-state or supreme moral authority that could compel that universal law
be applied equally to all human beings without reference to local decree.
As will be discussed in the conclusion, this basic idea of establishing a uni-
versal authority, be it moral or institutional, is still a topic of debate among
cosmopolitan thinkers. For as will be discussed, many cosmopolitans argue,
in one form or another, that global justice requires institutional authority
based on cosmopolitan principles, which can administer and enforce the
laws required to secure this condition of cosmopolitan justice. The question
that many cosmopolitans still struggle with, however, is just exactly how,
and to what degree, this universal authority should be organised.
Despite the fact that the meaning of Zeno’s ‘city under one law’ remains
unsettled, it is certainly true that his work had profound intellectual influ-
ence on the cosmopolitan legal theory of the Roman Stoics.10 It is also clear
102 Between Naturalism and Cosmopolitan Law

that many Roman Stoics interpreted the works of the early Stoa as fusing cos-
mopolitan moral principles with a call to create an applied human law that
mirrored cosmopolitan morality. Of these later Stoic thinkers, it is within the
works of Marcus Cicero and Marcus Aurelius that the idea of cosmopolitan
law was elaborated and tied to the notion of cosmopolitan legal obligation
and to notions of a world-wide state.
To understand the legal theory of Cicero and Aurelius, it is important to
comprehend the normative logic that underpinned their conception of cos-
mopolitanism. For both Cicero and Aurelius held that human beings were
potential members of a unified moral community. The basis for this unified
community stemmed from a universal human potential for reason, which
is a capacity shared between all humans. This capacity for human reason
meant that every person had the ability to communicate, self-reflect and
to live as moral beings. Since all humans are able to be self-reflecting moral
beings, individuals hold a unique universal moral purpose, one in which rea-
soned individuals can command equal and universal respect. Since human
beings share an equal ability for reason, they also share an equal ability
to create universal principles of human law. In fact, many Stoics believed
that humanity had a unified cosmopolitan purpose and that all human
law should comply with this universal law of nature. The naturalism that
underpins human law could be derived from a human capacity for reason
and from this reason, morality and law are not mutually exclusive. This
formulation is best expressed by Aurelius, when he states that

If the intellectual capacity is common to us all, common too is reason,

which makes us rational creatures. If so, that reason is common which
tells us to do or not to do. If so, law is common. If so, we are citizens. If so,
we are fellow members of an organized community. If so, the universe is
as it were a state. And from it, this universal state, we get the intellectual,
the rational, and the legal instinct.11

What is evident in the Stoic conception of cosmopolitan law is a reliance on

human reason and natural law. As the quote by Aurelius suggests, human
reason grounds two foundational elements of human law. First, reason and
the human capacity for rational thought bestows upon those individuals
who seek to master it a universal moral worth. This capacity for reason and
moral self-reflection is what sets humanity apart from animals and what
can command a universal respect by all. Second, the capacity for reason
and rational thought is what allows humanity to formulate laws in relation
to our natural circumstances, as a means for individuals to recognise the
universality of the human condition, and, from this, create common human
laws that mirror these universal laws of nature. Cicero elaborates on the
relationship between reason and the commands of natural law upon human
law when he states:
Garrett Wallace Brown 103

True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal

application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its com-
mands, and adverts wrongdoing by its prohibitions . . . . We cannot be
freed from its obligations by senate or people, and we need not look
outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it.12

From this Stoic belief, three principle elements of moral and legal cos-
mopolitanism emerge. First, cosmopolitanism is inherently individualistic.
Meaning, the primary unit of moral concern is the worth of the reasoned
individual and that it is necessary for human law to organise and promote
a political state that could capture the demands of Stoic humanism. Sec-
ond, cosmopolitanism is egalitarian in that it holds that human beings are
equal in their moral capacities. Third, cosmopolitanism is about universal
application to all humans. Thus, humans are embroiled in a universal moral
community, and it is the requirement of human law to establish a universal
condition that could unite all of humanity. As the quote by Cicero suggests,
these principles are given to us by nature, they act as commands of reason,
as laws of reason and therefore as laws of nature, and ‘we need not look
outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it’. Since these princi-
ples are discernible through reason, ‘true law is right reason in agreement
with nature’. In other words, it is a requirement of nature that human law is
in agreement with these natural laws and therefore respects a universal set
of laws for everyone everywhere, regardless of local decree, as if they were
citizens of the world.
The proposed legal practice of this philosophy is expounded in Cicero’s
reformulation of the Posidonius doctrine, as related in De Republica, where
‘the common nationality of the human race becomes the guiding rule for
Roman statesmen and the basis for the cultural mission of the Roman world
empire’.13 Here the exercise of rule is not based on power alone but on the
rule of law, which should be equally applied, for the furtherance of friendly
relations between all individuals. This law should be ‘valid for all subjects’
and if constituted properly and consistently, this human law will eventually
‘make way for the law of the world society’.14
Nevertheless, there exists a tension within this vision of Stoic cosmopoli-
tanism. This tension stems from the jurisprudence that is meant to underpin
the transition of its moral principles to human law. This is due to the fact
that many Stoics seem to champion universal principles of human worth
at the theoretical level, while at the same time promoting the exclusion of
various human beings from cosmopolitan legal practice. This is evident in
the fact that both Cicero and Aurelius seem to tie the idea of universal citi-
zenship to the additional requirement that persons are also members of the
Roman Empire. In other words, universal citizenship in practice was anal-
ogous to the practice of Roman citizenship and therefore also based on a
form of legal obligation associated with Roman law. In this regard, Cicero’s
104 Between Naturalism and Cosmopolitan Law

mixed Roman constitution is seemingly cosmopolitan only in that any cit-

izen of the Roman Empire would be entitled to equal treatment before the
law, with a right to own property, the security of the Roman military and
to legal representation before the Roman senate. If a person was willing
to accept the rights and duties of citizenship associated with this constitu-
tion (and obligated themselves to the constitution), then they were deemed
members of this universal community. Nevertheless, if they resisted Roman
rule, as did the Caledonians, the Catevellavni, the Scythians and the German
Hordes, then they were deemed as ‘unreasonable’ people and thus beyond
the entitlements of Cicero’s ideal mixed constitution.
However, it is difficult to assess to what degree this tension should com-
pletely undermine the cosmopolitan principles of Stoic legal theory. This is
because, at best, the Roman Stoics were ambiguous with their move from
moral theory to legal practice, while, at worst, they can be seen as steadfast
advocates for Roman imperialism. At best, the Roman Stoics are inconsis-
tent and often contradictory advocates for the universal respect of human
beings, while at worst they can be seen as engaging in a civilising mission in
which it was the duty of ‘the rational’ ‘to reeducate, civilize and culture the
barbarians’.15 In addition, the process of coming to a definite determination
is hampered by the fact that many of these ancient texts are incomplete, half
destroyed and exist in disjointed segments.
Nevertheless, what seems to be clear is that in the jurisprudence of the
Roman Stoics, there is a requirement for a strong element of legal posi-
tivism. Namely, that there needs to be a strict relationship between the word
of law and the subject of law, between the natural moral requirements of
law and its ability to be enforced. Thus, in the legal theory of the Roman
Stoics, and Cicero and Aurelius in particular, the realisation of cosmopoli-
tan law in practice demands an authority that can equally apply the law to
everyone. As noted above, this is how many Stoics rightly or wrongly inter-
preted Zeno’s call for ‘a city under one law’.16 It is from this interpretation
that many Stoics like Cicero felt compelled to analogise the mechanisms of
legal positivism that already existed within the Roman Empire as a means to
further a cosmopolitan world state.
Therefore, a concern for any cosmopolitan who is wary of being associ-
ated with claims of cultural imperialism is that Cicero, Aurelius and many
Stoic cosmopolitans did not explicitly expand a conception of universal cit-
izenship in line with their own natural law foundations. This is because
cosmopolitan citizenship and Roman citizenship can be interpreted to be
one and the same, despite Stoic claims that human beings are naturally
worthy of moral respect and hospitality regardless of place of birth. Conse-
quently, for Stoic philosophy to be truly cosmopolitan, the duty to equally
respect all humans needed to include an explicit respect for those outside of
the Roman Empire, at least to some minimal level of universal hospitality.
Nevertheless, this was not always the case, for the Roman Empire conducted
Garrett Wallace Brown 105

large-scale military and civilising missions to the far corners of the world,
and these missions often received apologies from many of the more legally
minded Stoics.
However, it would be unfair to judge the Roman Stoics from our con-
temporary perspective alone. This is because, in the history of ideas, the
Greco-Roman legal theorists have been highly influential in the develop-
ment of cosmopolitan law. This influence (or rejection of certain influences)
can be seen in the claims for universal hospitality during the Second Scholas-
tic, in the Natural Law tradition of Grotius and Pufendorf and in the
cosmopolitanism advocated by Kant during the Enlightenment. Further-
more, these ideas have underpinned many contemporary models of moral
and institutional cosmopolitanism. It is therefore necessary to understand
that the Roman Stoics were radical in their day, while also understanding
that they were constrained by the philosophical traditions they inherited
and by the historical influences of their lifeworld.

The laws of hospitality revisited: the School of Salamanca and

cosmopolitan responses to empire

The debate that endured during the Second Scholastic17 can be seen as an
attempt to directly challenge the ‘civilizing mission’ of empire building and
the legal apologies that sought to excuse European expansion. Many of the
Neo-Thomist thinkers associated with the School of Salamanca sought to
expand arguments of natural law in order to broaden support for a legal
duty to hold all humanity as equally valuable. This was particularly the
case in their resistance to empire building in the New World, where ‘non-
believers’ were often subject to a systematic policy of destruction and where
the non-religious beliefs of the indigenous people were used as an excuse
for their ‘wholesale slaughter’.18 Nonetheless, it is important to note that
the theoretical debates of the Second Scholastic are not always uniform in
their cosmopolitan aspirations. For many theorists remained apprehensive
in relation to the application of natural law arguments for the equal pro-
tection of Native Americans. Some considered the indigenous population to
be lawless and uncivilised peoples who believed in cannibalism, witchcraft
and cultural barbarism, from which they needed to be saved in order to be
civilised and to avoid eternal damnation.19
As with any period of thought as rich and sophisticated as the Second
Scholastic, it is impossible to thoroughly explore the subtle distinctions
involved in this debate within one chapter. In addition, since this chapter
is on cosmopolitan law and its historical and philosophical roots, it will be
necessary to limit my discussion to cosmopolitan legal theory, which will
inevitably leave out considerable detail and sophisticated nuance. Further-
more, due to considerations of space, it will be most useful to single out
two thinkers of primary importance in the relationship between hospitality,
106 Between Naturalism and Cosmopolitan Law

the idea of legal cosmopolitanism and its proposed universal application.

For both the theories of Bartolome de las Casas and Francisco de Vitoria
are vital conduits in the historical progression of cosmopolitan legal theory,
which bridges the Roman Stoics to the Age of the Enlightenment. As will
be developed in the next section, both Las Casas and Vitoria can be seen
to have had significant influence on Kant’s argument for cosmopolitan law
and its relationship to expanded laws of hospitality. This will bring us to
the present, for it is from Kant that many contemporary cosmopolitans
claim an intellectual debt, and, as the last section will demonstrate, it is
from Kant that many contemporary arguments for cosmopolitan law are
However, before embarking on a discussion of Las Casas and Vitoria, it
is useful to restate two elements associated with cosmopolitan law as they
were explored in the last section. First, as has been discussed, cosmopoli-
tan law is largely based on a form of legal naturalism, which suggests that
the imperative of law can be derived from what H.L.A. Hart would call its
internal aspects. In other words, the force of law can be, and often is, based
on the normative reasoning for why a particular law is necessary and why,
as self-reflecting agents, we are morally compelled to obligate ourselves to
these laws. Implicit in legal naturalism is the idea that the internal aspects
that underpin legal norms and the normative foundations from which the
law is often created justify and motivate the authority of law. As we have
witnessed, this was certainly an aspect of Greco-Roman conceptions of cos-
mopolitan law, and it will continue to influence cosmopolitan thought into
the present. Second, and in possible contrast to the first principle, this idea
of legal naturalism was often ambiguously fused to a conception of positive
cosmopolitan law, where the authority of law depended on its ability to be
enforced. Implicit in legal positivism is the idea that law cannot exist without
an authority to enforce the rule of law equally and universally. As we have
seen and will continue to see throughout the evolution of legal cosmopoli-
tanism, trying to strike a balance between natural law and its transition to
human positive law often renders a confusing and at times inconsistent form
of cosmopolitan law. As with the Roman Stoics, the theorists of the School of
Salamanca find themselves navigating a middle position between the moral
principles derived from natural law, and how these principles of hospital-
ity can have authoritative implementation in human law. However, unlike
many Roman Stoics, who seemingly resort to the legal positivism of empire
as a vehicle for creating a sense of legal authority, the School of Salamanca
as a whole sought to highlight the cosmopolitan inconsistencies involved
with this sort of legal reasoning. In this regard, many theorists of the Sec-
ond Scholastic challenged the idea of unrestrained civilising missions in the
name of religion or empire, arguing that even the ‘barbarians’ had natural
rights, which act as legal protections that are congruent with hospitality, the
laws of nature and universal justice.
Garrett Wallace Brown 107

In 1552, Bartolome de las Casas wrote, ‘all the peoples of the world are
human and there is only one definition of all humans and of each one, that
is that they are rational . . . and thus all the races of humankind are one’.20
As one can see, this quote contains obvious similarities with the cosmopoli-
tan logic of both Aurelius and Cicero. In comparison to Cicero and Aurelius,
the capacity for human reason creates a universal fraternity, and it is from
this capacity for reason that we share a similar human purpose. However,
unlike Aurelius and Cicero, Las Casas held a different theoretical premise in
relation to his foundation for natural law. Diverging from the Stoics, who
believed ‘we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter
of it,’ Las Casas believed that natural law stems from a universal natural right
that is enshrined within all human beings by God. In variant logic from the
Roman Stoics and comparable with Thomas Aquinas, humans are born with
inalienable natural rights where the violation of these rights would be equal
to an act against the will of God. Since he believed this to be the case, Las
Casas also believed that all human law that permits the violation of natural
rights is in violation of natural law. For in Las Casas, natural law is deriva-
tive of natural right and we discover these natural laws through our human
ability to reason, which Las Casas also argues is conferred to human beings
as God’s chosen creatures on earth. As with the Stoics, human reason helps
to expose these laws of nature and it is from these immutable laws that
all human law should be based. Nevertheless, while the Stoics believed the
rights of universal citizenship to be a function of legal positivism, Las Casas
believed natural rights precede their codification into human law. It is due
to this fact that Las Casas believed that human law should do nothing more
than enforce the natural rights that already exist.
Based on this conception of universal natural right, Las Casas implies that
the native Indians were not only ‘men like us’ but that they also had basic
rights as ‘God’s rational creatures’. Furthermore, Las Casas argued that these
basic natural rights were equal to any held by Europeans and thus should be
equally respected by all those visiting the New World. As Las Casas states, the
Spanish exploration of the New World represents nothing more than the act
of ‘cruel tyrants’ who are engaged in ‘a series of violent incursions’ into lands
rightfully occupied and owned by native peoples.21 Through his writings,
Las Casas sought to highlight the cruelty and hypocrisy of the Spanish con-
quistador. In particular, Las Casas was wary of the claims of conquistadors
like Hernan Cortes, who often legitimated their violent actions by arguing
that the Spanish were ‘justly’ defending themselves against ‘a formidable
enemy’ that was acting inhospitably against the Spanish in order to defend
an unholy ‘Aztec Empire’.22 By doing so, Cortes attempted to paint a pic-
ture of military conquest between two powerful empires that was similar to
those witnessed in European theaters of war. This was done in order to legit-
imise himself against the claim that he was an inhospitable ‘violent invader’
while also allowing himself to claim that he was a righteous defender of
108 Between Naturalism and Cosmopolitan Law

Christendom.23 It was against these claims that Las Casas believed that
through violence and force the Spanish were acting in violation of both
natural right and natural law, which demanded mutual consistency, peace-
ful acts of reciprocity and acts of basic hospitality to all. Although Las Casas’
cosmopolitanism is predicated on a religious foundation, where conquis-
tadors were blamed for systematically killing ‘God’s rational creatures’, it
still maintains a firm cosmopolitan belief that humankind is a community
that morally demands the equal application of universal laws across political
Nevertheless, a more thorough explanation of the relationship between
hospitality, natural law and the foundations of cosmopolitan human law
is presented in the works of Vitoria. For it is in Vitoria and other scholars
of the Second Scholastic that a relationship between natural rights, human
rights and a cosmopolitan vision is reworked with significant detail. As with
Las Casas and many Neo-Thomists, Vitoria believed that natural law is a
function of reason and delivers immutable axioms that are applicable to
all humanity. Like many cosmopolitans before him, Vitoria believed that
the legitimacy of human positive law depended on its consanguinity with
the axioms of natural law, where any ‘manifest injustice’ between the two
weakened the moral authority of human law and in essence rendered that
law illegitimate and open to reformulation.25 The implication of this stance
taken by Vitoria is considerable. First, the idea that humans have rights
becomes an a priori foundation of law that is unquestionable and inalienable.
As with many modern conceptions of universal human rights, the idea that
rights exist is taken philosophically for granted as divinely bestowed or as an
a priori metaphysical construct, where they are often held as an immutable
truth. Second, the legitimacy of law is predicated on a strict identification
relationship between natural rights and the ability and/or willingness of
law to uphold these inalienable principles. This suggests that law should
be as much a function of right as of having a utilitarian function of ordered
authority. Third, Vitoria seems to argue that the ability of human law to
mirror these natural laws is a concern open to public reason and reformula-
tion. In this regard, just law must be consistent with principles that can be
shared by all individuals regardless of their immediate political affiliations,
and these principles must be determined by a form of public reason as nat-
ural laws of reason. Vitoria suggests this is ultimately a cosmopolitan vision
when he states that ‘the whole world, which in a sense is a commonwealth,
has the power to enact laws which are just and convenient to all men; and
these make up the law of nations . . . [and] no kingdom may choose to ignore
this law of nations, because it has the sanction of the whole world’.26
In comparison to the Roman Stoics, the world is a universal common-
wealth, where human beings share not only a capacity for human reason
and thus the ability to be moral beings but also a similar human fate. It is
this similar fate as rational beings that establishes, as it were, a political
Garrett Wallace Brown 109

community, a political community that should be bound by universal laws

of reason. However, what marks Vitoria’s legal cosmopolitanism as distinct
from the legal theory of the Stoics is that justice is the product of pub-
lic reason, in that ‘international law must be a consistent whole based on
principles and reasoning that can be shared by all involved parties’.27 This
has three significant implications in the history of cosmopolitan thought.
First, the minimal foundations for cosmopolitan law or more robust laws of
nations are grounded in a conception of natural right and natural law in the
sense that there are negative duties of hospitality to refrain from mistreat-
ing others. This is dictated by the fact that as God’s creatures, all human
beings hold these rights in dominium from one another. What distinguishes
this position from those of the Roman Stoics is that the unrestricted ‘civiliz-
ing missions’ of the Romans are now to some degree restricted by universal
moral conduct. Although Vitoria does allow for a rather inconsistent con-
cept of just war, his stance is remarkably pacific in relation to Cicero and
especially to that of Aurelius. Second, it is also important to understand that
Vitoria weaves the moral minimum of natural law and right into the fabric of
international law by suggesting that international positive law is not exclu-
sive of natural law and that they have complimentary functions.28 Third,
Vitoria demands that international law be consistent with the will of all
people. This principle is remarkably similar to the hypothetical theories of
justice as advocated by Kant, Rawls and Habermas, who derive principles of
justice from positions that could reasonably be accepted by all participants.
Although it is not clear whether Vitoria’s formulation of justice rests on a
hypothetical thought experiment (say like Kant’s categorical imperative) or
a belief in some global legislative assembly (say like St. Pierre), it does sug-
gest that legitimate international law is that which cannot be based on force
alone but must also originate from ‘the general consensus of men’.29
Nevertheless, before illustrating how the works by Las Casas and Vitoria
motivate and influence contemporary legal cosmopolitanism, it is necessary
to discuss one additional feature of Vitoria’s legal theory. This feature is his
law of hospitality, and it can be seen as a direct byproduct of his concept
of natural right and its corresponding duty to protect the vulnerable. To be
clear, Vitoria is in no way the first theorist to suggest that there are uni-
versal laws of hospitality owed to all humanity. Nevertheless, Vitoria is key
because he extrapolates these moral laws as necessary transitional founda-
tions for international legal practice. As was suggested above, this was done
particularly in response to European exploration in the New World, but it
was also done as a means to protect all visiting strangers who travelled the
world in common, regardless of where they came from.
Like Diogenes of Sinope, Vitoria was concerned with the ability of people
to travel the world without harm and believed that they should be free from
the prospect of mistreatment by local inhabitants. Furthermore, Vitoria was
also concerned with the rights of indigenous people, especially when it came
110 Between Naturalism and Cosmopolitan Law

to protecting native populations from inhospitable visitors. Therefore, like

Diogenes, Vitoria wished to protect visitors from arbitrarily cruel and xeno-
phobic laws, but in addition, he was also concerned with the rights of those
visited and sought to protect them from visitors who could endanger their
lives and livelihood.
In their basic form, Vitoria’s laws of hospitality were meant to outline
a series of natural rights that applied to all human beings equally. These
natural rights applied whether one was visiting or being visited. These were
held whether or not one was a citizen of a certain political community and
regardless of whether one was a Christian or a non-believer. In many ways
the rights of hospitality act as a claim for the performance of certain duties,
where the moral authority to demand the execution of these duties comes
from natural law and the equal entitlements given to all humanity by God.
They act as a justification for self-defence as well as a justification for the
use of violence against others to secure the protection of these entitlements.
From this, the rights of the visitor include a right to travel, a right to trade,
a right to use common property, a right to reside in visited territories and
a right from expulsion from this territory without reasonable justification.30
Nevertheless, as mentioned before, the laws of hospitality are also meant
to protect indigenous populations, in that all humans are entitled to own
property, have a right against mistreatment by foreign visitors and have a
right to belong to a self-determining political community.31 These rights,
according to Vitoria, were inalienable and provided the baseline foundation
and transitional principles for a universal law of nations.
Nevertheless, there is a tension regarding the relationship between
Vitoria’s universal natural rights and his suggestions for how these rights
might be applied in legal practice. As highlighted above, the laws of hos-
pitality act more specifically as a justification for making a claim against
another and to justify the enforcement of that claim through the use of
violence (if it becomes necessary to protect natural right). This poses some
problems for Vitoria’s cosmopolitan legal practice in a number of ways.
First, the laws of hospitality and their relationship with international law
remain an act of self-policing (the axiom to be compelled by natural law).
A problem arises in that Vitoria understood the duties of natural law as
uncontestable, self-evident and universally valid. Because of this, Vitoria
neglects to explain how these axioms are to be codified into human law
or how international law is to be legislated between different communities.
Second, Vitoria’s model is meant to provide moral justification for when one
can legitimately use violence in order to enforce one’s natural right. How-
ever, as history unfortunately illustrates, claims of natural law were often
manipulated by European powers to excuse expansionist behaviour.32 Thus,
since natural laws are not written laws per se, they ultimately remain mal-
leable to subjective interpretation and to misappropriation by those who
seek to legitimate the use of violence. Third, Vitoria sometimes borders
Garrett Wallace Brown 111

on the paternalistic, suggesting something resembling a civilizing mission

when he claims that ‘Spain might take over [native] administration . . . or
give them new masters, so long as this could be proved to be in their self
interest’.33 Fourth, there remain several ambiguities (and seeming contradic-
tions) involved with Vitoria’s right to use common property and to the right
of settlement, which some have argued provided the Europeans with a justi-
fication to strip natural resources or to settle in areas that were deemed terra
nullus or vaccum domicilium.34 In other words, since the laws of hospitality
remain an act of self-policing, which is open to subjective interpretation,
and without a firm legal explanation of property ownership and the right to
settlement, they are in some ways relegated to a position of pure theoretical
suggestion, which are unable to provide a detailed account as to what the
legal practice of cosmopolitan law should ultimately look like.
Despite the fact that Vitoria’s vision of cosmopolitan legal practice remains
underdeveloped, what Vitoria does do, unlike Cicero and Aurelius, is
broaden the normative argument to encompass those outside the immedi-
ate authority of positive law. He does so by making the normative claim that
natural rights should act as a universal moral requirement of international
law, which should set universal moral standards for when international law
can be justifiably enforced and defended. This is done through justifying
the rightful entitlements of those who are non-citizens (as long as they act
hospitably) while at the same time trying to restrict what legitimate actions
might be taken by visiting peoples. Although in some sense this is practi-
cally impeded by various ambiguities, the legal theory of Vitoria provides
an important transitional step in the historical progression of cosmopolitan
law. For it is with Vitoria that a protection for the non-citizen is expressed
as a moral requirement of international law, and it is from this expression
that Vitoria gives us some basis to claim that all people in the world have
rights and that we should be morally obligated to create international law in
congruence with these universal commands of reason. As the next section
further explores, the thoughts of Vitoria can be seen to have influenced the
legal theory of Kant, and from these ideas Kant formulated what is perhaps
the most robust and influential model of cosmopolitan law.

Kant, hospitality and the idea of cosmopolitan law

Before exploring Kant’s cosmopolitan law, it is necessary to explain why this

chapter forgoes an exploration of the natural law tradition as represented by
Hugo Grotius, Samuel Pufendorf and Emeric De Vattel. Although it is cer-
tainly true that these theorists were legal internationalists who envisioned
and advocated a contemporaneously robust law of nations, it is also fair to
suggest that they were not cosmopolitans.35 The primary distinction and
one which removes most natural lawyers from the cosmopolitan tradition
is that these theorists did not always argue for strong principles of universal
112 Between Naturalism and Cosmopolitan Law

law between citizens and non-citizens.36 Instead, most natural law scholars
(Thomas Wolff possibly excluded) built upon the theoretical foundations
of Thomas Hobbes and suggested that the sovereign state was the ultimate
source of ethical law and human emancipation.37 In this regard, the laws of
nations were predicated on an almost inviolable form of Hobbesian contrac-
tarian theory, the creation of bounded political organisations as states and
the creation of state citizenship as distinct from outsiders. In addition, based
on these contractual foundations, natural lawyers believed that states should
follow a reformulated natural law doctrine of jus gentium, with its focus on
balance of power, the approximation of absolute sovereignty and a rather open-
ended reasoning for just war. In other words, what separates cosmopolitan
thought from the theories of the natural law tradition is that cosmopoli-
tanism takes the individual as holding primary status above state sovereignty
and sees the laws of reason as having a universal validity and potential
legal scope, far beyond any self-interested modus vivendi and impermanent
compact between states.
In this regard, like Cicero and Aurelius before him, Kant acknowledged
the cosmopolitan idea that humanity belonged to a universal community
of moral beings and that jus gentium should in some thoroughgoing way
reflect these cosmopolitan principles.38 Like Las Casas and Vitoria, Kant also
believed that all humans possessed a free will which grounds their power
to formulate human laws through the exercise of public reason. Unlike Las
Casas and Vitoria, however, Kant did not believe that one could prove the
existence of a natural right as inherited by God or that humanity could ever
experience true freedom. What Kant asserts, in contrast to Vitoria, is that
freedom and morality can only be understood transcendentally and that
morality necessarily requires the existence of a free will in order for it to
have the ability to be a self-imposed duty. Otherwise, moral duties would
simply be a coerced action by external determinates. In order for the idea
of morality to have subjective imperative, individuals must be understood
as having the capacity for self-prescribed duty. These duties find imperative
force through one’s autonomous free will and allow human beings to act as
moral beings in relation to others. It is due to the fact that morality assumes
a freedom of will to choose right or wrong and for moral judgements to
be based on those choices that all human beings share a universal moral
condition. In this regard, like Vitoria, but seemingly without the theologi-
cal component, humans share natural laws of reason and a moral fate that
in essence creates a common political fate and one that should be subject
to universal laws. This condition cannot be known as pure fact but can be
understood through the transcendental deduction so as to give philosophi-
cal meaning to the experience of nature. For Kant, natural rights do exist,
but not necessarily as a precept of God. As natural rights emerge from the
human capacity to be moral beings, which can be experienced in nature
and which ultimately highlight a similar human fate, we are able to confirm
Garrett Wallace Brown 113

the conditions for this public right through our experiences of practical and
public reason.39
In many ways, Kant’s idea of cosmopolitan law shares similarities with
the Roman Stoics and the School of Salamanca. As did Las Casas and to
some degree Vitoria, Kant rejects imperialism, empire and civilising mis-
sions. As Kant states, the ‘inhospitable conduct of the civilized states of
our continent, especially the commercial states, the injustices which they
display in visiting foreign countries and peoples (which in their case is
the same as conquering them) seems appallingly great’. Kant goes on to
argue that this has ‘led to oppression of the natives, incitement of the var-
ious Indian states to widespread wars, famine, insurrection, treachery and
the whole litany of evils which can afflict the human race’.40 Similar to
the normative position of the Roman Stoics, Kant believed in something
resembling what is commonly known as globalisation, where experiences of
increased interconnection force us to think normatively at the global level
and to measure the boundaries of our nation by the sun. This is because
he believed that through exploration and trade the world was no longer
a set of isolated peoples but that the world had in essence become a uni-
versal community, which demands universal laws of humanity. As Kant

The peoples of the earth have entered in varying degrees into a universal
community, and it has developed to the point where a violation of rights
in one part of the world is felt everywhere. The idea of cosmopolitan right
is therefore not fantastic and overstrained; it is a necessary complement
to the unwritten code of political and international right, transforming it
into a universal right of humanity.41

Furthermore, Kant argues that universal laws of humanity require corre-

sponding laws of hospitality. Similar to Vitoria, Kant mimics as well as
expands Vitoria’s laws of hospitality, arguing that these laws should exist
between peoples and that these laws act as the foundational conditions
for the establishment of a more robust form of cosmopolitan law. As with
Vitoria, Kant outlines six universal laws of hospitality: (1) a right to exit;
(2) a right to enter and travel; (3) the freedom from hostility and from
negligence; (4) the freedom of communication and to engage in pub-
lic reason; (5) the right to engage in commerce and to use the world
in common and (6) the freedom from false, misrepresented, extorted or
fraudulent contracts. Like Vitoria and Diogenes before him, Kant argues
that everyone should have the freedom to peacefully travel the world,
to engage in trade and to use the world in common. However, unlike
Vitoria, Kant requires additional protections for both visitor and visited.
In contrast to Vitoria, Kant specifically suggests that all contracts are null
and void unless they have the full consent of those involved and that
114 Between Naturalism and Cosmopolitan Law

false contracts cannot form a legitimate basis for international law. In line
with the spirit of Vitoria, however, Kant does argue that international law
must be representative of public reason. In this regard, both the ability
to communicate freely as well as to have access to public deliberation
about the substance of law are seen as necessary transitional foundations
of global justice for the evolutionary establishment of a cosmopolitan legal
Nevertheless, Kant distinguished this vision of cosmopolitan hospitality
from both the Stoics and the School of Salamanca by seeking to define
(and limit) the evolutionary path and expansionary potential for estab-
lishing a condition of cosmopolitan law. In many ways this limitation
represents how Kant saw cosmopolitan right and the corresponding laws
of hospitality not as the final word regarding justice but as the necessary
transitional principles of global justice needed to guarantee intersubjective
communication at the global level. From this baseline condition of hos-
pitality, Kant sought to provide the conditions for a mutually consistent
deliberation about the future robustness of cosmopolitan law and to make
sure that this formulation would be subject to a form of global public rea-
son.42 A limitation on how cosmopolitanism should expand is contained in
Kant’s Third Definitive Article in Perpetual Peace, which specifically demands
that ‘Cosmopolitan Right shall be limited to Conditions of Universal Hos-
pitality’.43 In addition, in a radical separation from Vitoria, Kant makes
a distinction between the right to visitation (Besuchsrecht) and the right
to residence (Gastrecht), demanding that any right to residence requires ‘a
special friendly agreement’ whereby one could be allowed to legitimately
The separation of Gastrecht from Besuchsrecht is an important line of
demarcation and sets Kant’s laws of hospitality apart from those advo-
cated by Vitoria and other members of the Second Scholastic. Whereas
the laws of hospitality under Vitoria were vague regarding a right to use
common property, to settle in foreign lands and to use any land deemed
to be terra nullus, Kant’s requirement for an additional friendly agreement
set a limit to the ability of imperialist powers to manipulate natural law
arguments for an unrestricted right to settlement. As Kant clearly states,
‘there is not a right to make settlement on the land of another nation
(ius incolatus); for this, a special contract is required’.45 This contractual
requirement is a necessary condition for mutually consistent justice and
public right since cosmopolitan right postulates that ‘the sum of conditions
under which the choice of one can be united with the choice of another
is in accordance with a universal law of freedom’.46 It is from this minimal
foundation of hospitality and transitional global justice that ‘we may enter
into peaceful mutual relations which may eventually be regulated by public
laws, thus bringing the human race nearer and nearer to a cosmopolitan
Garrett Wallace Brown 115

Before outlining how Kant envisioned cosmopolitan law to be applied in

practice, it is important to be clear about the philosophical comparisons
made so far between Kant, the School of Salamanca and the Stoics. Like
many cosmopolitans before him, Kant maintained the cosmopolitan belief
that all human beings had equal moral capacity and that this moral capac-
ity was a universal characteristic inherent in all human beings, regardless
of race, religion, political affiliation or place of birth. In addition, Kant
preserved the cosmopolitan normative position that human law should
somehow reflect these principles at the global level and that due to the fact
that we ‘necessarily live side by side’ on a bounded sphere, this law should
apply to all peoples of the world. Lastly, like Vitoria, Kant believed that cos-
mopolitan law should be reflective of universal public reason and that it
should be mutually consistent, mutually rewarding and seen as acceptable
by all.
However, unlike the Stoics, who often relied on references to the positive
law of empire, and Vitoria, who remained rather ambiguous in outlining a
relationship between natural law and legal practice, Kant’s ambition was to
create a more substantive and applicable form of cosmopolitan law, which
sought to avoid the theoretical pitfalls experienced by the cosmopolitanism
of the past. This was done explicitly to create a more thoroughgoing con-
dition of universal public right and a system of law that could capture the
essence of the categorical imperative. Namely, to create a system of law that
allowed ‘the sum of the conditions under which the choice of one can be
united with the choice of another in accordance with a universal law of free-
dom’.48 As Mary Gregor similarly suggests, the jurisprudence underwriting
this public right relates directly to ‘the sum of laws that need to be pub-
licized in order to produce a rightful condition, one in which individuals,
nations and states can enjoy their rights’.49
To create this condition of universal public right, Kant envisions a tripar-
tite system of interlocking and mutually coordinated laws that are divided
into domestic law (citizen to citizen, state to citizen), international law (state
to state) and cosmopolitan law (states to all humans, especially non-citizens).
This system of interlocking law was to be propagated not through a world
state, as the Stoics may have suggested, but through a pacific federation of
like-minded and independent states who were dedicated to establishing a
more rightful condition of cosmopolitan law.50 The pacific federation was
to be based on the consent of its members and could not be established
through external coercion. In establishing this voluntary model, Kant sought
to avoid the imperialist legacy of Stoic cosmopolitanism. He does this by
making his intention perfectly clear in that ‘this federation does not aim
to acquire any power like that of a state, but merely to preserve and secure
the freedom of each state in itself, along with that of the other confeder-
ated states’.51 In this regard, the basis for Kant’s system of international law
was to be mutually consistent principles of right, the willingness of member
116 Between Naturalism and Cosmopolitan Law

states to dedicate themselves to these principles of public right, and states

to contractually obligate themselves to the self-policing of this condition.
In addition, in line with Kant’s moral philosophy, the legal obligation asso-
ciated with this contract between states was not generated by a source of
external coercion but was to find expression from the members themselves
(WillKur), through open formulation, in order to represent self-legislated
human law.
However, Kant also suggested that the pacific federation could only be
feasible, and thus ultimately cosmopolitan, if it was comprised entirely of
republican states. This represents an important step in his cosmopolitan
thinking, for it suggests a Plutonian notion that only those who are inter-
nally just can possibly legislate justly in relation to the needs of others.
As Kant argues in the First Definitive Article of Perpetual Peace, ‘the Civil
Constitution of Every State Shall be Republican’.52 Kant defines republican-
ism as containing similar elements of what we would usually associate with
contemporary liberal democracy.53 That is, republican states are those that
maintain a ‘separation of powers’, the ‘freedom of all members of society’,
their ‘legal equality as citizens’, a ‘common legislation’ and the ability of
their populations to vote on foreign policy.54 Kant limits the membership of
the pacific federation to republican states because he firmly believes that
only republican states, with their dedication to popular sovereignty, could
approximate a condition of internal (citizen to citizen, state to citizen) and
external (state to state, states to all non-citizens) justice.55 It is because repub-
lican states can best approximate internal justice, legislative representation
and a commitment to a condition of public right that they would be more
willing to further the conditions for transitional global justice beyond their
borders. Furthermore, since republican states should be more representative
of a ‘united general will’, they would also be more likely to expand the
possibility of this will formation to those beyond their immediate borders.
However, what makes this federation distinctive from the Stoic idea of a
mixed constitution (which is also a form of republicanism) is that member-
ship is voluntary and free from coercion as well as the fact that the federation
itself must be dedicated to furthering cosmopolitan law in its relations with
non-federated members. In this regard, members of the pacific federation
must not only secure a condition of cosmopolitan right between all mem-
ber states but they must also commit to conducting themselves according to
the laws of hospitality in all external relations with non-member states or
peoples.56 Therefore, unlike the often conflicting and ambiguous notions of
applied cosmopolitan law advocated by the Roman Stoics and Vitoria, Kant
demands that any thoroughgoing condition of law between federated and
non-federated members must contain a commitment to the basic principles
of cosmopolitan right and the laws of hospitality as a form of transitional
global justice. In this way, ‘continents distant from each other can enter
into peaceful relations which may eventually be regulated by public laws,
Garrett Wallace Brown 117

thus bringing the human race nearer and nearer to a cosmopolitan constitu-
tion’.57 In other words, the practice of cosmopolitan law is to be applied in a
slow and evolutionary fashion by those who believe in its principles, which
would include legal and extra-legal norms, so that ethical expectations could
‘gradually spread further and further’ as a form of transitional global justice
towards a more robust cosmopolitan legal order.58
Most contemporary cosmopolitans suggest that they are indebted to Kant
and this vision of cosmopolitan law. This is because for many cosmopolitans
Kant was instrumental in outlining a more progressive, internally consis-
tent and complete conception of cosmopolitanism. As many cosmopolitans
suggest, Kant was the first to develop an additional level of law at the
cosmopolitan level. Whereas Natural Law theorists often advocated strong
conditions of international law between states, Kant was the first to suggest
that the law of nations could only be reasonably secure in tandem with an
additional legal condition of cosmopolitan right. In this regard, Kant advo-
cated the creation of an additional level of law, at the global level, under
which both domestic law and international law would be supported and
protected. This was not to replace or weaken international law per se but was
designed specifically to compliment international law and to broaden the
scope of public law in all internal and external relations. Furthermore, many
cosmopolitans who are concerned with claims of cultural imperialism see
Kant as representing an important move away from the cosmopolitanism
of the Roman Stoics. This is because Kant suggested that instituting cos-
mopolitan law was an evolutionary matter of time and dedication to its
principles as a form of a mutually consistent transitional global justice and
that it was antithetical to cosmopolitan principles to force it as a civilis-
ing mission. In this regard, Kant understood that it is necessary to reform
existing law to comply with the minimal laws of hospitality so that human
beings could peacefully relate to one another, in order to provide a possibil-
ity for a more robust system of cosmopolitan law in the future. This was to be
done through the consistent moral behaviour of like-minded states, which
would help to set legal and extra-legal expectations between peoples. Lastly,
many see Kant as imagining a more radical, yet necessary, theoretical move
to promote cosmopolitan law and interconnected governance in an increas-
ingly globalised world. This is evidenced by Kant’s commitment to a pacific
federation and a world system based on a cooperative legal order. In many
ways, this represents Kant’s most radical formulation of cosmopolitan law
and one that contemporary scholars are still debating. For it highlights the
fact that cosmopolitanism requires a fairly strong commitment between like-
minded states to uphold the principles of public right, internally (domestic
law), externally (international law) and universally (cosmopolitan law).59
It is to the continued problem of how contemporary cosmopolitans suggest
we secure these legal commitments that the conclusion of this chapter will
now turn.
118 Between Naturalism and Cosmopolitan Law

Contemporary legal cosmopolitanism and the persistent

problem of applied theory: hospitality as a form of transitional
global justice

In many ways, the impact of Kant’s notion of cosmopolitan law on con-

temporary cosmopolitan thought is considerable and has set the stage for
current issues involved with moving theory to practice. This is because the
story so far has been one of understanding cosmopolitan morality and with
how this morality could be (or should be) universally applied. As we have
seen, in the history of ideas, cosmopolitan law has been based on various
iterations of natural law theory and hospitality, which has been a tool used
to support arguments for legal naturalism, natural rights, public right and
the creation of human law in accordance with universal reason. As illus-
trated, cosmopolitans have sought to use various metaphysical principles of
natural law as a way to ground a thoroughgoing condition of cosmopolitan
law. This has been done not only to make normative prescription about what
the law should be but also as a way to make an increasingly interconnected
(and often failing) system of international law more just. From this back-
ground, we can see that these same issues continue to plague contemporary
cosmopolitans and their transitional models from theory to practice.
It is because of the difficulty of this move from moral theory to applied
practice that many cosmopolitans have made a distinction between moral
cosmopolitanism and institutional cosmopolitanism. As Charles Beitz sug-
gests, moral cosmopolitanism relates to the aspect of cosmopolitanism that
demands ‘that every human being has a global stature as the ultimate unit of
moral concern’.60 This is a distinctively different type of philosophising from
one that seeks to illustrate how these principles could be instituted in prac-
tice. As Brian Barry argues, ‘moral cosmopolitanism leaves open the final
questions of the ideal constitution of international society . . . [and] there
is no automatic move from ethical premises to any particular conclusion
about the ideal world constitution’.61 In other words, moral cosmopolitans
are generally concerned with the moral principles that should underpin a
cosmopolitan condition regardless of what form it may eventually take. This
can be a separate task from institutional cosmopolitanism, which is often
concerned with how these principles might be applied in practice or, as some
suggest, how these principles have already entered into a slow evolution-
ary process of international norm building.62 This is not to suggest that the
two are mutually exclusive endeavours, for most institutional cosmopolitans
base their institutional models on the traditional groundwork of moral cos-
mopolitanism, while many moral cosmopolitans tend to make normative
demands about what a moral practice should resemble. Nevertheless, it
would seem that it is in the middle ground between moral cosmopolitanism
and institutional cosmopolitanism where most work still has to be done.63
In addition, it is my belief that this transitional middle position concerns a
Garrett Wallace Brown 119

more thorough understanding of cosmopolitan jurisprudence and hospital-

ity as a form of transitional global justice.64 In other words, understanding
cosmopolitan practice requires a further examination of the jurisprudence
behind cosmopolitan legal theory and its applied evolution, which will
hopefully provide the most relevant and feasible link to cosmopolitan
Creating this link is important because one consistent and seemingly nec-
essary element underwriting all institutional approaches is a reliance on
some thoroughgoing notion of applied cosmopolitan law. When survey-
ing various institutional models, it becomes clear that all of these positions
assume the existence of some form of cosmopolitan democratic law,65 a
respect for cosmopolitan rights,66 the ability for cosmopolitan law enforce-
ment,67 and a continued commitment to political cosmopolitanism.68
In order to create this sense of institutional order, many cosmopolitans find
themselves in a precarious middle ground between a notion of cosmopoli-
tan moral duty and the need for robust positive institutionalisation. The
difficulty involved in navigating this terrain is evidenced by the ongoing
debate between cosmopolitans as to whether institutional cosmopolitanism
is best satisfied through the formation of a world government,69 through
some mutlilayered system of global governance,70 through a Kantian federa-
tion of independent states,71 through a more bottom–up approach based on
an emerging global civil society,72 through the constitutionalisation of cur-
rent international law,73 or through a more ‘mundane’ lex mercatoria model
of legal norm building.74
As was stated at the beginning, the purpose of this chapter has been to
explore the concept of cosmopolitan law as it has evolved through three
of its most influential periods and to examine how this history of ideas has
come to underpin contemporary legal cosmopolitanism. Through this exam-
ination, I have attempted to reveal the juristic foundations behind hospital-
ity and the idea of cosmopolitan law as well as to emphasise how it continues
to struggle in finding an acceptable middle passage from cosmopolitan the-
ory to legal practice. In seeking this middle way, the chapter considered the
normative components that underpinned Greco-Roman jurisprudence, the
important contributions made by the School of Salamanca, and outlined
Kantian jurisprudence and its influence on contemporary cosmopolitanism.
Nevertheless, the purpose of this chapter has not been to offer any system-
atic resolution for moving legal theory to practice. The goal has been simply
to highlight some important turning points in cosmopolitan legal theory
so as to backfill many historical assumptions made within contemporary
cosmopolitan debates. In addition, the goal has been to stress that a rein-
vigorated examination of the laws of hospitality as a form of transitional
global justice could provide the necessary link in creating a more robust
cosmopolitan institutional practice. This is necessary not only because con-
temporary models often rest on an assumption of a thoroughgoing practice
120 Between Naturalism and Cosmopolitan Law

of cosmopolitan law but also because in many ways the world has glob-
alised (for better or for worse) to the point where cosmopolitan legal theory
and global justice have greater relevance. In this regard, as in the time of
Cicero, Vitoria and Kant, the history of the idea of cosmopolitan law remains
an evolutionary and enthusiastic project which, ‘as solutions are gradually
found, constantly draws nearer fulfillment, for we may hope that the periods
within which equal amounts of progress are made will become progres-
sively shorter’.75 In other words, what is now required is to reinvigorate our
theorising and implementation of basic laws of hospitality so as to generate
this slow transition to a globally just world.

1. Francisco de Vitoria, ‘On the American Indians’, in A. Padgen and J. Lawrence
(eds.), Political Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), p. 281.
2. Huge Harris, ‘The Greek Origins of the Idea of Cosmopolitanism’, The Interna-
tional Journal of Ethics 38:1 (1927), pp. 1–10.
3. Moses Hadas, ‘From Nationalism to Cosmopolitanism in the Greco-Roman
World’, Journal of the History of Ideas 4:1 (1943), pp. 105–11.
4. Diogenes Laertius, The Lives of Eminent Philosophers, vol. 1 (Cambridge: Loeb
Classical Library, 1925).
5. Donald Dudley, A History of Cynicism: From Diogenes to the 6th Century A.D.
(London: Ares Publishers, 1937), p. 34.
6. Nevertheless, he is certainly not the first to suggest human law based on a law
of nature. For it is Heracleitus and Empedocles who are often seen as the first
proponents of the idea that ‘immanent in the order of the universe is a moral law
of reason, in which all men as rational creatures naturally share, and to which
human laws everywhere should conform’. For quote see Harris, p. 7.
7. Zeno of Citium, The Fragments of Zeno and Cleanthes, Alfred Pearson (ed.)
(London: C.J. Clay, 1891), p. 102.
8. William Woodthorpe Tarn, Hellenistic Civilization (London: Plume, 1930), p. 73.
9. Plutarch, ‘On the Fortune of Alexander’, in A. Long and D. Sedley (eds.), The
Hellenistic Philosophers, vol. 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1987),
p. 429.
10. John Sellars, ‘Stoic Cosmopolitanism and Zeno’s Republic’, History of Political
Thought 28:1 (2007), pp. 1–29.
11. Marcus Aurelius, The Meditations (New York: Hackett, 1983), Section 14.
12. Marcus Tullius Cicero, The Republic and The Laws, J. Powell (ed.) (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 1998), 3:28.
13. Hadas, Nationalism to Cosmopolitanism, p. 110.
14. Cicero, ‘The Republic’, 3:28.
15. It is interesting to note that the word barbarian stems from its usage by the Greeks
and meant that a person/peoples were ‘foreign or alien’ and these aliens were
uncivilised, lacking the development of reason. The Stoic seeming acceptance of
this distinction would seem to contradict Seneca’s grand cosmopolitan declara-
tion that ‘nothing human is alien to me’ and that humanity should ‘measure the
boundaries of our nation by the sun’. For quote see Seneca, De Otio, A. Long and
D. Sedley (eds.) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), p. 431.
Garrett Wallace Brown 121

16. Sellars, ‘Stoic Cosmopolitanism and Zeno’s Republic’, p. 2.

17. Also known as the School of Salamanca, which refers to a group of theologian
natural law scholars who resided in Salamanca and who drew influence from the
theories of Thomas Aquinas.
18. Bartolome de Las Casas, A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies, Nigel Griffin
(ed.) (London: Penguin Books, 1992), p. 14.
19. Lewis Hawke, All Mankind is One: A Study of the Disputation Between Bartolome
de Las Casas and Juan Gines de Sepulveda in 1550 on the Intellectual and Religious
Capacity of the American Indians (De Kalb: Northern Illinois Press, 1974).
20. Las Casas, Short Account of the Destruction, p. 14.
21. Ibid., p. 6.
22. Hernan Cortes, Letters from Mexico, Anthony Pagden (ed.) (New Haven, CT: Yale
University Press, 1986).
23. Robert Williams, The American Indian in Western Legal Thought: The Discourses of
Conquest (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990).
24. Las Casas, Short Account of the Destruction, p. 43.
25. Francisco de Vitoria, ‘On Laws’, in A. Padgen and J. Lawrence (eds.), Political
Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 153–204.
26. Francisco de Vitoria, ‘On Civil Power’, in A. Padgen and J. Lawrence (eds.), Political
Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), p. 40.
27. Georg Cavallar, The Rights of Strangers (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2002),
p. 94.
28. James Brown Scott, The Spanish Origin of International Law: Francisco de Vitoria and
his Law of Nations (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934).
29. Vitoria, ‘On Laws’, p. 160.
30. Vitoria, ‘On the American Indians’, p. 265.
31. Francisco de Vitoria, ‘On the Law of War’, in A. Padgen and J. Lawrence (eds.),
Political Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), p. 301.
32. Carol Pateman and Charles Mills, Contract and Domination (Cambridge: Polity
Press, 2007).
33. Some, like James Tully, question Vitoria’s motives regarding these actions as in
the best interests of the natives. However, the context of Vitoria’s discussion is
important and seemingly ignored by Tully. For Vitoria stated these words ‘for
the sake of argument’, ultimately concluding that he could not assert his posi-
tion with any amount of ‘confidence’. For he realised the horrible results that
this position could excuse. He also outlined that this position would be terribly
hard to defend and could only be defended if it was absolutely obvious that the
native leadership ‘were close to being totally mad’. Even if this madness could
be established as fact, Vitoria states that this action could only be legitimate, if
it ‘was done for the benefit and good of the barbarians, and not merely for the
profit of the Spaniards’. For Tully see, James Tully, Strange Multiplicity (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1995). For Vitoria’s quotes as a counter to Tully, see
Vitoria, ‘On the American Indians’, p. 291.
34. Antony Anghie, Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).
35. See the chapter in this volume by Georg Cavallar for an excellent discussion of
the Natural Law tradition and cosmopolitanism.
36. Archibugi, Daniele (1995) Immanuel Kant, ‘Cosmopolitan Law and Peace’,
European Journal of International Relation 1:4 (1995), pp. 429–56.
37. Emeric de Vattel, The Law of Nations (Indianapolis, IN: The Liberty Fund, 2000).
122 Between Naturalism and Cosmopolitan Law

38. In doing so, Kant rejected the principles of the contemporary natural law tradi-
tion as a ‘pure illusion’ and maintained that natural law scholars such as Grotius
were ‘sorry comforters’ and apologists for the supremacy of poor state behaviour
under a misappropriated form of Roman jus gentium. See Immanuel Kant, ‘On the
Common Saying: This May be True in Theory, But It Does Not Apply in Practice’,
in Hans Reiss (ed.), Kant’s Political Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1970), p. 92.
39. Immanuel Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals (Cambridge: Hackett
Publishing Company, 1981).
40. Immanuel Kant, ‘Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch’, in Hans Reiss (ed.),
Kant’s Political Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970), p. 106.
41. Ibid., pp. 107–8.
42. Garrett Wallace Brown, ‘The Laws of Hospitality, Asylum Seekers and Cosmopoli-
tan Right: A Kantian Response to Jacques Derrida, European Journal of Political
Theory 9:3 (2010), pp. 308–27.
43. Kant, ‘Perpetual Peace’, p. 105.
44. Ibid.
45. Immanuel Kant, The Metaphysics of Morals, M. Gregor (ed.) (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1996), p. 121.
46. Ibid.
47. Kant, ‘Perpetual Peace’, p. 106.
48. Kant, The Metaphysics of Morals, p. 24.
49. Mary Gregor, ‘Kant’s Approach to Constitutionalism’, in A. Rosenbaum (ed.),
Constitutionalism: The Philosophical Dimension (New York: Greenwood Press,
1988), p. 71.
50. Garrett Wallace Brown, Grounding Cosmopolitanism: From Kant to the Idea of a Cos-
mopolitan Constitution (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009), pp. 110–17.
51. Kant, ‘Perpetual Peace’, p. 104.
52. Ibid., p. 99.
53. Antonio Franceschet, Kant and Liberal Internationalism: Sovereignty, Justice and
Global Reform (New York: Palgrave, 1990), Chapter 4.
54. Kant, ‘Perpetual Peace’, pp. 98–102.
55. Kant, The Metaphysics of Morals, pp. 89–95.
56. Brown, Grounding Cosmopolitanism, Chapter 3.
57. Kant, ‘Perpetual Peace’, p. 106.
58. Ibid., p. 104.
59. Garrett Wallace Brown, ‘Bringing the State Back into Cosmopolitanism: The Idea
of Responsible Cosmopolitan States’, Political Studies 9:1 (2011), pp. 53–66.
60. Charles Beitz, ‘International Liberalism and Distributive Justice: A Survey of
Recent Thought’, World Politics 51 (1992), p. 287.
61. Brian Barry, ‘International Society from a Cosmopolitan Perspective’, in D. Maple
and T. Nardin (eds.), International Society (New Jersey: Princeton University Press,
1998), p. 143.
62. Jugen Habermas, The Divided West (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2006).
63. Brown, ‘Bringing the State Back into Cosmopolitanism’.
64. This might explain why some cosmopolitans have intuitively used the term
institutional cosmopolitanism and legal cosmopolitanism interchangeably.
65. David Held, Democracy and the Global Order: From the Modern State to Cosmopoli-
tan Governance (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1995); David Held, ‘Reframing Global
Governance: Apocalypse Soon or Reform!’, in G.W. Brown and D. Held (eds.), The
Cosmopolitanism Reader (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2010), pp. 293–311.
Garrett Wallace Brown 123

66. Thomas Pogge, World Poverty and Human Rights (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2002).
67. Mary Kaldor, Global Civil Society: An Answer to War (Cambridge: Polity Press,
68. Patrick Hayden, Cosmopolitan Global Politics (Burlington, MA: Ashgate, 2005).
69. Raffaele Marchetti, Global Democracy For and Against: Ethical Theory, Institutional
Design and Social Struggles (New York: Routledge, 2008); Cabrera, Luis Cabrera,
Political Theory and Global Justice: A Cosmopolitan Case for a World State (New York:
Routledge, 2004).
70. Daniele Archibugi, The Global Commonwealth of Citizens: Toward Cosmopolitan
Democracy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008); Held, ‘Global Democ-
racy’, and ‘Reframing Global Governance’.
71. Brown, Grounding Cosmopolitanism.
72. Ronald Tinnevelt and Gert Verchraegen, Between Cosmopolitanism Ideals and State
Sovereignty: Studies in Global Justice (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2006).
73. Habermas, The Divided West.
74. Jeremy Waldron, ‘Cosmopolitan Norms’, in R. Post (ed.), Another Cosmopolitanism
(Oxford: Oxford University Press).
75. Kant, ‘Perpetual Peace’, p. 130.
The Wolf at the Door:
Hospitality and the Outlaw in
International Relations
Renée Jeffery

Caput gerat lupinum – ‘May he bear a wolfish head’1

The recent rise of hospitality as a subject of increasing fascination to scholars

of the humanities and social sciences2 has been marked by a particular inter-
est in questions related to the treatment of unknown strangers, especially
immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees.3 This is not surprising. In the past
20 years, flows of migrants and refugees have ‘affected national politics in
an unprecedented manner’.4 Whether by choice or through forced displace-
ment, migrants and asylum seekers arrive as guests in their host countries of
residence, placing themselves at the mercy of their host’s hospitality. They
are forced, by necessity, to assume that they will be accepted as a migrant or
asylum seeker and offered the protection that status affords, to grant their
would-be host the benefit of the doubt that they will bring them no harm.
Thus, for W. Gunther Plant, ‘Hospitality is a variant of asylum’: it allows the
persecuted, the exiled and the victimised to be welcomed as guests rather
than simply as individuals exercising their right to asylum.5
In the aftermath of the controversy sparked by the publication of The
Satanic Verses in 1988, for which its author Salman Rushdie was issued
with a fatwa by the Ayatollah Khomeini, Jacques Derrida sought to extend
this notion of the hospitality of asylum to persecuted writers and beyond.
In a 1996 speech to the International Parliament of Writers, addressing the
Network Cities of Asylum established to provide refuge for ‘persecuted intel-
lectuals’,6 Derrida argued that the concept of the ‘City of Refuge’ ought
to be expanded to include ‘the foreigner in general, the immigrant, the
exiled, the deported, the stateless or the displaced person’.7 The City of
Refuge, he argued, ought to extend an unconditional welcome ‘to whoever
comes, to the uninvited, unexpected, unidentifiable, absolutely foreign

Renée Jeffery 125

Derrida’s argument, and others like it, has sparked considerable debate on
many fronts, two of which dominate discussion. First, many scholars have
questioned whether or not a right to hospitality does in fact exist. For those
who have concluded in the affirmative, this has been followed by further
debate about the limits, if any, within which such a right may be applied and
the bounds of the obligations that accompany it. In particular, precisely who
can legitimately exercise a right to hospitality as an asylum seeker remains a
matter of some considerable contention.9 Related to this debate is a second
that is primarily concerned with the risks associated with affording migrants
and, in particular, asylum seekers’ hospitality. In the absence of an invita-
tion to enter and often lacking identifying documents, the asylum seeker is
viewed as presenting the greatest potential risk to the host state: the hosts
have no way of knowing if the asylum seeker will accept their hospitality
in good faith or cause them harm. Thus, by virtue of being unknown to
the host, the asylum seeker is assumed to pose a great, perhaps the greatest,
challenge to the politics and ethics of hospitality in international relations.
This chapter argues that an even greater challenge is posed by the outlaw,
considering the implications of extending Derrida’s list of those to whom
hospitality ought to be afforded to include the outlaw alongside the for-
eigner, ‘the immigrant, the exile, the deported, the stateless . . . [and] the
displaced person’.10 Unlike the foreigner or stranger who is simply unknown
to their host, the outlaw is marked as being ‘other’ for the transgressions
they are thought to have committed against individuals and societies, both
domestic and international. Standing outside both the law and society, the
outlaw is deemed a stranger in his own land and cast out or self-exiled for
being unwilling to submit to the rigours of the legal system. The outlaw is
thus at once a stranger and a known quantity whose risk to the would-be
host is well understood.
In both the medieval origins of outlawry and in contemporary world
politics, however, outlaws are often extended the arm of hospitality and
assume the role of the guest in its associated rituals and practices. In par-
ticular, contemporary post-conflict reconciliation processes operate under
the assumption that despite their actions and the demonstrable risk they
pose to their host, outlaws are accepted back into their communities and
offered hospitality, sometimes even by the direct victims of their past mis-
deeds. In this context, hospitality does not simply ask hosts to extend
the benefit of the doubt to completely unknown strangers but to guests
who have given real cause for mistrust. Here what is unknown is not so
much the identity of the outlaw guest (although their very designation
as an outlaw makes them a stranger of sorts) but their risk of reoffend-
ing: unlike the completely unknown guest, the outlaw guest has form.
This application of hospitality thus has profound implications for the con-
cept of hospitality and, in particular, the place of the unknown stranger
within it.
126 The Wolf at the Door

The chapter begins by examining what hospitality entails and, in particu-

lar, the place of risk within it. The second section then turns to the outlaw.
It elaborates the sense in which the outlaw may be considered a ‘stranger’
and outlines the means by which individuals in the medieval world came
to be outlawed and, in some cases, later redeemed. The third section iden-
tifies particular types of international criminals as modern day outlaws and
outlines the types of practices according to which contemporary outlaws are
welcomed into their host communities. Finally, the fourth section considers
the implications of welcoming outlaws for the politics and ethics of hospital-
ity and examines the particular dynamic at play when hosts welcome guests
who have harmed them in the past.

Hospitality and risk

Originally necessary for a ‘degree of safety for travelers, without which there
could be no travel or trade’ in the ancient world, hospitality has always been
concerned with the acceptance and mitigation of risk.11 Offering and accept-
ing hospitality is, indeed, a risky business: for both hosts and guests, theirs
is a relationship marked simultaneously by trust and mistrust of the other.
At its heart, the act of hospitality requires the hosts to welcome the stranger
or foreigner into their home, community, society, or state, despite the poten-
tial threat they pose to the host’s safety and security. At the same time, guests
find themselves in a double-bind: they must trust that the host will provide
for their safety and security and yet know that the host may ultimately be
one who harms them. Hosts and guests, unknown to one another and pre-
senting an unknown risk, place themselves at the mercy of each other in
extending and accepting hospitality. As such, the very possibility of hos-
pitality rests on the idea that hosts and guests must grant each other the
benefit of the doubt, trusting without basis that the unknown other will not
cause them harm.
In general terms, hospitality can be conceived in terms of four defining
characteristics, the last of which hints at the place of risk within it:

(1) It is conferred by a host on a guest who is away from home.

(2) It is interactive, involving the coming together of a provider and a
(3) It is comprised of a blend of tangible and intangible factors.
(4) The host provides for the guest’s security, psychological and physiologi-
cal comfort.12

The guest is an ‘Other who presents himself in my home’, be it a dwelling,

community or state, seeking security and comfort from his host.13 This is
not, however, to suggest that hospitality is a one-sided practice. Rather,
it is an interactive exchange that often begins with the host and guest
Renée Jeffery 127

performing a particular type of welcoming ritual. For example, in the ancient

world as well as many contemporary societies, great meaning is attached to
‘the arrival of the traveler at the gate and passage over the threshold’.14 Par-
ticular rituals ‘associated with the visitor’s arrival at the gates and movement
through them marked the shift in status from outsider’ to guest and signalled
to the guest that they could now expect the sort of protection afforded those
who reside within the bounds of the host community.15 The welcoming rit-
ual thus represents the beginning of a trust relationship between the guest
and the host, one in which both are willing to afford the other at least a
provisional benefit of the doubt.
Without question, the most famous account of the sort of hospitality
afforded travellers is found in Immanuel Kant’s Perpetual Peace. For Kant,
the concept of hospitality similarly sought to mitigate the dangers associ-
ated with travel and facilitate trade. With this in mind, the Third Definitive
Article for a Perpetual Peace states that ‘Cosmopolitan right shall be limited
to conditions of universal hospitality’.16 Although the precise meaning of this
article is somewhat opaque, what is clear is that Kant understood hospitality
to mean ‘the right of an alien not to be treated as an enemy upon arrival in
another’s country’.17 This designation of the alien as someone other than an
enemy is of particular significance to our understanding of the risk entailed
by the act of hospitality, for it seems to assume that a visitor who ‘behaves
peaceably’ is not an enemy but a friend.18
However, Kant’s conception of the alien as someone other than an enemy
exists only within specific, limited bounds. In the first place, he argues that
‘upon arrival in another’s country’ the alien ‘can be turned away’ if doing so
will not lead to his destruction, that is, his death.19 Second, Kant further lim-
its the right to hospitality by specifying that although the alien has the ‘right
to visit’, he only possesses the right to ‘request . . . to be a permanent visitor’.20
Thus the Kantian right to hospitality is limited by the state that determines
whether the alien’s request to remain is to be upheld. That is, according to
Kant, the state retains the right to limit the risk posed to it by the contin-
ued visitation of an alien guest. For this reason he argued that China and
Japan were wise to restrict contact with almost all European trading nations
whose propensity for abusing the hospitality of their foreign hosts was well
In contrast to Kant’s politics of finite, conditional hospitality, Derrida pro-
motes an unconditional, infinite ethics of hospitality that is similarly infused
with the idea of risk. For him, hospitality

requires that I open up my home and that I give not only to the for-
eigner . . . but to the absolute, unknown, anonymous other, and that I give
place to them, that I let them come, that I let them arrive, and take
place in the place I offer them, without asking of them either reciprocity
(entering into a pact) or even their names.22
128 The Wolf at the Door

With this, Derrida appears to draw a distinction between the politics

of hospitality, advocated by Kant, and the ethics of hospitality. While
the politics of hospitality, according to Derrida, ‘involves limits and bor-
ders . . . calculations and the management of finite resources, finite numbers
of people, national borders, and state sovereignty’, the ethics of hospi-
tality (or ethics as hospitality) is limitless and absolutely unconditional.23
The ethics of hospitality thus require the host to welcome the absolutely
unknown guest as an absolutely unknown guest without stipulating that
they account for their identity upon arrival.
Unconditional hospitality thus centrally requires ‘an acceptance of risk’,
not simply on the part of the would-be guest (as Kant’s right to hospitality
addressed) but on the part of the host as well. Rather than mitigating the
risk posed by the unknown guest through the imposition of restrictions on
the alien’s right to enter and remain, unconditional hospitality imposes no
such limits. Thus, as Derrida wrote:

Pure, unconditional or infinite hospitality cannot and must not be any-

thing else but an acceptance of risk. If I can be sure that the newcomer
that I welcome is perfectly harmless, innocent, that (s)he will be benefi-
cial to me . . . it is not hospitality. When I open my door, I must be ready
to take the greatest of risks.24

Unconditional hospitality thus requires the host to ‘rid himself of security

and invite the new arrival’, to afford the absolutely unknown stranger the
benefit of the doubt, to trust the guest even as he is mistrusted.25
On the face of it, this characterisation of hospitality seems to be superflu-
ous and the expectations attached to it unreasonable. Indeed, the ‘perfectly
harmless, innocent’ guest is a fiction; all have the ability to inflict harm.
As a result, the act of welcoming any newcomer entails risk. What is
more, as Derrida himself acknowledged, the ethics of hospitality in its
absolute, unconditional form is ‘impossible to practically implement or orga-
nize’.26 Hospitality, particularly ‘in or of the state’ is always accompanied by
conditions.27 Hosts will always seek to mitigate the risks associated with hos-
pitality. To expect otherwise, to expect them to face the possibility and even
inevitability of violence, is not reasonable.
With this Derrida seems to set up an opposition between the politics of
conditional hospitality and the ethics of unconditional hospitality. However,
this is not the case. Derrida is not ‘proposing a choice between ethics and
politics’, an opposition between the ‘conditional’ and the ‘unconditional’
or, indeed, a dichotomy between ‘idealised unconditional responsibilities
and their necessary implementation’.28 Rather, Derrida explains that it is
necessary to retain a notion of ‘pure’, if unattainable, hospitality to render
hospitality ‘as effective as possible, to invent the best arrangements . . . the
least bad conditions, the most just legislation’.29 According to Derrida,
Renée Jeffery 129

‘[o]nly an unconditional hospitality can give meaning and practical ratio-

nality to a concept of hospitality’.30 This is because the interplay between
conditional and unconditional hospitality allows us to acknowledge the
risks inherent in unconditional hospitality, while avoiding their ‘perverse
effects’, namely inhospitableness.31 This, as Derrida argues, ‘is the double
law of hospitality: to calculate the risks, yes, but without closing the door on
the incalculable, that is, on the future and the foreigner’.32 That is, it allows
the host to mitigate the risks associated with offering hospitality but without
making hospitality itself impossible.
At the centre of Derrida’s understanding of the place of risk in the politics
and ethics of hospitality is thus the assumption that the guest is absolutely
unknown. That the guest is unknown provides, for him, the central charac-
teristic from which the risk of hospitality emanates. However, the absolutely
unknown guest is extremely rare. We know something of almost every guest
who arrives at our door and on that basis attempt to calculate the risk that
they pose. Indeed, what all guests actually have in common is that the level
of risk they pose is unknown. Even where the guest’s identity is known,
as long as we harbour any doubts that they are ‘perfectly harmless, inno-
cent, that (s)he will be beneficial’ the guest poses a risk to the host,33 and,
of course, no matter how much we know of the guest, we must still harbour
these sorts of doubts, if only to a minimal extent. In this context, risk rather
than identity constitutes the most important unknown. For the outlaw this
is especially significant, for the potential risk they pose leads not only to
their designation as an outlaw but, when their period of outlawry expires,
also to their status as a guest.

The outlaw

The outlaw, it is almost too obvious to note, lives outside the law. Being
unwilling to submit to the rigours of the law, the outlaw is one who, tradi-
tionally through decree and latterly by inference, resides outside the sphere
of legal protection. The practice of outlawry thus entails ‘putting a person
outside the protection of the law so that he is incapable of bringing any
action for redress of injuries’ that may befall him.34 The outlaw is thus
deprived of recourse to the law to protect himself from harms inflicted
as retribution or revenge for the wrongs he has committed against others.
Although formally a legal sanction, the effect of outlawry was primarily
social, resulting in the outlawed individual’s banishment from society and
the imposition of severe penalties upon those who harboured, sheltered or
assisted him.35

A wolf’s head
The practice of outlawry was a feature of many, if not most, ancient and
medieval societies. At various times in ancient Greek history, for example,
130 The Wolf at the Door

bastards were subjected to various degrees of outlawry and, as a result,

denied Athenian citizenship.36 Traditionally, however, outlawry has been
most readily associated with the Viking cultures of medieval Scandinavia.
Across Scandinavia, outlawry was imposed to varying degrees for a range of
‘crimes that could not be atoned for with fines’ including manslaughter,
arson and rape.37 Ordinarily an impermanent charge, outlawry was usu-
ally ‘circumscribed both as to time and as to locality, and could always
be reversed by indemnity and expiation’.38 For example, in 982 C.E., Eric
the Red was outlawed for three years for committing several murders.
Famously, it was during this period of outlawry that he organised an expe-
dition and founded the first Nordic settlement in Greenland.39 Although
this limited form of ‘lesser outlawry’ was most common, provisions also
existed for the imposition of ‘greater outlawry’ according to which the out-
law was banished for life and after three months could be killed without
More recently, however, the work of Giorgio Agamben has brought with
it a revival in the ancient Roman idea of outlawry manifested in the figure
of the homo sacer.40 In archaic Roman law, homo sacer, meaning ‘sacred man’
or ‘accursed man’, is described as ‘a cast-out excluded from the law’.41 Its
most prominent expression in this context is found in the Law of the Twelve
Tables (451–450 B.C.E.). The Law of the Twelve Tables is significant in that
it provided one of the foundations of Roman Law, contributed to the con-
stitution of the Roman Republic and formed part of the mos maiorum or
custom of the ancestors. In this is provided an important link between the
past and the future, reflecting ancient customary practice and guiding future
law. In particular, the designation of homo sacer was most commonly associ-
ated with the failure to uphold an oath. Table VIII on ‘Torts and Delicts’ thus
notes at paragraph 21: ‘If a patron defrauds a client he shall be accursed’.42
Interestingly, other translations of the Twelve Tables substitutes ‘accursed’
for ‘solemnly forfeited’, ‘sacer esto’, ‘killed’ or ‘set apart’.43
The notion of a sacred life thus does not evoke a religious sense of the
sacred or the idea that that life must be protected: on the contrary, the
‘sacred life’ is one ‘that may be killed but not sacrificed’.44 The outlaw, or
homo sacer, exists in a ‘zone of indistinction between sacrifice and homicide’.
Killing the outlaw does not amount to homicide, and yet death through
religious sacrifice is not permitted.45 That is, the designation of a ‘sphere
in which it is permitted to kill without committing homicide’ is the pre-
rogative of the sovereign alone.46 Homo sacer thus stands at one end of
the political–juridical order, directly opposing the sovereign. As Agamben
explains, ‘the sovereign is the one with respect to whom all men are poten-
tially homines sacri, and homo sacer is the one with respect to whom all men
act as sovereigns’.47 As such, Agamben argues that the ‘essential structure of
sovereign power’ has been made possible ‘from the beginning’ by placing
life in a relationship of abandonment to the law.48 He writes:
Renée Jeffery 131

he who has been banned is not, in fact, simply set outside the law and
made indifferent to it but is rather abandoned by it, that is exposed
and threatened on the threshold in which life and the law, outside
and inside, become indistinguishable. It is literally not possible to say
whether the one who has been banned is outside or inside the juridical

For Agamben, the history of Western politics is thus ‘the history of the pro-
duction of homines sacri . . . the transformation of human life into sacred,
hence perishable, life’.50 From this starting point, he examines more recent
examples of homines sacri, particularly in the context of the concentration
camp, that are not for us to discuss here.
Of relevance to this chapter, however, is Agamben’s understanding of the
representative figure that resides in this state of exception as the werewolf,
or lupo mannaro. The werewolf is ‘a man who is transformed into a wolf
and a wolf who is transformed into a man’ and is equated with ‘a bandito
(‘he who is banned’)’ or with a homo sacer.51 The origins of this connection
between the outlaw and the wolf or werewolf are common to at least Roman,
Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse history. In ancient Germanic law, the wargus
was a figure ‘excluded from the community’ whom ‘anyone was permitted
to kill’.52 The ancient Germanic tribes thus designated the ‘non-conformer a
sacred monster and banished him as a wargus to the outside’.53 The Germanic
word wacrer, meaning ‘to wander’ thus provided the root of the Old Norse
word of the Vikings, ‘vargr’, which signified both a wanderer (as the outlaw
was forced to become) and a wolf. As we will see shortly, in the Anglo-
Saxon language, the word ‘waerg’ also came to denote a wolf, felon, outlaw
or criminal.
However, it was not just the Old Norsemen or the Anglo-Saxons who
adopted the ancient Germanic understanding of the outlaw as a wolf but
the Romans appear to have done so too. In particular, in the late nineteenth
century, the German jurist and author of Der Kampf ums Recht (The Struggle
for Law) (1872), Rudolph von Jhering, posited that ‘the wargus notion was
borrowed by Rome’ and somehow connected to the notion of homo sacer.54
However, where the ancient Germans banished the wargus to the outside,
thus keeping the myth of the sacred wolf-man alive, Roman law ‘snuffed
[him] out’.55
Where the notion of the outlaw as wolf continued to find form was
in Anglo-Saxon England. Here the concept of outlawry flourished in the
era after the Norman Conquest, becoming ‘a fierce sanction against contu-
mancy, subjecting those who failed to answer court summonses to severe
penalties’.56 Indeed, although outlawry was sometimes used to remove
potential threats to the King’s power, the majority of medieval English out-
laws were people who were suspected of having committed a crime and ‘had
fled rather than risking instant hanging by coming before the justices’.57
132 The Wolf at the Door

Thus, although the ‘sentence of outlawry was . . . one to be dreaded’, its impo-
sition indicated that the legal system had proven itself incapable of bringing
the perpetrator of a crime to justice. What is more, ‘[i]f a man was powerful
enough, or if he could retreat to some distant and deserted place’ it may well
have been in his best interests to defy the law and live in the wilds as an
In English common law, the ‘Writ of Outlawry’ equated the criminal with
a wolf with the pronouncement, Caput gerat lupinum, ‘May he bear a wolfish
head’. As Henry Bracton wrote of outlawry in his thirteenth century work
on the laws and customs of England:

henceforth they bear the wolf’s head and in consequence perish with-
out judicial inquiry; they carry their judgement with them and they
deservedly perish without law who have refused to live according to law.
This is so if they take to flight or resist when they are to be arrested; if
they are arrested alive or give themselves up, their life and death will be
in the hands of the lord king.59

The outlaw as wolf was thus no longer afforded the designation of a human
in the eyes of the law. He was considered civiliter mortuus, civilly dead, and
thus ‘could be killed on sight’ with impunity.60 For example, the 1263 rolls of
the Surrey eyre – a court circuit presided over by an itinerant judge – recorded
that ‘William Denner, common robber and outlaw, was pursued with hue
and cry in the time of David de Jarpenville, then sheriff, and before the
coroner by suit of the country was beheaded being a fugitive’.61 With this,
the outlaw continued to live in a vague space where neither life nor death
was assured.
By the reign of Edward III, however, ‘such a fate was effectively forbid-
den’ as the decision to execute a captured outlaw was reserved for the king
alone.62 From this time, outlawry came to primarily entail the imposition of
‘legal and financial disabilities’.63 In his Commentaries on the Laws of England,
Sir William Blackstone (1723–1786) thus wrote:

. . . the law, as hath formerly been observed and though anciently an out-
lawed felon was said to have caput lupinum, and might be knocked on
the head like a wolf, by any one that should meet him; because, having
renounced all law, he was to be dealt with as in a state of nature, when
every one that should find him might flay him: yet now, to avoid such
inhumanity, it is holden that no man is entitled to kill him wantonly
or willfully; but in so doing is guilty of murder, unless it happens in the
endeavour to apprehend him. For any person may arrest an outlaw on
a criminal prosecution, either of his own head, or by writ or warrant of
capias utlagatum, in order to bring him to execution.64
Renée Jeffery 133

Thus, although outlaws could no longer be killed on sight, their desig-

nation as wolves marked them as being ‘other’ and saw them deprived
of particular rights afforded to human beings, such as the right to their

Hereward the Wake

Perhaps the most famous account of an outlaw in English history is that of
Hereward the Wake (meaning ‘wary’). It is from his story that much of our
understanding of the character of the outlaw and the place of the outlaw
in popular folklore and literature is derived, being one of the inspirations
behind the Robin Hood story. Hereward’s story is particularly instructive
for the purposes of this chapter, for here we have the classic presentation
of the outlaw story with all the essential ingredients: a rebellious youth of
noble extraction is outlawed for his disorderly conduct; living in the wilds
he experiences several mythical or supernatural encounters; he fights hero-
ically against a foreign invader, in this case the Norman ‘bastard’ William
the Conqueror and, in the end, is reconciled with the king, pardoned for
his misdeeds and permitted to reclaim his estates.65 That is, his is a story in
which a known entity is made a stranger in his own land; through his time
away and deeds becomes an unknown, even mythical, individual and is ulti-
mately welcomed back into his community and offered hospitality by both
king and kin.
As we are told in ‘The Deeds of Hereward’, the young Hereward was
‘tough in work and rough in play, readily provoking fights among those
of his own age and often stirring up strife among his elders in town and vil-
lage.’ As the story goes, he ‘had no equal in acts of daring and bravery, not
even among his elders’. Provoking trouble and instigating fights, Hereward
earned the hostility of his parents who, due to ‘his deeds of courage and
boldness . . . found themselves quarrelling with their friends and neighbours
every day, and almost daily having to protect their son with drawn swords
and weapons when he returned from sport or from fighting, from the local
inhabitants who acted like enemies and tyrants because of him’.66 As the
Gesta Herewardi Saxonis, the ‘longest and most detailed account’ of his life
notes, Hereward’s father successfully petitioned King Edward the Confessor
to banish his son and for that reason he came to be known as ‘Hereward the
During his period of exile, Hereward is reputed to have engaged in acts
of great heroism and chivalry. As legend has it, while visiting Cornwall he
killed a ‘terrible Pictish giant’ and delivered the daughter of King Alef to her
rightful betrothed, Prince Sigtryg of Waterford, the son of a Danish king in
Ireland.68 Hereward is also said to have slain a giant magical bear possessed
of human intelligence and, on account of this deed, earned himself ‘a posi-
tion amongst the knights’.69 However, it seems that Hereward spent most of
his initial period of exile working as a mercenary in Flanders. As the Gesta
134 The Wolf at the Door

Herewardi Saxonis recounts, Hereward returned to England in 1068 or 1069

to avenge the death of his brother and retake his father’s estates that had
been seized by the Normans. Upon arriving at the family house, Hereward
saw his brother’s head set above the main gate and, hearing revelry emanat-
ing from the hall, found a ‘party of Normans abusing the English in general
and himself in particular’.70 Hereward, it is said:

leapt into the room and cut [the jester who had been entertaining the
party] down with a single blow of his sword. Then he began to lay about
him; the Normans were too drunk to resist . . . No one was left alive. In the
morning their fourteen heads grinned down in the place of his brother’s
at the doorway.71

With a band of men, Hereward then attacked and plundered the monastery
at Peterborough, taking all he could to the Isle of Ely which he held against
the Normans for some time. When William the Conqueror led his forces
to Ely, Hereward was able to foil his plans to build a causeway across the
marshes to the island three times. However, with time the ‘monks of Ely
grew tired of the siege and let the Normans in by a secret path’.72 Hereward
and his men escaped and were led through the forests by a great white
wolf that disappeared as soon as they realised that their guide was not a
local dog.73
Although there is some disagreement over the course that Hereward’s life
took after the fall of Ely, the Gesta Herewardi claims that he was reconciled
with King William. As the story goes, the king was petitioned by Robert
de Horepole whom Hereward’s men had set free. He assured the king that,
if granted clemency, ‘Hereward would in every way serve his most dear
lord’. To this the king replied that ‘Hereward had not been justly treated’
and granted him a pardon and the rights to his father’s estates. However,
Hereward was warned that ‘if he wishes to retain the king’s friendship here-
after, he must henceforth be willing to pursue peace rather than folly’.
This he did for many years, ‘faithfully serving King William and devotedly
reconciled to his compatriots and friends’.74
Hereward was thus welcomed as both one who was known and, on
account of his status as an outlaw and mythical hero, as a stranger. The
hospitality he was offered was an expression of trust that, despite the risk he
posed, he would act for good rather than ill. It was not unconditional but
required Hereward’s continued fidelity to king and community. Rather than
being based on an assumption or act of faith on the part of the host, the
benefit of the doubt granted to Hereward was thus based on his own active
commitment. What is more, it left open the possibility that the hospitality
he was afforded could be revoked if he gave reason for renewed mistrust by
posing an active, as opposed to potential, risk.
Renée Jeffery 135

Contemporary wolves and wanderers

Despite the fact that outlawry is itself outlawed in most contemporary legal
systems, the outlaw lives on in many forms and guises in contemporary
international politics. While some modern day outlaws simply choose to
live outside the bounds of society, insofar as that is possible, others can be
conceived as outlaws for committing actions prohibited by law and refus-
ing to submit themselves to the legal processes and its associated sanctions.
Thus, although they are not officially designated as outlaws, actors who
commit crimes proscribed in international criminal law and who refuse
to submit themselves to the processes of the international criminal legal
process by evading capture, arrest and trial may be considered outlaws of
sorts. Just as the Writ of Outlawry was imposed on individuals who refused
to answer court summonses in the medieval period so too those individu-
als who have been served indictments at the International Criminal Court
(ICC) and other international criminal tribunals but remain at large reside
outside the law. Like the outlaws of old, they too suffer the social sanc-
tion of being exiled from their communities and are forced to become
strangers to all but the few individuals who are willing to risk aiding and
abetting them.
In recent years, debate about the designation of contemporary outlaws
has centred on the question of whether or not Al Qaeda and members of
other international terrorist organisations ought to be considered outlaws
and denied the protection of legal process at both the domestic and interna-
tional levels. In an opinion piece published in the New York Times in 2001,
Anne-Marie Slaughter argued against the United States’ plan to try accused
terrorists before military commissions as ‘non-privileged combatants’ who
had violated the laws of war. This, she argued, would send out the wrong
message because rather than designating these individuals as ‘common crim-
inals’ it would ‘dignify’ them by ‘acknowledging them as combatants’. ‘Al
Qaeda members’, she argued, ‘are international outlaws, like pirates, slave
traders or torturers’.75
Directly criticising Slaughter’s stance, George Fletcher argued that ‘the
frequent analogy to Al Qaeda as “outlaws” ’ is ‘inapt’.76 He continued:

Outlaws inhabit a twilight space outside the legal order, and they are sub-
ject to being shot at will. The idea of killing enemy soldiers on the spot
is compatible neither with the pursuit of justice nor with the laws of war.
The outlaw is subhuman, undeserving of minimally decent treatment.
I do not think that we really want to make that claim about terrorists. Nor
does it make sense to flatter terrorists by associating them with romantic
outlaws who retreat from society to live, metaphorically, with Robin Hood
in Sherwood Forest.77
136 The Wolf at the Door

Fletcher makes several important points. First, it is indeed no longer the

case that outlaws may be killed on sight or that they are not as deserving
of minimally just treatment as any other individual. Second, Fletcher is also
right to point out that there are distinct and important differences between
contemporary criminals such as terrorists and the heroic outlaws of medieval
English myth and legend. However, by refusing to submit to the law and, as
a result, living outside the bounds of organised society, contemporary out-
laws do live in a sort of legal twilight zone in which they cannot expect
protection from harm. Thus, although killing outlaws on sight is no longer
sanctioned, the law of the jungle dictates that, by his own choice, the out-
law must provide for his own safety and security. Amongst these sorts of
modern day outlaws, perhaps the most notorious individuals are the Serbian
general Ratko Mladić and the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA),
Joseph Kony.
Suspected of responsibility for the siege of Sarajevo and the Srebrenica
Massacre, Mladić was indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for
the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in July 1995 on suspicion of having commit-
ted genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.78 Despite various
attempts to secure his arrest, some more serious than others, and a demand
that $5 million compensation be paid to his family if he surrendered to the
ICTY, Mladić remained at large, a fugitive and an outlaw for almost 16 years.
Living an itinerant existence, he featured on Interpol’s most wanted list
accused of crimes against life and health, hooliganism/vandalism/damage
and war crimes.79 On 26 May 2011, however, Mladić was captured in the
Serbian town of Lazarevo by a team of two dozen special police officers.
What followed next was not his execution, outlaw style, however, but his
arrest and extradition to The Hague where he now stands trial before the
ICTY. Mladić’s arrest thus brought an end to his outlaw status and, with it,
his existence in the realm between life and death that marks the outlaw’s
life. As the ICTY does not have the jurisdiction to order the death penalty,
he is no longer abandoned by the law but rather exists under its protection
and, indeed, sanction.
Similarly, in 2004 arrest warrants were issued for Kony and four of his asso-
ciates, the first produced by the newly formed ICC. Kony was named in 12
counts of crimes against humanity and 21 counts of war crimes for atrocities
committed as the leader of the LRA.80 Traditionally operating in northern
Uganda, the LRA is notorious for its brutal attacks on civilian populations –
hacking off ears, noses and lips with machetes – and for the abduction of
between 24,000 and 66,000 children.81 To ensure compliance with the LRA’s
violent activities and absolute obedience to its leader’s orders, children are
subjected to ‘a well-designed process of brutalization’ during which they are
‘forced under threat of death and torture to take part in beatings and killings
of children who collapse under the burden of the workload, who disobey
orders, or who attempt to escape’.82 Many of the LRA’s abductees are thus
Renée Jeffery 137

at once the victims and perpetrators of grotesque atrocities making the pur-
suit of justice a complicated enterprise. While many have been forced to
commit atrocious acts against their will, others have retained an element
of choice over their actions and can therefore be held accountable for the
acts they have committed.83 Thus, although they have not been indicted
by an international criminal tribunal, many of Kony’s soldiers remain out-
laws, living rough and committing crimes proscribed in both domestic and
international law.
Together, Kony and his LRA have continued to evade capture, Kony explic-
itly refusing to submit himself to the proceedings of the ICC as part of a
peace deal with the government of Uganda (which has for its own part
failed to arrest Kony and surrender him to the Court). Like the wolves of
medieval outlawry, they live as fugitives in the wild, moving between sev-
eral national parks in Southern Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the
Democratic Republic of Congo, and continuing to inflict violence on civilian
populations.84 Refusing to submit to the law, they are also without recourse
to the law, regularly finding themselves at the mercy of the communities
they terrorise, communities they were often previously a part of. They thus
stand outside both the law and society. In these circumstances, the outlaw
becomes an outsider, a stranger, an ‘other’, even to those who once knew
him well.

Welcoming wolves

As the story of Hereward the Wake tells us, the medieval outlaw could be
readmitted into his community after his period of outlawry expired or after
having been granted a pardon. So too in certain contexts some of today’s
outlaws are also welcomed back, even into communities where they have
committed heinous acts. Although the offer of such hospitality has not been
extended to Mladić, it has been extended to Kony and his followers through
a number of different mechanisms.
In northern Uganda, the state has encouraged perpetrators of serious
humanitarian atrocities to relinquish their outlaw status through the grant-
ing of amnesties precluding prosecution for their actions. The Ugandan
Amnesty Act of 2000 sought to provide ‘amnesty for anyone who had
engaged in armed rebellion against the government since 1986 and who
agreed to renounce and abandon such rebellion, and to surrender his or
her arms’.85 The granting of an amnesty thus acts in a similar way to the
pardons awarded to the outlaws of old and, at heart, entails the provision
of hospitality. The state, as host, welcomes the outlaw as a guest, promises
not to pass judgement on him and provides him with the material com-
forts they require, in this case in the form of a resettlement package.86 The
guest, in turn, is required to ‘denounce their activities by signing a decla-
ration, after which they are registered, receive an Amnesty Certificate, and
138 The Wolf at the Door

then, in theory’ their resettlement package.87 Thus, the host state must trust
that their guest will cease inflicting harm on their citizens, while the guest
must trust that the state will welcome him without judgement or prejudice.
By the end of January 2005, 14,695 people had presented themselves to the
Amnesty Commission, although senior LRA leaders rejected the offer and
implored their soldiers to keep fighting, some of whom did.
More complicated from the perspective of the politics and ethics of hos-
pitality is the welcome afforded outlawed individuals by the communities
to which they once belonged and, in many cases, terrorised. As with hos-
pitality more generally, in the Ugandan case the stranger is readmitted into
the community through a series of welcoming rituals. Just as the guest must
knock on the door of his prospective host, the returnee must ‘stand outside
the “Gate of the Village” and tell the people his/her name and the names
of his/her parents and uncle’.88 Rather than the substance of the risk they
pose remaining unknown or subject to conjecture or doubt, the stranger
returnee is required to confess his or her wrongs. They then take part in a
series of cleansing, reconciliation and peacemaking ceremonies.89 With this,
the outlaw is welcomed into the community as a guest received by a host.
Critically, despite being a stranger, someone whose behaviour has marked
them as ‘other’, the outlaw is known to his or her host. The crimes of the
outlaw, the harms they have inflicted, are well known to the host: the host
has witnessed these harms, experienced them herself or learned of them
through the outlaw’s confession. The risk posed by the outlaw guest is not,
therefore, constituted by not knowing who they are or what wrongs they
are capable of committing. Rather, the unknown here is whether they will
continue to commit the harms they have inflicted in the past. The trust
demanded here is perhaps even greater than that afforded the absolutely
unknown guest for it requires the host to give the guest the benefit of a
substantiated doubt.
For many would-be hosts that find themselves in situations such as this,
the risk posed by the outlaw guest is simply too great. As several surveys
of the Acholi populations of northern Uganda reveal, in this context many
people do not feel comfortable with welcoming outlaws back into their com-
munities, some going so far as to deny hospitality even to child soldier
abductees. Nonetheless, most submit to the prevailing social expectation
that they will act hospitably towards those who have returned. That is, for
some hospitality has become an act imposed on the victims of wrongs. Even
for those who willingly welcome the outlaw guest, theirs is a conditional
hospitality. It requires the stranger to present himself to the community, be
it at the village gate or at the Amnesty Commission, to identify himself, to
confess what he has done and to enter into a pact by which he agrees to
cease and desist from his criminal activities. The balance of power in this
act of hospitality is thus unevenly distributed in favour of the host, and so
should it be.
Renée Jeffery 139


The outlaw poses an interesting challenge to the politics and ethics of hos-
pitality. For Derrida, pure hospitality involves the unconditional welcoming
of the absolutely unknown guest and brings with it unmitigated risk. That
risk, to borrow from Donald Rumsfeld, exists as a known unknown: the
hosts know that they do not know whether the guest will cause them harm
and, as such, place themselves at risk by welcoming the guest. What is
more, the ethics of pure hospitality does not permit the host to mitigate
this risk by requiring the guest to identify himself, to promise not to bring
harm or to submit to conditions limiting the extent of the hospitality he
receives. As Derrida acknowledged, however, pure hospitality does not exist.
All hospitality ultimately involves the mitigation of risk.
Where the outlaw is concerned, this is particularly the case: pure, uncondi-
tional hospitality cannot be afforded by the outlaw guest. The contemporary
outlaw, like the exile, is one who is known and known especially for his
crimes. As such, the potential risk he poses exists as a ‘known known’ rather
than a ‘known unknown’. For the medieval outlaw, an element of doubt
additional to the potentiality of the risk they pose is added to the equation.
While some medieval outlaws were known for particular crimes, others fled
for fear of being wrongly punished for crimes they did not commit. Their
outlaw status was thus built on a perceived but questionable set of ‘knowns’.
This has major implications for the place of trust in the politics and ethics
of hospitality.
Extending and receiving hospitality fundamentally relies on trust. Both
acts require the would-be host and their would-be guests to give each other
the benefit of the doubt, to trust that they will bring no harm. However, trust
is a fragile beast. As Paul Slovic notes, trust is slow to establish and, once
gained, ‘can be destroyed in an instant – by a single mishap or mistake’.90
Far ‘easier to destroy than to create’, trust depends to a great extent on ‘the
distribution of positive and negative information people receive’.91 What
is more, negative information plays a far greater role in influencing trust
and mistrust than positive information.92 That is, humans possess not just a
psychological tendency to distrust, but these tendencies ‘create and reinforce
distrust in situations of risk’.93 For the would-be host of the outlaw guest this
is particularly the case.
The outlaw as guest is not unknown but comes with a wealth of negative
information that naturally serves to promote mistrust in the would-be host.
Indeed, the would-be host has good reason to mistrust the would-be guest;
after all, the outlaw is one who has brought them harm in the past, and yet,
the welcoming of the outlaw in processes of post-conflict justice requires
trust on the parts of both guests and hosts. This trust is not unconditional,
for that would be simply impossible, but in some contexts may be far less
conditional than the victim host would ultimately like. On a fundamental
140 The Wolf at the Door

level, this state of affairs begs the questions of whether or not would-be hosts
should be expected to extend any amount of trust or, indeed, hospitality to
the outlaw guest; whether there are good reasons for arguing that hospi-
tality, in both conditional and unconditional forms, is ultimately limited –
that some categories of strangers cannot legitimately claim a right to hospi-
tality; or, indeed, whether hosts ought to fight their psychological urge to
mistrust the known outlaw guest and rather perceive him simply as a guest
who brings with him only the potential to do harm. In the end, all guests
are both known and unknown, all bring with them an unknown potential
to cause harm, and all hospitality must entail the mitigation of risk for both
the host and her would-be guest.

1. From the English Common Law ‘Writ of Outlawry’.
2. See for example, Jacques Derrida, Adieu to Emmanuel Levinas (Stanford, CA:
Stanford University Press, 1999); Jacques Derrida, Of Hospitality (Stanford, CA:
Stanford University Press, 2000); Jacques Derrida, On Cosmopolitanism and Forgive-
ness (London: Routledge, 2001); Elizabeth Telfer, ‘Hospitableness’, Philosophical
Papers 24:3 (November 1995), pp. 183–96; Christine P. Pohl, Making Room: Recov-
ering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans,
1999); Gideon Baker, ‘Cosmopolitanism as Hospitality: Revisiting Identity and
Difference in Cosmopolitanism’, Alternatives 34:2 (2009), pp. 107–28; Gideon
Baker, ‘The “Double Law” of Hospitality: Rethinking Cosmopolitan Ethics in
Humanitarian Intervention’, International Relations 24:1 (2010), pp. 87–103;
Jennie Germann Molz and Sarah Gibson, Mobilizing Hospitality: The Ethics of
Social Relations in a Mobile World (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007); Conrad Lashley,
Paul Lynch and Alison J. Morrison (eds.), Hospitality: A Social Lens (Amsterdam:
Elsevier, 2007); Clive Barnett, ‘Ways of Relating: Hospitality and the Acknowl-
edgment of Otherness’, Progress in Human Geography 29:1 (2005), pp. 11 and
12 rest of reference; David J. Gauthier, ‘Levinas and the Politics of Hospitality’,
History of Political Thought XXVIII:1 (Spring 2007), pp. 158–80; Mustafa Dikeç,
‘Pera Peras Poros: Longings for Spaces of Hospitality’, Theory Culture Society 19:1–2
(2002), pp. 227–47; Dan Bulley, ‘Negotiating Ethics: Campbell, Ontopology, and
Hospitality’, Review of International Studies 32 (2006), pp. 645–63.
3. Suzanne Metselaar, ‘When Neighbours Become Numbers: Levinas and the
Inhospitality of Dutch Asylum Policy’, Parallax 11:1 (January 2005), pp. 61–9;
W. Gunther Plant, Asylum: A Moral Dilemma (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1995); Avril
Bell, ‘Being “At Home” in the Nation: Hospitality and Sovereignty in Talk About
Immigration’, Ethnicities 10:2 (2010), pp. 236–56; S. Van Dev, ‘Asylum in Africa:
The Emergence of the “Reluctant Host” ’, Development 46:3 (September 2003),
pp. 113–18; Sarah Gibson, ‘Accommodating Strangers: British Hospitality and the
Asylum Hotel Debate’, Journal for Cultural Research 7:4 (October 2003), pp. 367–86;
Mireille Rosello, Postcolonial Hospitality: The Immigrant as Guest (Stanford, CA:
Stanford University Press, 2001).
4. Heather Worth, ‘Unconditional Hospitality: HIV, Ethics and the Refugee “Prob-
lem” ’, Bioethics 20:5 (2006), p. 224.
5. Plant, Asylum, p. 11; Worth, ‘Unconditional Hospitality’, p. 224 and 225.
Renée Jeffery 141

6. The European Charter of Cities of Asylum. See S.E. Kelly, ‘Derrida’s Cities of
Refuge: Toward a Non-Utopian Utopia’, Contemporary Justice Review 7:4 (2004),
pp. 421–39.
7. Derrida, On Cosmopolitanism, p. 6.
8. Baker, ‘The “Double Law” of Hospitality’, p. 91.
9. Worth, ‘Unconditional Hospitality’, p. 224.
10. Derrida, On Cosmopolitanism, p. 6.
11. Carol A. King, ‘What is Hospitality?’, International Journal of Hospitality Manage-
ment 14:3/4 (1995), p. 221.
12. King, ‘What is Hospitality?’, p. 220; see J. Hepple, M. Kipps, and J. Thomson, ‘The
Concept of Hospitality and An Evaluation of Its Applicability to the Experience
of Hospital Patients’, International Journal of Hospitality Management 9:4 (1990),
pp. 305–17.
13. Gauthier, ‘Levinas and the Politics of Hospitality’, p. 162.
14. King, ‘What is Hospitality?’, p. 221.
15. Ibid., p. 222.
16. Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace in Perpetual Peace and Other Essays, Humphrey
(trans. and ed.) (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing, 1983), p. 118.
17. Ibid.
18. Ibid.
19. Ibid.
20. Ibid.
21. Ibid., p. 119.
22. Derrida, Of Hospitality, p. 25.
23. Rosello, Postcolonial Hospitality, p. 11.
24. Derrida, Adieu, p. 137.
25. Mark W. Westmoreland, ‘Interruptions: Derrida and Hospitality’, Kritike 2:1 (June
2008), p. 7.
26. Bulley, ‘Negotiating Ethics’, p. 654.
27. Michael Naas, Taking on the Tradition: Jacques Derrida and the Legacies of
Deconstruction (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003), p. 157.
28. Rosello, Postcolonial hospitality, p. 11; Jacques Derrida, ‘The Principle of Hospital-
ity’, Parallax 11:1 (2005), p. 6; Barnett, ‘Ways of Relating’, pp. 11 and 12.
29. Derrida, ‘The Principle of Hospitality’, pp. 6–7.
30. Jacques Derrida, ‘The World of Enlightenment to Come (Exception, Calculation,
Sovereignty)’, Research in Phenomenology 33 (2003), p. 40.
31. Derrida, ‘The Principle of Hospitality’, p. 7.
32. Ibid.
33. Derrida, Adieu, p. 137.
34. Steve Russell, ‘The New Outlawry and Foucault’s Panoptic Nightmare’, American
Journal of Criminal Justice XVII:1 (1992), p. 39.
35. Maurice Hugh Keen, The Outlaws of Medieval Legend (Padstow: T.J. Press, 1961),
p. 10; Susan Stewart, ‘Outlawry as an Instrument of Justice in the Thirteenth
Century’, in John C. Appleby and Paul Dalton (eds.), Outlaws in Medieval and Early
Modern England: Crime, Government, and Society, c.1066–c.1600 (Farnham: Ashgate,
2009), p. 45.
36. For example, at different times in ancient Athens bastards were subjected to
various degrees of outlawry and denied the status of Athenian citizens. See P.J.
Rhodes, ‘Bastards as Athenian Citizens’, The Classical Quarterly New Series 28:1
(1978), pp. 89–92.
142 The Wolf at the Door

37. Jesse L. Byock, ‘Outlawry’, in Phillip Pulsiano and Kirsten Wolf (eds.), Medieval
Scandinavia: An Encyclopedia (London: Taylor and Francis, 1993), p. 116.
38. In James Hastings and John A. Selbie (eds.), Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics
(Whitefish, MT: Kessinger, 2003), Part 10, p. 670.
39. N. Lynnerup, ‘The Norse Settlers in Greenland: The Physical Anthropological
perspective’, Acta Borealia 8:1 (1991), p. 93.
40. Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, Daniel Heller-Roazen
(trans.) (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1995).
41. Joseph Jenkins, ‘Inheritance Law as Constellation in Lieu of Redress:
A Detour Through Exceptional Terrain’, Cardozo Law Review 24 (2002–2003),
p. 1050.
42. The Law of the Twelve Tables (451–450 B.C.E), VIII.21, The Avalon Project: Docu-
ments in Law, History and Diplomacy, Yale Law School, available at http://avalon.
43. See for example John Paul Adamson’s translation, available at http://www.csun.
edu/∼ hcfll004/12tables.html
44. Agamben, Homo Sacer, p. 93.
45. Ibid.
46. Claudio Minca, ‘Agamben’s Geographies of Modernity’, Political Geography 26
(2007), p. 82.
47. Agamben, Homo Sacer, p. 94.
48. Ibid., p. 111.
49. Ibid., p. 34.
50. Kalliopi Nikolopoulou, ‘Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (Review)’,
SubStance 29:3 (2000), p. 125.
51. Agamben, Homo Sacer in Minca, ‘Agamben’s geographies of modernity’, p. 84.
52. Jenkins, ‘Inheritance Law as Constellation’, p. 1050.
53. Ibid, p. 1051.
54. Ibid., emphasis in original.
55. Ibid.
56. Ralph B. Pugh, ‘Early Registers of English Outlaws’, The American Journal of Legal
History XXVII (1983), p. 319.
57. Timothy S. Jones, ‘The Outlawry of Earl Godwin’, in Thomas H. Ohlgren (ed.),
Medieval Outlaws: Twelve Tales in Modern Translation (Indiana: Parlor Press, 2005),
p. 5; Stewart, ‘Outlawry as an Instrument of Justice’, p. 41. As R.H. Hilton notes,
‘[t]he outlaws were not necessarily guilty homicides. They were often victims of
oppression, especially when legal processes were subject to the pressure of power-
ful interests’. R.H. Hilton, ‘The Origins of Robin Hood’, Past and Present 14 (1958),
p. 38.
58. Keen, The Outlaws of Medieval Legend, p. 10.
59. Bracton quoted in Stewart, ‘Outlawry as an Instrument of Justice’, p. 41.
60. Keen, The Outlaws of Medieval Legend, pp. 9–10; Pugh, ‘Early Registers of English
Outlaws’, p. 319.
61. The 1263 Surrey Eyre, ed. S. Stewart (Surrey Record Society, 40, Guildford, 2006)
quoted in Stewart, ‘Outlawry as an Instrument of Justice’, pp. 41–2.
62. Pugh, ‘Early Registers of English Outlaws’, p. 319.
63. Ibid.
64. William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, Book IV, Chapter 24,
available at
65. Ohlgren, Medieval Outlaws, p. xviii.
Renée Jeffery 143

66. Michael Swanton, ‘The Deeds of Hereward’, in Thomas H. Ohlgren (ed.), Medieval
Outlaws: Twelve Tales in Modern Translation (Indiana: Parlor Press, 2005), p. 41.
67. John Hayward, ‘Hereward the Outlaw’, Journal of Medieval History 14 (1988),
p. 295.
68. Thomas Bulfinch, The Age of Fable: Or Beauties of Mythology, vol. III: The Age of
Chivalry (New York: Review of Reviews, 1913; New York:, 2000),
available at
69. Swanton, ‘The Deeds of Hereward’, p. 42.
70. Hayward, ‘Hereward the Outlaw’, p. 296.
71. Keen, The Outlaws of Medieval Legend, p. 15.
72. Karl Bedingfield, ‘Herewark the Wake – 1066’, elyonline, available at http://www.
73. Hayward, ‘Hereward the Outlaw’, pp. 299–300.
74. Swanton, ‘The Deeds of Hereward’, p. 91.
75. Anne-Marie Slaughter, ‘Al Qaeda Should Be Tried Before the World’,
New York Times, 17 November 2001, A23, available at http://query.nytimes.
com/gst/fullpage.html?res= 9C00E4D7153BF934A25752C1A9679C8B63; See also
Gabriella Blum and Philip B. Heyman, Laws, Outlaws, and Terrorists: Lessons from
the War on Terrorism (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000) which argues that whether
considered acts of war or crimes, terrorist acts remain governed by law: the laws
of war or domestic laws. However, Blum and Heyman acknowledge that nei-
ther domestic law nor the international laws of war have addressed the issue
of terrorism well, allowing a ‘No-Law Zone’ to be established in which terrorists
are designed as outlaws and treated as such. They thus argue that a new legal
paradigm that combines elements of the laws of war and domestic law must be
developed to deal with the problem of terrorism.
76. George Fletcher, ‘On Justice and War: Contradictions in the Proposed Military
Tribunals’, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 25 (2001–2002), p. 637.
77. Fletcher, ‘On Justice and War’, p. 637.
78. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Case No IT-95-5-I, The
Prosecutor of the Tribunal Against Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, available
79. Interpol, Wanted, Ratko Mladic, available at
80. Statement by Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor of the International Criminal
Court, Statement by the Chief Prosecutor on the Ugandan Arrest Warrants, The
Hague, 14 October 2005, p. 4.
81. Zachary Lomo and Lucy Hovil, Behind the Violence: Causes, Consequences, and the
Search for Solutions to the War in Northern Uganda, Refugee Law Project Working
Paper No. 11 (2004), available at (2 February
2010); ‘Some 66,000 children abducted by Uganda’s LRA’ (2007) ReliefWeb, avail-
able at
(28 November 2007); Tim Allen, Trial Justice: The International Criminal Court and
the Lord’s Resistance Army (London: Zed Books, 2006), p. 60.
82. Payam Akhavan, ‘The Lord’s Resistance Army Case: Uganda’s Submission of the
First State Referral to the International Criminal Court’, American Journal of
International Law 99:403 (2005), p. 406.
83. Allen, Trial Justice, pp. 61 and 64.
84. The LRA brutally slaughtered almost 500 Congolese civilians on 25 and
26 December 2008, in an incident now known as the Christmas Massacres. This
144 The Wolf at the Door

brings the total number of Congolese killed by the LRA since the middle of 2008
to more than 1200. During the same period, more than 2000 individuals, many
of them children, have been kidnapped by the LRA and subjected to the same
brutal methods of control that have long been inflicted on Ugandan abductees.
85. Akhavan, ‘The Lord’s Resistance Army Case’, p. 409.
86. Amnesty Commission Handbook, Section 3.11 in Lucy Hovil and Zachary Lomo
(2005) Whose Justice? Perceptions of Uganda’s Amnesty Act 2000: The Potential for
Conflict Resolution and Long-Term Reconciliation, Refugee Law Project Working
Paper No. 15, p. 7 available at (2 February 2010)
87. Amnesty Commission Handbook, Section 3.11, in Hovil and Lomo, Whose
Justice?, p. 6.
88. Ochola quoted in Manisuli Ssenyonjo, ‘The International Criminal Court and the
Lord’s Resistance Army: Prosecution or Amnesty?’, Netherlands International Law
Review LVI (2007), p. 64.
89. Lucy Hovil and Joanna R. Quinn, Peace First, Justice Later: Traditional Justice
in Northern Uganda, Refugee Law Project Working Paper No. 17 (2005), p. 24,
available at (2 February 2010); Ssenyonjo, ‘The
International Criminal Court’, p. 64; International Crisis Group, Africa Briefing
No. 41, ‘Peace in Uganda’, Nairobi/Brussels, 13 September 2006, http://www. (28 November 2007); Allen, Trial Justice, p. 133.
90. Slovic, ‘Trust, Emotion, Sex, Politics and Science’, p. 697.
91. Ibid., p. 698; Marc J. Hetherington, ‘The Political Relevance of Political Trust’, The
American Political Science Review 92:4 (December 1998), p. 794.
92. Slovic, ‘Trust, Emotion, Sex, Politics and Science’, p. 698.
93. Ibid.
Be Welcome: Religion,
Hospitality and Statelessness
in International Politics
Erin K. Wilson

In Victor Hugo’s epic novel, Les Miserables, the central character, Jean
Valjean, is forever changed by a brief encounter he has with a humble
bishop in a remote country village in France. Although time and place differ,
Valjean possesses many of the characteristics and receives similar treatment
from political authorities and communities as many asylum seekers and
refugees today. Imprisoned for 19 years by an unjust government for stealing
a loaf of bread to feed his sister and her seven starving children, Valjean is
now marked for life. Upon his release from gaol, he travels through France,
rejected and despised by all he meets, an experience which, Elie Wiesel has
argued, defines the refugee.1 All are suspicious of Valjean and refuse to pro-
vide him with food or shelter. Many even fail to recognise that he is a human
being, instead calling him a dog.
Refugees and asylum seekers in the twenty-first century are often subjected
to similar harsh, degrading and dehumanising treatment. Forced to flee their
homes due to violence, persecution, famine, disease and a variety of other
life-threatening factors, refugees and asylum seekers often find themselves
‘marked’. Experiences of torture and suffering leave psychological and phys-
ical marks that are difficult to erase. In addition to this, however, refugees
and asylum seekers become marked as people who do not have the protec-
tion of a state. Despite the challenges of globalisation to the authority of the
state in the area of economics, trade, environmental disasters, disease pan-
demics and the like, population movements and migration are major areas
in which states are trying to ‘reclaim’ some of their control over borders.2
Yet these other factors that challenge state sovereignty are frequently the
root cause of forced migration and flight. In this ironic context, states, in
particular resettlement countries in the global north, are adopting harsher
and stricter immigration policies with a view to keeping people out. Those
that are permitted to enter and remain in the state often bring financial and
material benefit to the state in the form of their skill sets. It is generally the

146 Be Welcome

most vulnerable and destitute people who are excluded and abandoned.3
This suggests that a significant power imbalance exists between the rights of
the state and the rights of the individual within global politics, and in the
context of asylum and protection regimes in particular, making a mockery
in some sense of the concept of universal human rights that belong to every
individual solely on the basis of being human. In contemporary world pol-
itics, the reality is that individual rights require the institutional protection
of the state to be realised.4
Jean Valjean, too, is a man whose rights as a human being are no longer
recognised by the state. This situation causes Valjean to become hard, bit-
ter, conniving and willing to do almost anything to ensure his own survival
against the immense power and reach of the law of the state. Yet Valjean’s
circumstances are altered when he encounters the Bishop of Digne, a man
with a reputation for abundant hospitality, so much so that his parishioners
affectionately renamed him Monseigneur Bienvenu. Unlike the officers of
the law, innkeepers, employers and other people Valjean encounters who
openly despise, ridicule and reject him, at the bishop’s house Valjean finds
a completely opposite reception awaiting him. Despite openly informing
the bishop of his identity as a released convict, the bishop insists Valjean
dines with him and his sister and stays with them for the night. He refuses
Valjean’s offer of payment and treats him as an honoured guest. Even when
Valjean repays the bishop’s kindness by stealing his only valuable posses-
sion – six silver dinner plates – the bishop does not accuse or berate but
instead gives Valjean the matching silver candlesticks, insisting that the
whole was a gift, thereby saving Valjean from returning to prison and trans-
forming him from a hardened, bitter, cynical man to one full of compassion,
grace and mercy.5

‘Monsieur Curé,’ said the man, ‘you are good; you don’t despise me. You
take me into your house; you light your candles for me, and I haven’t hid
from you where I come from, and how miserable I am.’
The bishop, who was sitting near him, touched his hand gently and said:
‘You need not tell me who you are. This is not my house; it is the house
of Christ. It does not ask any comer whether he has a name, but whether
he has an affliction. You are suffering; you are hungry and thirsty, be
welcome. And do not thank me; do not tell me that I take you into my
house. This is the home of no man, except him who needs an asylum.
I tell you, who are a traveller, that you are more at home here than I;
whatever is here is yours. What need have I to know your name? Besides,
before you told me, I knew it.’
The man opened his eyes in astonishment:
‘Really? You knew my name?’
‘Yes,’ answered the bishop, ‘your name is my brother.’6
Erin K. Wilson 147

The bishop’s welcome of Valjean reflects characteristics of Derrida’s notion

of unconditional hospitality.7 The bishop unconditionally opens his home
to Valjean, before he even knows his name, making available to him his
food, shelter, bedding, even giving Valjean his most precious possession,
thus in some sense ‘losing his home’.8 For the bishop, Valjean represents
the ‘absolute, unknown, anonymous other’.9 Yet it is important to note the
source of the bishop’s hospitality. He does not simply offer this generous,
unconditional hospitality because of his own wealth, resources or personal-
ity. Indeed, he refuses to accept thanks from Valjean, claiming that the house
is not his to offer, that Valjean is more at home there than the bishop himself
is. The house, the bishop says, belongs to Christ. Thus, the bishop’s hospital-
ity to Valjean springs from his faith and his identity as a follower of Christ.
Through the person of the humble bishop, Hugo has provided a portrait
of what I shall call faithful hospitality. In this chapter, using some exam-
ples from Hugo along with recent writings of theologians and scholars,
I explore the basic features of this ‘faithful hospitality’ and the possibilities
it offers for offsetting the power imbalance that exists between the individ-
ual and the state in the context of global protection regimes. I argue that
faithful hospitality occupies a significant place in international responses
to asylum seekers and refugees. This in part stems from the historical role
of religious actors in the development of ideas of sanctuary, asylum and
refuge.10 In addition, however, in the contemporary context, religious actors
do much to alleviate suffering, offset the power imbalance between individ-
uals and states and ameliorate the frequently hostile reception of stateless
people by resettlement states, particularly global north countries and their
domestic populations. Faithful hospitality not only includes welcome and
provision of basic needs but also incorporates intervention in the form of
protection and pursuit of justice on behalf of the stranger or other who is
the recipient of the hospitality. It differs from secular responses because it is
grounded in an existential understanding of the ultimately divine nature of
humanity, rather than immediate worldly conceptions of human rights and
international law. I explore how faithful hospitality interacts, enriches and is
enriched by the philosophical hospitality of Derrida and Levinas and exam-
ine what faithful hospitality can and does contribute to current responses
to refugees and asylum seekers. I suggest that faithful hospitality is similar
to Derrida’s notion of unconditional hospitality yet is perhaps in some ways
more achievable. The differing worldview of religious actors from secular
actors makes it possible for them to offer unconditional hospitality because
they do not view the earth as their permanent home, rather as a temporary
residence until they go to their eternal home.11 Religious actors do not view
their earthly homes as their own, but as God’s to be used for his purposes
and his glory.
This chapter begins by discussing the power imbalance that presently
exists between individuals and the state in current global protection regimes.
148 Be Welcome

I then discuss the place of religious actors and organisations within this
regime as outlined in literature on religion and forced migration. I explore
specifically what faithful hospitality is, drawing on examples from Hugo’s
Bishop and his encounter with Valjean, alongside sacred texts and theologi-
cal writings to demonstrate different aspects of this tradition. I contrast the
logic of faithful hospitality with the primarily realist and economic ratio-
nalist logic that underpins current state responses to refugees and asylum
seekers. I also note similarities with Derrida’s notion of unconditional hos-
pitality. Following this, I discuss practical examples of faithful hospitality in
action today in religious responses to asylum seekers and refugees around
the world, highlighting the significant place of faithful hospitality in inter-
national protection. Faithful hospitality in practice encompasses three main
activities – the meeting of immediate needs, protection from harm and advo-
cacy, and negotiation for justice and redistribution of power. These activities
have been an important part of asylum and protection regimes in the last
20–30 years.

The self and other in international protection: the power

imbalance between state and stateless

Perhaps one of the most poignant and tragic articulations of the power
imbalance between the individual and the state in contemporary politics
is articulated by Hannah Arendt. In speaking of the plight of refugees and,
in particular, Jewish refugees in the 1930s and 1940s, Arendt highlights the
hopelessness of their situation:

they had lost those rights which had been thought of and even defined
as inalienable, namely the Rights of Man. The stateless and the minori-
ties . . . had no governments to represent and to protect them and there-
fore were forced to live either under the law of exception of the Minority
Treaties [of the League of Nations], which all governments . . . had signed
under protest and never recognized as law, or under conditions of
absolute lawlessness.12

Having herself had to live in a state of lawlessness as a result of fleeing

Germany without any legal travel documents,13 Arendt was all too famil-
iar with the fate of the stateless and minorities that she here describes. The
great irony and tragedy of the emergence of supposedly ‘universal’ human
rights is that these rights require an institution to uphold and enforce recog-
nition of them. In theory this is done by the state. Yet, as Arendt notes, these
rights ‘proved to be unenforceable – even in countries whose constitutions
were based upon them – whenever people appeared who were no longer
citizens of any sovereign state’.14 Individual human beings, despite being
apparently entitled to certain ‘inalienable’ rights by virtue of being human
Erin K. Wilson 149

are unable to claim those rights unless they enjoy membership or citizen-
ship in a state. Thus, the state ultimately holds the power of life and death
over individual human beings, whatever may be said about universal human
International institutions and international human rights and refugee
law have developed exponentially since Arendt penned these words. Yet
the unequal relationship between state and individual to a certain extent
remains. Unprotected persons or ‘non-citizens’ first need to be able to iden-
tify themselves as entitled to a specific set of rights before they are welcomed
into a community. An asylum seeker must prove they are a refugee in order
to claim welcome into the political community of the state. A stateless per-
son has even less claim to rights, since in practice asylum rights are conferred
through citizenship.15 Thus, the individual is dependent on the state for
the realisation of their rights, placing the state permanently in the posi-
tion of power, authority and autonomy and the individual in the position
of vulnerability, obligation and subjection. Through the theoretical lens
of hospitality, then, the state occupies the position of the Self, while the
stateless individual is the ‘absolute, unknown other’. Once the unprotected
person is identified as a ‘refugee’, ‘asylum seeker’, ‘IDP’ and so on, their
interaction with the state through protection agencies and bureaucracies is
filtered through the lens of that legal identity in place of more humanising
Processes of globalisation are in many ways aggravating this unbalanced
relationship, causing states, particularly developed resettlement states, to
become more closed and hostile to the ‘others’ that would attempt to cross
their borders and claim their protection.17 Developed states seem more
focused on asserting sovereignty through border control than they are in
upholding and protecting human rights.18 In Global North countries, this
position reinforces and is reinforced by the negative attitudes of domestic
populations towards refugees, asylum seekers and other unprotected persons
in the international community.19
This reassertion of sovereignty and reluctance to provide protection sug-
gests a tension regarding the relationship between states and individuals in
global politics. They point to unresolved questions in International Rela-
tions theory regarding the purpose of the state and the sources of power and
authority in global politics.20 It also suggests that International Relations
scholars and anyone else concerned with issues of protection and injustice
in global politics need to engage with possibilities for intervening in and
altering this unequal relationship between the state and the individual that
has emerged over time, an inequality that emerges particularly in the con-
text of asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons. There are few other
institutions or organisations that have the capacity or authority to be able
to intervene against the power of the state on behalf of the individual in con-
temporary politics. Yet the moral authority which many religious traditions
150 Be Welcome

and organisations possess in domestic and global politics as well as their

nominal independence from political authorities at least opens up the pos-
sibility that religious actors may in some way be able to offset the harsh
responses of states and provide greater protection and welcome to stateless
persons.21 I suggest religious actors do this in part through exercising faithful

Religion, refugees and asylum seekers

In the last few years there has been a growing attempt by scholars and
practitioners alike to engage with questions of religion in regard to dif-
ferent aspects of the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers, from
the point of crisis, through flight, stays in refugee camps and resettle-
ment. Religion can be an important personal influencing factor as well
as a broader external factor impacting on people’s choices throughout the
entire refugee and asylum seeker journey.22 Religion’s influence on refugees
and asylum seekers is mixed with religious persecution identified as one
of the causes of flight and defining features of being a refugee outlined in
the 1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Optional Protocol. Religion is also
frequently a source of conflict that leads to increased refugee and migra-
tion flows.23 Religious actors have been involved in conflicts in complex
ways.24 As such, religion is inextricably bound up with experiences of forced
This interconnection between religion and forced migration stems back
to ancient Israel and ancient Rome, where religious actors provided sanctu-
ary and asylum for those accused of crimes.25 Indeed, up until the advent
of the modern state, religious actors were the primary providers of refuge
for those forced to flee their homes.26 Between the sixteenth and eighteenth
centuries, the right of religious bodies to provide asylum throughout Europe
was gradually revoked, with the state taking up this role.27 Yet the rise of the
modern state and its usurpation of the right to provide sanctuary established
a sad irony that continues to affect contemporary international politics.
Through the processes of nation state formation both prior to and follow-
ing the Peace of Westphalia, the modern state became the main provider
of sanctuary, yet also the primary instigator of the need for sanctuary and
asylum. Arguably, the development of the state led to the creation of the cat-
egory of the refugee, since state formation entails a level of revolution and
social reorganisation, whereby people are either included or excluded from
the new political entity, thus generating new forms of oppression and injus-
tice.28 Consequently, as well as becoming the main hope for protection and
asylum through usurping the power of the church, the state also became the
main source of oppression and injustice for the individual in world politics.
This irony further highlights the imbalance between states and individu-
als in the context of modern international protection. Yet religious actors
Erin K. Wilson 151

are once again asserting their significance as part of international protec-

tion regimes and mechanisms and in some sense upsetting this unbalanced
power relationship, as I shall outline throughout this chapter.
In contemporary forced migration, religion can be an important source of
hope and motivation to keep going in the midst of trials.29 Religion is also
a useful resource for refugees, other forced migrants and humanitarian relief
workers, assisting people to cope with trauma and uncertainty.30 The per-
sonal and external often mutually influence each other at this point, with
some refugees and asylum seekers converting from one religion to another,
either as a result of assistance received from religious humanitarian relief
organisations or as a strategic choice, thinking that a different religious affil-
iation may mean their refugee application is looked on more favourably.31
Faith-based organisations (FBOs) working with asylum seekers in Australia
have identified this as an issue of major concern.32 Once resettled, religion
also becomes an important resource for adapting to life in a new environ-
ment, providing community, ritual, places to meet and something familiar
in a strange and uncertain environment.33
While notions of hospitality are important to consider at each stage of
the refugee journey, it is at the resettlement stage when hospitality can be
most needed that it is often most lacking. The resettlement stage can take
the longest and is arguably the most controversial aspect of the refugee and
asylum seeker process in domestic and international politics, with increas-
ingly harsh exclusionary policies being employed by developed countries to
minimise the number of asylum seekers and refugees they accept and who
attempt to travel to their territory.34
As with other stages along the refugee/asylum seeker journey, religious
actors have been and continue to be important sources of support and
assistance for refugees and asylum seekers when they reach countries of asy-
lum/resettlement. As well as providing assistance and support for officially
recognised refugees, religious actors and organisations provide support for
asylum seekers and irregular migrants who have either had delays in the pro-
cessing of their asylum applications or who have had refugee status denied.
Yet a number of scholars have noted that little is known about the actions of
religious actors and organisations at this point, or of what motivates them to
engage in hospitality towards refugees and asylum seekers, a decision that at
times sees them in conflict with the state.35 In the remainder of the chapter,
I provide some insights on these issues through exploring theological per-
spectives on hospitality and the practical application of those perspectives
in religious responses to asylum seekers and refugees.

Monseigneur Bienvenu and faithful hospitality

I have chosen to use the term ‘faithful hospitality’ over other possible
descriptors such as ‘religious’ or ‘faith-based’ hospitality for two main
reasons. Firstly, it seems important to distinguish hospitality grounded in
152 Be Welcome

religious belief and practice from philosophical understandings of hospital-

ity such as those found in Derrida and Levinas. Faithful hospitality is distinct
from the philosophical tradition of hospitality as it is directly motivated by
faith and belief in a transcendental reality and divine being or beings. Sec-
ondly, I wanted to use a term that was broadly inclusive of a number of
different religious traditions. Some Christian theologians use the term ‘bibli-
cal’ hospitality, but this often primarily refers to Christian scriptures and the
Christian tradition.36 While ‘religious’ or ‘faith-based’ hospitality may have
achieved the same connotation, I also wanted to emphasise that this type
of hospitality is often displayed by people who hold a deep, personal, inti-
mate faith, not just people who engage in religious rituals or observances.
They take the commandments found in the sacred texts seriously, are deeply
and personally influenced by their own faith experiences and offer uncondi-
tional ‘faith-filled’ hospitality on this basis. It seems significant to make this
distinction, since it highlights that not all actors who classify themselves as
‘religious’ would offer hospitality. Indeed, often it is religious actors who are
the most inhospitable towards ‘others’, including members of different faith
traditions and different lifestyles.37
The character of Monseigneur Bienvenu from Les Miserables provides an
example of what I mean by this notion of ‘faithful’ hospitality. Hugo takes
considerable time establishing the character, background and experiences
of the bishop and is at pains to emphasise how different Monseigneur
Bienvenu’s behaviour is in comparison to that of other bishops of the day.
Indeed, in an argument with his son over the character of the bishop, Hugo
asserted that ‘this Catholic priest, this pure and lofty figure of true priest-
hood, offers the most savage satire on the priesthood today’.38 This contrast
becomes abundantly clear when Valjean fails to recognise that Monseigneur
Bienvenu is a bishop, thinking he is but a humble local parish priest. Valjean
goes on to relate an encounter he had with a bishop whilst in the galleys,
describing bishops generally as being distant and difficult to understand.39
Later, after he has been caught attempting to steal the Monseigneur’s sil-
ver, Valjean is astonished to learn that this seemingly humble, simple parish
priest is actually a bishop. Instead of being distant and difficult to under-
stand, this bishop is welcoming, easy to talk with, humble, generous and
What Hugo highlights is that the bishop is not hospitable because he is
a bishop or because he is ‘religious’. The bishop is hospitable because of his
own deep personal faith experience and conviction regarding the love of
God for humanity.40
A number of theologians writing from different religious traditions have
also highlighted the importance of personal faith, experience of God’s love
and knowledge of the love of God for humanity as key motivating factors
in the expression of faithful hospitality. Muddathir ‘Abd al-Rahim high-
lights a long tradition of hospitality towards asylum seekers and refugees
Erin K. Wilson 153

in Islam as coming directly out of the belief that all human beings have
been transformed by God’s love and grace and thus possess dignity that
makes them worthy of compassion and respect.41 Timothy Keller has argued
that it is the transformative power of God’s grace that inspires (or should
inspire) Christians to pursue justice on behalf of the poor, oppressed and
vulnerable.42 Pohl has also highlighted the notion of the sacredness of the
human being in Christian doctrine, particularly the writings of John Calvin
with regard to hospitality to strangers.43 Every human being is believed
to be marked with the image of God, establishing ‘a fundamental dig-
nity and value that cannot be undermined’.44 Elie Wiesel emphasises the
same belief within the Jewish tradition – ‘Any human being is a sanctu-
ary. Every human being is the dwelling of God – man or woman or child,
Christian or Jewish or Buddhist. Any person, by virtue of being a son or
daughter of humanity, is a living sanctuary whom nobody has the right to
invade’.45 This view that all human beings are reflections of the divine in
one way or another lies at the heart of much social justice work that religions
engage in.46
Thomas Reynolds expands on this idea and offers perhaps the most suc-
cinct explanation of the connections between love of God and faithful
hospitality in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. He describes it as a ‘love trian-
gulation’, a ‘three-fold relationship between God’s love for humans, the love
of God and the human task of living justly and doing good to others’.47 This
in some ways resembles Levinas’ idea of the Self, Other and Third.48 Thus,
love of God, love of neighbour and love of justice are intimately connected
through and in faithful hospitality. Reynolds notes that this connection
between love of God, neighbour and justice is present in all three major
monotheistic religions.49 In each case, he suggests, the human love for God,
for each other and for justice extends out of God’s love for humanity, which
is considered prior to the human love of God.50 This theological perspective
provides the background to the practical outworkings of hospitality in the
provision of asylum, assistance with food, shelter, legal services, counselling
and advocacy with and on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers with legal
and government authorities.
Another perspective on the source of hospitality in religion comes from
feminist theologian Letty M. Russell. Russell’s analysis is focused particu-
larly on Christian hospitality but incorporates non-Christian perspectives
into her study. For Russell, like Reynolds, hospitality emerges from the foun-
dational expression of God’s love for humanity. Individuals and humanity
as a whole respond to this love by showing love for God and for one
another, individually and collectively. Also like Reynolds, justice for Russell
is a critical component of any theology or practical expression of hospital-
ity. Without justice, there can be no hospitality. Equally, hospitality plays
an important part in establishing justice, because hospitality makes all equal
and makes all welcome.51
154 Be Welcome

This emphasis on justice makes religious notions of hospitality highly

significant for responding to asylum seekers and refugees. Seeking justice
becomes an integral part of the purpose and practice of faithful hospital-
ity. Faithful hospitality not only includes welcoming the stranger through
the provision of food, shelter, clothing and relationship but also advocating
with and for the stranger against those who would seek to oppress, exploit
or exclude the stranger. Extending this idea further, hospitality involves a
challenging of established power structures and a redistribution of power
from the centre to the margins.52 In the international context relating to
asylum seekers and refugees, this redistribution of power involves constant
negotiation between the power, influence and jurisdiction of states against
the rights and needs of individuals, especially individuals who have a pre-
carious or even non-existent relationship with states. International human
rights law generally and refugee law more specifically represent an attempt
to protect the rights of the individual against the rights and power of the
state. Yet in a world where states continue to be the most powerful actors,
upholding and protecting the rights of individuals is constantly difficult and
in some cases dangerous.53
Religious actors are generally well placed to intervene on behalf of indi-
viduals, to attempt to redistribute power between states and individuals.54
Often, though not always, religious actors are independent from state
authorities. They have a level of respected, acknowledged moral author-
ity on which to draw for support of their statements and actions and also
have a broad global network of actors to provide additional support and
reinforcement of their arguments.55 In other words, religious actors pos-
sess a certain level of power in international political and legal contexts
that enables them to confront state power in a way that individuals can-
not.56 Even secular NGOs, although undoubtedly possessing some power
in international contexts, do not always wield the same moral author-
ity and possess global activist, communication and mobilisation networks
that religious actors and institutions do.57 Following theological arguments
regarding faithful hospitality, religious actors would ideally use this power
to promote the rights and protection of individuals, giving the power that
they possess to individuals who have little or none. Sadly, this does not
always occur, with religious actors sometimes abusing their power and
using it to exploit individuals. Nonetheless, in the theological arguments
behind faithful hospitality relating to Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the
power of religious actors is always to be used to defend the rights and
needs of the powerless, the oppressed, the poor, widows, orphans and
Hugo’s Monseigneur Bienvenu provides an example of the practical appli-
cation of the theology on hospitality and justice when he intercedes on
Valjean’s behalf with the gendarmes:
Erin K. Wilson 155

‘Silence!’ said a gendarme, ‘it is monseigneur, the bishop.’

In the meantime, Monsieur Bienvenu had approached as quickly as his
great age permitted:
‘Ah, there you are!’ said he, looking towards Jean Valjean, ‘I am glad to
see you. But! I gave you the candlesticks also, which are silver like the rest,
and would bring two hundred francs. Why did you not take them along
with your plates?’ . . .
‘Monseigneur,’ said the brigadier, ‘then what this man said was true?
We met him. He was going like a man who was running away, and we
arrested him in order to see. He had this silver.’
‘And he told you,’ interrupted the bishop, with a smile, ‘that it had been
given him by a good old priest with whom he had passed the night. I see
it all. And you brought him back here? It is all a mistake.’
‘If that is so,’ said the brigadier, ‘we can let him go.’
‘Certainly,’ replied the bishop.59

By interceding in this way, the bishop uses his own authority – not only
legally as the owner of the silver but also morally as a religious leader – to
take the power over Valjean’s life away from the gendarmes and give it back
to Valjean.60 Part of faithful hospitality then is interceding and advocating,
‘standing in the gap’, for those who are dispossessed and powerless in an
effort to alter established power structures.61
There are two main theological foundations that underpin these aspects
of faithful hospitality. These theological foundations relate primarily to core
beliefs of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, albeit with some variation across
the three.
The first of these foundational beliefs is that all human beings have been
separated from God by sin. The story of the fall of humanity is told in Gene-
sis 3 in both Judaism and Christianity, with a correlative story in the Qu’ran
Al-A’raf 7:11–27. In Romans 3:23, the apostle Paul writes that ‘all have sinned
and fall short of the glory of God’. To put this into the language of hospi-
tality, the Christian faith holds that all people have become ‘other’ through
sin, separated from God. Thus, there is not (or at least should not be) any dis-
tinction by Christians on the basis of class, race, gender, sexual orientation,
education, vocation, religion or any other category – all have sinned and
therefore all are ‘other’, excluded, separated and marginalised.62 Similarly in
Islam, human beings are all considered ‘creatures of lowly origins’ in com-
parison with God and therefore are ‘other’ to God.63 With regard to asylum
seekers and refugees, who are often demonised or depicted as ‘illegal’ and
‘potential criminals’ in state discourses, the approach of faithful hospitality
156 Be Welcome

is to remember that all are inadequate and unworthy in one way or another,
not just a marginalised few.
The second foundational belief follows on from this first one and has
equally significant ramifications for the tradition of faithful hospitality.
In order to reconcile human beings and God, God Himself intervened.
In Judaism this is done through God providing the law to the Israelites
so that they will know how to live in order to avoid sin and thus be
welcomed into the presence of God. In Islam, God intervenes by breath-
ing ‘into him [man] of his spirit’, so that, although human beings come
from lowly origins, God’s intervention made man ‘a creature truly wor-
thy of being His vicegerent on earth’.64 Indeed, according to Ahmad
Achrati, ‘hospitality in the Qu’ranic sense is a measure of man’s per-
fectibility that is yet to be accomplished’, that is, hospitality points to
man’s eventual redemption.65 In Christianity, God physically entered the
world, became fully human in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, lived an
innocent, sin-free life and died to pay the price of the sin of human-
ity. Through this sacrificial act, Christians believe, Jesus reconciled God
with humanity and made it possible for human beings to live in rela-
tionship and fellowship with God. Thinking about this specifically in
relation to hospitality, each of these interventions by God suggest that all
are now welcome and included, rather than all being marginalised and
These two foundational beliefs set up a distinct pattern that colours the
nature of faithful hospitality. The monotheistic religions are often depicted
as being underpinned by dualisms – dichotomies that divide the world into
Manichean categories of good and evil, us versus them.66 To some extent
this depiction is deserved. Christianity, Judaism and Islam all appear to
set up dichotomous relationships between God and Satan and to a degree
between God and human beings. This dualism has often been translated into
dichotomous relationships between believers and non-believers, with believ-
ers being those that are welcomed and included and non-believers being
excluded and denigrated.67 Believers form the ‘Self’ while non-believers are
positioned as the ‘other’.
On reconsidering these foundational beliefs, particularly as they relate
to the language of hospitality, that dualistic pattern does not seem to be
accurate. What emerges resembles more of what Raia Prokhovnik calls a rela-
tional ‘both/and’ model of thinking.68 There is no sense that either people
are fallen or they are redeemed, that they are ‘other’ or they are welcome.
Rather what the two beliefs suggest is that all are both fallen and saved, all
are both lowly and worthy, all are both ‘other’ and self.
These ideas, then, are the beliefs that drive religious individuals to
engage in acts of faithful hospitality. Yet in addition to these foundational
beliefs, there are a number of different characteristics of faithful hospital-
ity that emerge throughout the scriptures, in theological writings and are
Erin K. Wilson 157

present within Hugo’s narrative about the humble bishop of Digne. These
characteristics highlight what is unique about faithful hospitality.
The first of these characteristics is that faithful hospitality is transforma-
tive.69 Either guest, or host, or both walk away changed by an encounter
facilitated or catalysed by faithful hospitality. In the sacred scriptures of
Judaism, Islam and Christianity, this often occurs because the stranger who
is welcomed is actually God in disguise. The first story in the scriptures of
all three religious traditions that highlights this is of Abraham and his wife
Sarah, who entertain three strangers who arrive near their camp.70 The three
strangers are standing nearby when Abraham sees them and runs over to
invite them to rest and eat with him. Abraham and Sarah then prepare
an elaborate feast for the three strangers. As the story unfolds, it emerges
that one of the three strangers is the Lord himself, who promises a child to
Sarah and informs Abraham of his intention to destroy Sodom. As a result
of showing hospitality, Abraham and Sarah have their lives transformed.
Yet God’s plan is also altered, because Abraham reasons with God not to
destroy all the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah indiscriminately but
to seek out the righteous that live there and preserve them. Thus, through
faithful hospitality, both host and guest are transformed. This same trans-
formative power of faithful hospitality is seen in the encounter between
Valjean and the Bishop in Les Miserables. Valjean, the hardened criminal,
cynical and resentful, is transformed into a compassionate, self-sacrificing
and generous person largely through his encounter with the bishop’s faithful
hospitality. Arguably, this transformative nature of hospitality also explains
the importance of justice to the tradition – faithful hospitality involves the
transformation of situations of injustice to ones that are just, transforma-
tions of unequal, oppressive power relationships to relationships of mutual
respect and equal distribution of power. The recognition of the transforma-
tive power of hospitality within Islam in fact stems back to pre-Islamic Arab
civilisation, which ‘saw hospitality as a humanizing element that involves
both the guest and host, creates trust between them, leads to an ennobling
and transformative moment, and evokes a restorative energy crucial for the
survival of the human race’.71 In this way, faithful hospitality is closely
related to religious ideas of unconditional forgiveness. Faithful hospitality
offers unconditional welcome, not expecting any reciprocity, in the same
way that unconditional forgiveness is offered for unforgivable acts, where
the recipient of the forgiveness does not, indeed cannot, offer anything in
Abraham and Sarah’s encounter with God reveals a second aspect of faith-
ful hospitality: that the roles of guest and host are not mutually exclusive.73
Although Abraham began as the host, arguably, once the Lord revealed his
identity, Abraham became the invited guest (since God, as the creator of the
world, is viewed as the ultimate host). It also highlights the different realms
in which a person can hold the roles of host and guest. A person not only is
158 Be Welcome

host within a fixed geographic space but can also be host to ideas or expe-
riences, which they then invite others to participate in as their guests. This
emerges in the encounter between the Bishop of Digne and Jean Valjean in
Hugo’s novel as well. Although the bishop begins in the role of host, Valjean
shares with the bishop some of his experiences from the galleys, thereby
inviting the bishop into his life and to share some of his experiences. This
insight has important ramifications for attitudes and policies towards asy-
lum seekers and refugees. While nation states and their populations may be
the hosts of the safe space into which asylum seekers and refugees come
as guests, the asylum seekers and refugees themselves possess ideas, experi-
ences, skills, talents and stories that they as hosts can share with and thereby
enrich their new community.
There are two other aspects of faithful hospitality, particularly as they
relate to strangers and foreigners, which emerge out of the sacred scriptures
that are important to mention here. Firstly, much of the scriptures encourage
followers of God not to mistreat foreigners and aliens because the follow-
ers of God themselves are or have been in the past foreigners and exiles in
strange lands. In the Torah, God commands Israel not to mistreat or oppress
foreigners and aliens since ‘you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens,
because you were aliens in Egypt’.74 This represents a negative injunction
against cruelty towards foreigners and aliens but not necessarily hospital-
ity.75 However, in Leviticus 19:33–34 God extends the negative injunction
against cruelty. ‘When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat
him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born.
Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt’. Israel were to love for-
eigners living amongst them as one of their own because they knew how it
felt to be aliens, to be vulnerable and insecure. Having experienced God’s
compassion and mercy themselves through their rescue from slavery and
oppression in Egypt, Israel were to be generous and hospitable towards the
aliens and foreigners amongst them, showing them compassion and mercy.
A similar sentiment is expressed in some of the Christian New Testament
books. Having accepted salvation from sin through Christ, Christians were
encouraged to view themselves as citizens of heaven, with earth a temporary
residence for them. Everything that they possessed on earth had been given
to them by God and therefore ultimately belonged to God and was to be
used for God’s glory and God’s purposes. Christians viewed themselves as
the beneficiaries of the abundant and unlimited hospitality of God. Acting
out of the knowledge of this abundant and unlimited hospitality, Christians
were thereby encouraged to show unlimited hospitality to ‘neighbours’, with
neighbours encompassing those near and far, known and unknown.76
Secondly, the New Testament reminds Christians that Jesus himself was a
stranger and a foreigner many times in his life, often with nowhere to shel-
ter, reliant on the kindness and hospitality of strangers.77 This conception of
Jesus ties in with the narratives in the scriptures where God appears to His
followers in disguise and they often do not recognise him until after he has
Erin K. Wilson 159

left. Believers are encouraged to show hospitality to strangers, prisoners, the

hungry and the oppressed because they may thereby act as hosts to angels
or to God himself.78
In addition to having similar stories about God appearing in disguise, such
as the Abraham and Sarah encounter mentioned above, traditions of hospi-
tality in Islam also refer to experiences of early followers of Muhammad
who were forced to flee their homes on account of their adherence to Islam.
They sought and received welcome and asylum in Mecca and Medina, con-
tributing to the importance of these cities for believers. As a result of these
experiences of early followers, Muslims are encouraged to show hospitality
and welcome to others who are forced to flee.79
The bishop in Les Miserables demonstrates what these theological aspects
of hospitality mean in practice. His speech, quoted at the beginning of the
chapter, implicitly refers to a number of different scriptures that inform the
Christian perspective on hospitality. The bishop’s insistence that the house
is not his, that it is Christ’s, appears to be premised on the belief held by
many Christians, that anything they have in their life, including wealth,
job, housing, health are gifts from God and are therefore to be used to
honour and glorify God and to do His work.80 It also has some relationship
to the view that Christians consider themselves only temporary residents of
earth and therefore they feel less attachment to the things of this world. The
bishop’s next statement that it is not important whether Valjean has a name
but whether he has an affliction also resonates with Christ’s statement in
Matthew 11:28–30.

Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy-laden and overburdened,
and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and
humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refresh-
ment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is
wholesome (useful, good – not harsh, hard sharp or pressing, but com-
fortable, gracious and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to
be borne.

In this statement, Christ invites all who are burdened, regardless of what
their burden is, to seek refuge in him. There are no conditions here. Christ
does not ask names, does not set any criteria but simply invites all who are
burdened. The bishop does the same in his meeting with Valjean.
The bishop then goes on to mention suffering, hunger and thirst.
In Matthew 25:31–46, Jesus tells of how he will welcome into his Father’s
kingdom all those who gave him shelter, food, clothing and who visited him
in prison and will reject those who did not. Several theologians have pointed
to this statement from Jesus as evidence for the need to provide hospitality
and welcome for those who are traditionally forgotten or neglected by the
160 Be Welcome

Theologians are also quick to point out the distinction between mod-
ern popular understandings of hospitality and the hospitality of religious
actors. Hospitality is most often understood as entertaining and usually
entertaining people who are in a position to reciprocate or who are able
to assist the host through some favour or other.82 Pohl highlights that this
was what differentiated early Christian hospitality from the dominant prac-
tice of hospitality in ancient Rome.83 Christian hospitality was extended to
the poor, weak, oppressed and marginalised, whilst Roman hospitality was
done for the purpose of gaining benefit for the host rather than the guest.
Pohl emphasises that this type of economic rationalist thinking dominates
state responses to refugees and asylum seekers today, leading states to give
preferences to those asylum seekers and refugees who will provide most eco-
nomic benefit for the host state, rather than those who are most in need.84
Pohl goes on to argue that religious actors are well placed to advocate on
behalf of ‘those people and places that are desperately in need but have lit-
tle strategic importance’.85 Religious actors following faithful hospitality are
encouraged not to discriminate on the basis of what will most benefit the
host, but based on those with the greatest need, the most vulnerable of the
vulnerable strangers.
Faithful hospitality then exhibits features and concepts common across
Judaism, Islam and Christianity – the value of each individual as reflect-
ing the image and/or divinity of God, the identity of all as both ‘fallen’
and ‘redeemed’ through the actions of God, the need to show welcome to
strangers in case they be God in disguise and because communities of believ-
ers have been sojourners and strangers and therefore know what it feels
like (the Israelites in Egypt, Christians as residents of earth but citizens of
heaven and early followers of Muhammad who fled to Mecca and Medina
and received welcome there).86 These foundational beliefs inform three main
areas of practice within faithful hospitality – provision of immediate need,
protection from harm and advocacy for justice and changing power relation-
ships. In the final section of the chapter, I discuss some examples of these
aspects of faithful hospitality in action particularly with regard to asylum
seekers and refugees.

Faithful hospitality in religious responses to refugees and

asylum seekers

There are large numbers of religious actors engaged in hospitality

towards asylum seekers and refugees around the world today. Like Hugo’s
Monseigneur Bienvenu, religious actors frequently provide food, shelter,
clothing, healthcare and other survival services on the basis of need rather
than religious, political, ethnic or other affiliation. Religious actors also
provide protection from harm through offering asylum and sanctuary
to individuals fleeing persecution, asylum seekers and irregular migrants
Erin K. Wilson 161

who are threatened with deportation by countries of resettlement. Reli-

gious actors are also heavily involved in advocacy with and on behalf of
the powerless, seeking justice and acting to address the power imbalance
between individuals and states, particularly with regard to asylum seek-
ers and refugees. In these three significant areas, religious actors form a
critical part of international protection mechanisms by providing faithful

Provision for immediate needs

Religious actors meet the immediate needs of refugees and asylum seekers in
three main contexts – in situations of conflict and flight, in detention and
immediately following resettlement.
Religion is a hugely important component in the initial stages follow-
ing flight for refugees and asylum seekers. It can form an important basis
for coping with trauma, for promoting optimism and hope, which in turn
provide motivation and drive to survive, adapt and thrive in new environ-
ments.87 It can also establish relationships of trust more quickly between
refugees and asylum seekers and service providers because religious organ-
isations are often more sensitive to the spiritual needs of the refugees and
asylum seekers than secular organisations, even when the religious tradi-
tion of the organisation and the individuals differ.88 Another way in which
religion is important is that identity as a religious organisation can enable
access to conflict zones, access that is denied to other actors. Islamic Relief,
for example, has been able to access areas of instability and conflict not
open to their secular and non-Islamic counterparts, largely because of their
identity as an Islamic organisation.89 In these contexts, religious actors assist
refugees and asylum seekers by providing access to food and water, shelter
and health care.
Religious actors are also important towards the end of the journey of flight
once refugees and asylum seekers have arrived in countries of resettlement.
For asylum seekers who are usually detained, sometimes for long periods
of time, while their claims to refugee status are processed, religious actors
and organisations provide assistance through supplying items such as toi-
letries and clothing and through regular phone calls and visits to detention
centres to talk with, listen to and provide support for those in detention.90
Often, detainees who hold a religious belief will feel greater affinity with
religious actors rather than secular actors in these contexts, even when the
religious actors come from a different faith background.91 This shared expe-
rience can provide religious actors with a unique ability to empathise and
develop supportive relationships with detained asylum seekers.
For those granted refugee status, many religious organisations provide
essential resettlement services for newly arrived refugees in a number
of destination countries. Stephanie Nawyn has highlighted that FBO in
the United States, particularly Jewish and Christian refugee resettlement
162 Be Welcome

services, perform critical functions in assisting refugees to adjust to life in an

unfamiliar environment.92 Nawyn notes that all organisations working with
refugees, secular or religious, are motivated by what she calls an ‘ethic of
refuge’.93 For secular organisations, this tends to spring from human rights
discourse, whereas for religious organisations their ethic of refuge is heav-
ily influenced by doctrinal elements. The doctrinal elements that Nawyn
identifies are similar to those highlighted above as forming part of faithful
hospitality.94 These values inspire FBO to assist refugees in practical ways
with housing, furniture and household items, food, health services, edu-
cation, occasionally also with cultural and social events.95 A large number
of religious organisations in Australia also provide similar services to those
identified in the US by Nawyn.96 For almost all of these organisations based
in resettlement countries, provision for the immediate needs of refugees and
asylum seekers is only one component of their activities. Many are also heav-
ily involved in the provision of asylum and sanctuary and in advocacy, all
of which form part of the practice of faithful hospitality.

Protection from harm through asylum and sanctuary

Another important aspect of faithful hospitality towards refugees and asy-
lum seekers is the provision of asylum and sanctuary. Although this does
occur within conflict situations and also as part of the journey from crisis to
resettlement, in refugee camps and safe havens, for example, religious actors
in countries of resettlement have also provided sanctuary for asylum seekers
and irregular migrants threatened with deportation. Two examples from the
last 30 years demonstrate this – Churches in the US during the 1980s who
provided sanctuary to asylum seekers from El Salvador and Guatemala and
churches in Germany who continue to provide sanctuary for asylum seekers
and irregular migrants. This network in Germany is known as Asyl in der
Kirche (Asylum in the church).
In the US case, churches directly violated US immigration law by provid-
ing refuge to individuals deemed to be illegal immigrants by US authorities.97
During the 1980s, populations in Guatemala and El Salvador experienced
severe repression and persecution as a result of political instability and civil
unrest. Torture, death squads, kidnappings and other forms of major human
rights abuses occurred frequently in both states.98 Despite this situation,
Guatemalan and Salvadoran applications for asylum were almost universally
rejected by US immigration authorities.99 Arguing that US policy towards El
Salvador and Guatemala was immoral, churches from a number of different
denominations provided sanctuary to asylum seekers threatened with deten-
tion and deportation.100 The system of sanctuary covered large areas of the
US, assisting the asylum seekers to remain in the US or to cross the border
to Canada.101 The system began in 1982 and continued through into the
1990s.102 The churches continued to provide sanctuary even after 16 people
from the movement were indicted as a result of their actions.103 The churches
Erin K. Wilson 163

even went so far as to bring a lawsuit against US Immigration officials, claim-

ing discrimination on the basis of nationality in the asylum adjudication
process, a lawsuit that was eventually settled in favour of the churches and
asylum seekers.104 Although predominantly an example of protecting peo-
ple from harm, the US sanctuary movement also encompasses other aspects
of faithful hospitality, including provision for immediate need and advo-
cacy against injustice, emphasising that all three are interconnected. This
example also demonstrates the power of religious actors and their ability to
intervene and offset the power imbalance that exists between the state and
the individual.
Another example of sanctuary is the German Ecumenical Committee on
Church Asylum. This network of parishes across Evangelical, Catholic and
free churches offers temporary protection to individuals without legal resi-
dence status, ‘who would face unacceptable social hardship, torture or even
death if forced to return to their country of origin’.105 This network emerged
unofficially in the early 1980s in response to German government attempts
to deport Kurdish and Lebanese asylum seekers, despite the unrest that
existed in their respective homelands with individual parishes offering asy-
lum.106 As more parishes developed church asylum policies and procedures,
a formal organisation was established in the early 1990s, around the same
time as the right to asylum in Germany became significantly reduced.107 The
movement has continued to grow and expand, with a now European wide
sanctuary movement.108 The sanctuary movement in Germany is careful to
emphasise that while they provide sanctuary for individuals, they use these
individual cases as a basis for campaigning for broader policy changes that
affect all asylum seekers.109
There are a number of other instances of churches providing asylum
and sanctuary such as Protestant churches in Switzerland110 and churches
working with 14 communities across the UK to declare their cities, includ-
ing London, Oxford, Nottingham, Sheffield and Bradford, to be ‘cities
of sanctuary’ for asylum seekers.111 Similar asylum and sanctuary services
are offered in Australia by Baptcare and Hotham Mission Asylum Seeker
Project. Another older, famous example is the Huguenot community in
Le Chambon, France, which sheltered Jewish refugees during World War
Two.112 In most instances, religious organisations who provide asylum and
sanctuary also engage in broader campaigning and advocacy in order to alter
policies perceived as unjust towards asylum seekers and refugees.

Advocacy against injustice and for shift in power

In both the examples of sanctuary above, from the US and Germany, the
churches also acted as advocates on behalf of the asylum seekers. As advo-
cates, the churches provided legal assistance for the asylum seekers, raised
public awareness of the circumstances and situations that the asylum seekers
found themselves in, voiced concerns over the decisions regarding asylum
164 Be Welcome

status with relevant state authorities and campaigned for broader systemic
and institutional change in policies and attitudes towards asylum seekers
and refugees. Indeed, Nawyn has suggested that the most powerful part of
the ‘ethic of refuge’ or faithful hospitality, as I have called it here, lies in
education of the broader public, campaigning for higher numbers of refugee
admissions, more access to services and increased levels of compassion in
the community.113
While religious organisations in Australia have not been as involved in the
provision of sanctuary for asylum seekers and refugees, they have played a
significant part in providing for immediate needs and for voicing concerns
about government policy and community attitudes towards this group of
vulnerable people. The National Council of Churches in Australia has been
involved in opposing Australian government policy towards asylum seekers
since the early 1990s, in particular mandatory detention.114 Other religious
organisations have spoken out in the media to raise awareness about the
consequences of Australia’s harsh policies towards refugees and asylum seek-
ers.115 FBOs and churches have formed campaign networks and movements
such as Justice for Asylum Seekers (JAS) and used these networks to organise
campaigns, rallies and other forms of protest to raise awareness and advocate
for change of policies towards asylum seekers.116 As well as utilising religious
arguments, identified earlier as the basis for faithful hospitality, these actors
draw on standards set out in international law to argue for changes in policy
and practice. There is, however, little empirical evidence of how effective the
efforts of these organisations have been.
These examples demonstrate the transformative power of faithful hospi-
tality. Individual circumstances are changed through the hospitality of these
religious actors as well as contributing to broader systemic change. Yet it
is not just the situation for refugees and asylum seekers that is changed.
Through the actions of a few religious organisations, other religious and
non-religious actors, organisations and individuals are also inspired and
encouraged to join in hospitality towards refugees and asylum seekers.
In some cases, the policies and attitudes of the state are also altered, an
example of this being the recent shift in Australian government policy to
community detention for asylum seeker families and children, rather than
detention in a prison-like facility.117
These practical examples highlight that religious actors, as institutions and
organisations guided by strong moral principles and with significant inde-
pendence from state authorities, are well placed to offer hospitality – in all
its facets – towards asylum seekers and refugees. Religious actors and organ-
isations thus form a critical part of international protection mechanisms
through provision of immediate needs, sanctuary and asylum and advocat-
ing for change. In this way, religious organisations are able to intervene to
some degree on behalf of vulnerable individuals against the power of the
state in current global protection regimes.
Erin K. Wilson 165


Victor Hugo’s Monseigneur Bienvenu provides a model of faithful hospi-

tality, a model that is replicated by numerous religious actors and FBOs
around the world, working with asylum seekers, refugees and other stateless
persons. Viewing his house, possessions, food, indeed his very life as not
his own but as belonging to God, Monseigneur Bienvenu is able to offer
unconditional hospitality to Jean Valjean, which ultimately transforms him.
Faithful hospitality emerges out of beliefs common across the three major
monotheistic religions, emphasising the connection of human beings with
divinity, the identity of all human beings as both ‘other’ and as accepted
and welcome and the potential benefits of providing welcome for vulnera-
ble strangers because they may be divine messengers in disguise. In practical
terms, faithful hospitality encompasses meeting the immediate needs of
strangers, providing protection from harm and advocating for justice and
redistribution of power on behalf of these vulnerable strangers. Faithful hos-
pitality offers much to theories and practices of protection for asylum seekers
and refugees, with large numbers of religious actors engaging in impor-
tant actions to uphold the rights of this group of people. Religious actors
engaging in acts of faithful hospitality thus form a key part of current prac-
tical protection mechanisms for upholding the rights of stateless persons,
thereby contributing to offsetting the power imbalance that exists between
individuals and the state in contemporary global politics.

1. E. Wiesel, ‘The Refugee’, in G. MacEoin (ed.), Sanctuary: A Resource Guide
for Understanding and Participating in the Central American Refugees’ Struggle
(New York: Harper and Row, 1985), p. 10.
2. A. McNevin, ‘The Liberal Paradox and the Politics of Asylum in Australia’,
Australian Journal of Political Science 42:4 (2007), p. 612; E.K. Wilson, ‘Protect-
ing the Unprotected: Reconceptualising Refugee Protection Through the Notion
of Hospitality’, Local Global 8 (2007), p. 101.
3. C.D. Pohl, ‘Responding to Strangers: Insights from the Christian Tradition’,
Studies in Christian Ethics 19:1 (2006), p. 94.
4. H. Arendt cited in R. Bernstein, ‘Hannah Arendt on the Stateless’, Parallax 11:1
(2005), pp. 55–6.
5. V. Hugo, Les Miserables, vol. 1, Ware (Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions, 1994),
pp. 72–3; M. Vargas Llosa, The Temptation of the Impossible: Victor Hugo and Les
Miserables (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2007), p. 66.
6. V. Hugo, Les Miserables, p. 51.
7. J. Derrida, ‘Foreigner Question’, in R. Bowlby (trans.), Of Hospitality: Anne
Dufourmantelle Invites Jacques Derrida to Respond (Stanford, CA: Stanford Uni-
versity Press, 2000), p. 25; G. Baker, ‘The Politics of Hospitality: Sovereignty and
Ethics in Political Community’, in G. Baker and J. Barthelson (eds.), The Future
of Political Community (Hoboken: Routledge, 2009), p. 61.
8. Baker, ‘The Politics of Hospitality’, p. 61.
166 Be Welcome

9. Derrida, ‘Foreign Question’, p. 25; Baker, ‘The Politics of Hospitality’, p. 61.

10. C.D. Pohl, Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition (Grand
Rapids, MI and Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1999);
P. Marfleet, ‘Understanding “Sanctuary”: Faith and Traditions of Asylum’, Journal
of Refugee Studies 24:3 (2011), pp. 440–455.
11. For the purposes of this chapter, I am primarily referring to the three major
monotheistic faith traditions – Judaism, Islam and Christianity. This does not
mean that other religions also do not engage in faithful hospitality, far from
it. However, the theological distinctions amongst these differing faith traditions
would require substantial exploration and discussion in order to do them justice,
something which there is not space for here.
12. H. Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (London: Allen and Unwin, 1958),
pp. 268–9.
13. Bernstein, ‘Arendt on the Stateless’, pp. 46–7.
14. Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism, p. 293.
15. A. Fortin, ‘The Meaning of “Protection” in the Refugee Definition’, International
Journal of Refugee Law 12:4 (2000), pp. 551–2; Consider as an example the case of
Al-Kateb v Godwin. The High Court of Australia found that, owing to Al Kateb’s
status as a stateless person whose claim for asylum was denied, there was noth-
ing in Australian legislation that prevented the Australian government from
keeping him imprisoned indefinitely. Al-Kateb v Godwin [2004] HCA 37; 219
CLR 562; 208 ALR 124; 78 ALJR 1099 (6 August 2004), Available at http://www., accessed 30 June 2010. Fortin,
however, argues that the state is responsible for providing protection for all indi-
viduals residing within its borders, regardless of their nationality. He bases this
argument on the fact that individuals owe some level of allegiance to the state
in which they reside, even if they are not a citizen. Hence, in return for their
allegiance, the state has the responsibility of protecting them from harm.
16. G. Baker, ‘The “Double Law” of Hospitality: Rethinking Cosmopolitan Ethics in
Humanitarian intervention’, International Relations 24:1 (2010), pp. 87–103.
17. McNevin, ‘The Liberal Paradox’, p. 612; Wilson, ‘Protecting the Unprotected’,
p. 101.
18. M. Welch and L. Schuster, ‘Detention of Asylum Seekers in the US, UK, France,
Germany and Italy: A Critical View of the Globalizing Culture of Control’,
Criminal Justice 5:4 (2005), pp. 331–2.
19. R. Devetak, ‘In Fear of Refugees: The Politics of Border Protection in Australia’,
The International Human Rights Journal 8:1 (2004), p. 101; J. Mertus, ‘The State
and the Post-Cold War Refugee Regime: New Models, New Questions’, Interna-
tional Journal of Refugee Law 10:3 (1998), pp. 327–8; E.K. Wilson, ‘From Apathy
to Action: Promoting Active Citizenship and Global Responsibility Amongst
Populations in the Global North’, Global Society 14:2 (2010), p. 283.
20. J.S. Barkin and B. Cronin, ‘The State and the Nation: Changing Norms and the
Rules of Sovereignty in International Relations’, International Organization 48:1
(1994), pp. 112–13.
21. I recognise that not all religious authorities or organisations are independent
from state authorities, particularly in many Islamic countries where the two are
essentially the one entity. I am particularly focused here on the resettlement
context of Western/developed states in global politics, where the separation of
church and state is largely accepted and part of broader social structures. How
neat that separation may be is open to question, but for now, I assume that
Erin K. Wilson 167

religious institutions and organisations possess a level of independence and

autonomy from state authorities.
22. J.F. Mayer, ‘Introduction – “In God I Have Put My Trust”: Refugees and Religion’,
Refugee Survey Quarterly 26:2 (2007), pp. 6–10.
23. J. Fox, ‘The Rise of Religious Nationalism and Conflict: Ethnic Conflict and Rev-
olutionary Wars 1945–2001’, Journal of Peace Research 41:6, pp. 715–31; E.M.
Gozdziak and D.J. Shandy, ‘Editorial Introduction: Religion and Spirituality in
Forced Migration’, Journal of Refugee Studies 15:2 (2002), p. 130.
24. Mayer, ‘Refugees and Religion’, p. 6.
25. Marfleet, ‘Understanding “Sanctuary” ’; Pohl, Making Room.
26. Marfleet, ‘Understanding “Sanctuary” ’.
27. Ibid.
28. Wilson, ‘Protecting the Unprotected’, p. 112; A. Zolberg, ‘The Formation of New
States as a Refugee-Generating Process’, The Annals of the American Academy of
Political and Social Science 467:1, p. 30.
29. Zolberg, ‘The Formation of New States’, p. 7.
30. Gozdziak and Shandy, ‘Religion and Spirituality’, pp. 130–1; M. Brune,
C. Haasen, M. Krausz, O. Yagdiran, E. Bustos and D. Eisenman, ‘Belief Systems
as Coping Factors for Traumatized Refugees: A Pilot Study’, European Psychiatry
17 (2002), p. 456; A.L. Ai, C. Peterson and B. Huang, ‘The Effect of Religious-
Spiritual Coping on Positive Attitudes of Adult Muslim Refugees From Kosovo
and Bosnia’, International Journal for the Psychology of Religion 13:1 (2003), p. 44.
31. Mayer, ‘Refugees and Religion’, p. 9.
32. Arthur, Sr B. Member of the Brigidine Sisters and founder of the Brigidne Asy-
lum Seeker Project. Interview concerning FBOs and asylum seekers in Australia.
Friday, 10 September 2010; Coleman, C. Director of Hotham Mission Asylum
Seeker Project. Interview concerning FBOs and asylum seekers in Australia,
6 September, 2010.
33. Gozdziak and Shandy, ‘Religion and Spirituality’, p. 130.
34. Welch and Schuster, ‘Detention of Asylum Seekers’, pp. 331–2.
35. C.P. Blum, ‘The Settlement of American Baptist Churches v. Thornburgh: Land-
mark Victory for Central American Asylum Seekers’, International Journal of
Refugee Law 3:2 (1991), pp. 351–2; Mayer, ‘Refugees and Religion’, p. 9.
36. T.E. Reynolds, ‘Toward a Wider Hospitality: Rethinking Love of Neighbour in
Religions of the Book’, Irish Theological Quarterly 75:2 (2010), p. 180.
37. L.M. Russell, Just Hospitality: God’s Welcome in a World of Difference (Louisville,
KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009), p. 78.
38. Vargas Llosa, The Temptation of the Impossible, p. 64.
39. Hugo, Les Miserables.
40. Vargas Llosa, The Temptation of the Impossible, pp. 62–3.
41. M. ‘Abd al-Rahim, ‘Asylum: A Moral and Legal Right in Islam’, Refugee Survey
Quarterly 27:2 (2008), pp. 16–17.
42. T. Keller, Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just (New York: Hodder and
Stoughton, 2010).
43. Pohl, ‘Responding to Strangers’, p. 86.
44. Ibid.; See also J.D. Carlson, ‘Trials, Tribunals and Tribulations of Sovereignty:
Crimes Against Humanity and the imago Dei’, in J.D. Carlson and E.C. Owens
(eds.), The Sacred and the Sovereign: Religion and International Politics (Washington,
D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2003), pp. 199–200; M.J. Erickson, Christian
Theology, second edition (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998), p. 518.
168 Be Welcome

45. Wiesel, ‘The Refugee’, p. 9.

46. M.A. Johnson, K. Jung and W. Schweiker, ‘Introduction’, in W. Schweiker, M.A.
Johnson and K. Jung (eds.), Humanity Before God: Contemporary Faces of Jewish,
Christian and Islamic Ethics (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2006), pp. 6–10;
T. Lorenzen, ‘Freedom from Fear: Christian Faith and Human Rights Today’,
Pacifica 19:2 (2006), p. 204; E.K. Wilson, ‘Beyond Dualism: Expanded Under-
standings of Religion and Global Justice’, International Studies Quarterly 54:3
(2010), pp. 733–54; J. Haynes, Religion and Development: Conflict or Cooperation?
(Houndsmill: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), p. 16.
47. Reynolds, ‘Toward a Wider Hospitality’, p. 178.
48. D.J. Gauthier, ‘Levinas and the Politics of Hospitality’, History of Political Thought
28:1 (2007), pp. 165–6.
49. Reynolds, ‘Towards a Wider Hospitality’, p. 178.
50. Ibid.
51. Russell, Just Hospitality, p. 18.
52. Ibid., p. 44.
53. Blum, ‘The Settlement of American Baptist Churches’, pp. 350–1; Mayer,
‘Refugees and Religion’, p. 9.
54. Pohl, ‘Responding to Strangers’, p. 94.
55. Haynes, Religion and Development, p. 17.
56. J. Haynes, ‘Religion and Foreign Policy Making in the USA, India and Iran:
Towards a Research Agenda’, Third World Quarterly 29:1 (2008), p. 146.
57. Haynes, Religion and Development, p. 17.
58. A. Sachedina, ‘Human Viceregency: A Blessing or a Curse? The Challenge
to Be God’s Caliph in the Qu’ran’, in W. Schweiker, M.A. Johnson and
K. Jung (eds.), Humanity before God: Contemporary Faces of Jewish, Christian
and Islamic Ethics (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2006), p. 54. From the
Jewish and Christian traditions, see, for example, Proverbs 14:31, Proverbs
21:15, Isaiah 61:8, Hosea 12:6, Amos 5:24, Micah 6:8, Matthew 12:20 and
II Corinthians 9:9.
59. Hugo, Les Miserables, p. 72.
60. It is important to note that this is but one interpretation of the power of the
Bishop’s actions here. Hugo later has the bishop declaring that through the
gift of the silver, the Bishop has bought Valjean’s soul and given it to God,
reclaimed it from evil and returned it to good (Hugo, Les Miserables, p. 73). From
the moment Valjean leaves the Bishop, however, it becomes his own choice as
to whether he uses his new found freedom for good or for evil, regardless of
the Bishop’s stated purpose. Nonetheless, the immediate effect of the Bishop’s
actions is to remove the power of the state over Valjean and to return to him his
right of self-determination.
61. Asyl in der Kirche (ed.). 2007. ‘Basic Information on Church Asylum’,
German Ecumenical Committee on Church Asylum. Available at http://migration.
tion_on_Church_Asylum.pdf, accessed 29 June 2010; Keller, Generous Justice;
Pohl, ‘Responding to Strangers’, p. 82.
62. Pohl, ‘Responding to Strangers’, p. 88.
63. ‘Abd al-Rahim, ‘Asylum’, p. 16.
64. The Quran 15:29–32 (Surah al-Hijr), 31:9 (Surah Luqman); 23:12–14 (Surah Al
Mu’minun) quoted in ‘Abd al-Rahim, ‘Asylum’, p. 16.
65. A. Achrati, ‘Deconstruction, Ethics and Islam’, Arabica 53:4 (2006), p. 500.
Erin K. Wilson 169

66. M. Juergensmeyer, Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Vio-
lence (Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 2000); N. Rengger and
R. Jeffrey, ‘Moral Evil and International Relations’, SAIS Review 25:1 (2005),
pp. 6–7.
67. Juergensmeyer, Terror in the Mind of God, p. 176.
68. R. Prokhovnik, Rational Woman: A Feminist Critique of Dichotomy (Manchester:
Manchester University Press, 2003).
69. Reynolds, ‘Towards a Wider Hospitality’, p. 182.
70. W. Griffiths, ‘Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Gabriel in the Qu’ran’, The Old and
New Testament Student 12:5 (1891), p. 273; See also Genesis 18.
71. S. Akpinar, ‘Hospitality in Islam’, Religion, East and West 7 (2007), p. 23.
72. Achrati, ‘Deconstruction, Ethics and Islam’, p. 484.
73. Reynolds, ‘Towards a Wider Hospitality’, p. 182; Russell, Just Hospitality, p. 84.
74. Exodus 23:9; see also Exodus 22:21; Pohl, ‘Responding to Strangers’, p. 87.
75. P. Hallie, ‘From Cruelty to Goodness’, The Hastings Center Report 11:3 (1981),
p. 26.
76. Luke 10:25–37; Pohl, ‘Responding to Strangers’, pp. 88–9.
77. A. Sutherland, I Was a Stranger: A Christian Theology of Hospitality (Nashville, TN:
Abingdon Press, 2006), p. 2.
78. Hebrews 13:2–3; Luke 24:13–33; Matthew 25:31–46.
79. ‘Abd al-Rahim, ‘Asylum’, p. 19.
80. Keller, Generous Justice.
81. Pohl, ‘Responding to Strangers’, p. 92; Reynolds, ‘Towards a Wider Hospitality’,
p. 183.
82. Pohl, Making Room; Pohl, ‘Responding to Strangers’, pp. 91–2.
83. Pohl, ‘Responding to Strangers’, p. 91.
84. Ibid., p. 94.
85. Ibid.
86. ‘Abd al-Rahim, ‘Asylum’, p. 19.
87. Ai, Peterson and Huang, ‘The Effect of Religious-Spiritual Coping’, p. 42.
88. Nida Kirmani and Ajaz Ahmed Khan, ‘Does Faith Matter’, Available at www., accessed 30 May 2010, p. 46.
89. Ibid., p. 47.
90. Arthur, Interview concerning FBOs and asylum seekers in Australia; Vichie, Sr
S. Former Hotham Mission ASP employee and member Catholic Missionary
Sisters of Service. Interview concerning FBOs and asylum seekers in Australia.
17 September 2010.
91. Arthur, Interview concerning FBOs and asylum seekers in Australia.
92. S.J. Nawyn, ‘Faithfully Providing Refuge: The Role of Religious Organizations
in Refugee Assistance and Advocacy’, The Center for Comparative Immigration
Studies, San Diego: University of California, Available at
PUBLICATIONS/wrkg115.pdf, accessed 25 May 2010.
93. Nawyn, ‘Faithfully Providing Refuge’, p. 24.
94. Ibid., p. 19.
95. Ibid., p. 15.
96. Refugee Council of Australia, ‘Organisational Members of the Refugee Council
of Australia’, Refugee Council of Australia. Available at http://www.refugeecouncil., accessed 29 June 2010; E.K. Wilson, ‘Rights, Hos-
pitality and Luck: Faith-Based Organisations and the Politics of Asylum in
Australia’, Journal of Refugee Studies 24:3 (2011), pp. 548–64.
170 Be Welcome

97. J.L. Carro, ‘Sanctuary: The Resurgence of an Age-Old Right or a Dangerous Mis-
interpretation of an Abandoned Ancient Privilege’, University of Cincinnati Law
Review 54 (1985–6), p. 748.
98. Blum, ‘The Settlement of American Baptist Churches’, pp. 348–9; Inter-
American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States
(OAS). ‘Chapter IV: El Salvador’, Annual Report (1984–5). Available at http://, accessed 29 June 2010.
99. Blum, ‘The Settlement of American Baptist Churches’, p. 349.
100. Carro, ‘Sanctuary’, pp. 747–8.
101. Ibid., p. 747.
102. Blum, ‘The Settlement of American Baptist Churches’, pp. 350 and 356.
103. Ibid., p. 351.
104. Ibid., pp. 352–3.
105. V. Mittermaier, ‘Church Asylum in Germany: Experiences of More than 20 Years
Work in the Field, Relevance within the Church, Political Framework’, German
Ecumenical Committee on Church Asylum. Available at
1_start/English/Church%20asylum%20in%20Germany.pdf, accessed 30 June
2010, p. 2.
106. I.I. Koop, ‘Refugees in Church Asylum: Intervention between Political Conflict
and Individual Suffering’, Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology 11:3
(2005), pp. 355–6; Mittermaier, ‘Church Asylum in Germany’, pp. 3–4.
107. Mittermaier, ‘Church Asylum in Germany’, p. 4.
108. Conference of European Churches, ‘European Churches Responding to
Migratio’, Available at, accessed 30 June 2010.
109. Asyl in der Kirche, ‘Basic Information on Church Asylum’, p. 4.
110. C.B. Ecoffey, ‘Asylum in Switzerland: A Challenge for the Churches’, University
of Manchester Masters Dissertation. Available at
accessed 16 June 2010.
111. City of Sanctuary, ‘Who Is Involved?’, City of Sanctuary. Available at http://www., accessed 30 June 2010.
112. Hallie, ‘From Cruelty to Goodness’, p. 26.
113. Nawyn, ‘Faithfully Providing Refuge’, p. 33.
114. D. Gosden, ‘ “What If No One had Spoken Out Against this Policy?” The
Rise of Asylum Seeker and Refugee Advocacy in Australia’, Portal Journal of
Multidisciplinary International Studies 3:1 (2006), p. 2.
115. M. Vincent, ‘Returned Asylum Seekers Killed, Jailed: Advocate’, ABC News
19 May 2010, Available at
2903429.htm, accessed 30 June 2010.
116. Coleman, C. Director of Hotham Mission Asylum Seeker Project. Interview
concerning FBOs and asylum seekers in Australia, 6 September 2010.
117. Coleman, C. Director of Hotham Mission Asylum Seeker Project. Follow-up
interview regarding FBOs, asylum seekers and recent changes to government
policy, 1 November 2010.
Part III
Understanding Hospitality in
World Politics: Social-Theoretical
Relative Strangers: Reflections on
Hospitality, Social Distance and
Nicholas Onuf

The laws of hospitality

Hospitality is a fashionable topic in political and international thought. The

most obvious reason for this development is the movement of people across
national frontiers to escape persecution or privation in their own countries.
The unplanned-for arrival of needy or enterprising strangers is hardly a new
phenomenon nor is their disposition to make themselves at home. Yet in
recent years immigration and its restriction have come to be seen as a social
problem on a global scale – one that raises troubling questions about the
duties we, as individuals or societies, have when faced with strangers.
Scholars have discovered that their predecessors have had little to say
about the treatment of strangers. Thus they have seized on Immanuel Kant’s
brief and ambiguous remarks on ‘universal hospitality’ in Perpetual Peace.1
This should be no surprise. With the recent resuscitation of liberalism in a
cosmopolitan guise, Kantian ethics have been much in fashion and Kant and
Perpetual Peace much discussed. Yet recent efforts to reach more deeply into
early modern thought have, in my opinion, confirmed the paucity of rele-
vant conceptual and ethical resources for help in thinking about hospitality
in today’s world of strictly bounded, presumptively sovereign nation states.2
Among contemporary thinkers, Jacques Derrida is not just fashionable.
His extensive work on hospitality is at the centre of the discussion of a cos-
mopolitan ethics not predicated on liberal premises. As Gideon Baker has
remarked, Derrida’s ethical stance is ‘a significant departure from Kantian
hospitality and from Kantian ethics generally’.3 Derrida based his stance on
a distinction that I believe most people would find entirely plausible. Hos-
pitality is, or should be, utterly unconditional; it is to be extended to the
stranger at the door, no questions asked. At the same time, hospitality is, in
practice, always conditional; it is subject to rules in practice.

174 Relative Strangers

Derrida formulated this apparent contradiction in striking terms, with

Kant very much on his mind.

It is as though hospitality were the impossible: as though the law of

hospitality defined this very impossibility, as if it were only possible
to transgress it, as though the law of absolute, unconditional, hyper-
bolical hospitality, as though the categorical imperative of hospitality
commanded that we transgress all the laws (in the plural) of hospital-
ity, namely, the conditions, the norms, the rights and duties that are
imposed on hosts and hostesses, on the men or women who give a wel-
come as well as the men or women who receive it. And vice versa, it
is as though the laws (plural) of hospitality, in marking limits, powers,
rights and duties, consisted in challenging the law of hospitality, the one
that would command that the ‘new arrival’ be offered an unconditional

Such is the ‘double law of hospitality,’ which, for Derrida, ‘defines the unsta-
ble site of strategy and decision’.5 On Baker’s interpretation of this summary
claim (and following one of Derrida’s most familiar themes), the double
law presents the host with an undecidable choice that must nevertheless be
decided. Every stranger’s arrival is a singular event; ‘there is always a decision
to be made.’ It follows from this line of reasoning that ‘the ethics of hospi-
tality must necessarily be particular to each case’, and making a decision is a
responsible act. ‘Undecidability becomes a condition of ethical action rather
than an obstacle to it’.6
While I am sceptical that deciding the undecidable constitutes a sufficient
basis for an alternative to Kant’s cosmopolitan ethics, my concern here is
not the undecidable. Nor is it the decision or even the moment of decision
when host and guest make themselves each other’s hostage.7 This is, I should
point out, an extended moment, and one that shifts the ethical centre of
gravity to the household (and by implication, the state), which ‘shelters
and duly domesticates the hostages within its walls’.8 My concern instead
is an ethics of ‘straddling,’ as Derrida put it, ‘the two regimes of hospital-
ity’ – an ethics ‘depending on whether the living environment is governed
by fixed principles of respect and donation, or by exchange, proportion, a
norm, etc.’9
Regrettably, Derrida said little to clarify this remark. Whether it suffices
for an alternative cosmopolitan ethics, I will consider in the last section of
this chapter. In the next two sections, I will develop the implications of
Derrida’s suggestion that, by straddling the contradiction between absolute
and conditional hospitality, two second-order regimes of hospitality present
themselves, one based on respect and donation (hereinafter, the RD regime),
and the other based on exchange and proportion (the EP regime). Even if we
reject the term proportion as an indicative feature of the EP regime (not least
Nicholas Onuf 175

because Aristotle used the term to suggest an unequal relation), the regime
would seem nevertheless dependent on people owning what they have, on
property (thus leaving the acronym EP intact). In any event, we should think
of these regimes as ideal types. As the term straddling suggests, both regimes
are likely to be in evidence, across social settings, in different proportions.
Kant, Derrida and just about everyone else who is writing about hospital-
ity today take it to be a universal phenomenon, an entailment of human
sociality in a world where people have separated themselves into house-
holds, bands and polities. Insofar as exchange is another consequence of
human dispersion and social separation, it too will be construed as a uni-
versal phenomenon, but one to which hospitality is necessarily attached –
by definition, strangers cannot deal with each other. In an age of discov-
ery and commercial expansion, early modern writers held that nature itself
demanded the right to visit and the duty to receive visitors; natural law
made hospitality, like property, indispensable to exchange. Most contempo-
rary observers take reciprocity to constitute an ethical principle undergirding
any sort of exchange.
Insofar as reciprocity implies that parties to any transaction both give
and take, as equals, for the purpose of that transaction, I accept its nor-
mative function in an EP regime. Yet I do not equate social relations with
exchange and thus do not see any necessary symmetry between giving and
giving back: I can give you some token of my esteem or some trouble to be
endured or some piece of unsolicited advice and take nothing from you in
return. In such situations, I have no reason to think that you have conducted
yourself inappropriately.
In a RD regime, gifts do not generally call for reciprocity – a ‘countergift’,
to use Derrida’s term. In a discussion of giving that parallels, not too surpris-
ingly, his discussion of hospitality’s paradoxical impossibility, Derrida held
that giving back ‘annuls’ the gift. ‘For there to be a gift, there must be no
reciprocity, return, exchange, countergift or debt’. Nor must giving be a con-
scious act. ‘At the limit, the gift as gift ought not to appear as gift: either to the
donee or the donor’.10 Properly speaking, a gift taken exists only in the past
tense: the act, the very moment, of giving annuls the gift. In this sense, the
gift is unconditional in just the way that hospitality is.
Derrida made the case for unreciprocated giving, for ‘the without-return
of the gift’, in a brilliant reading of Marcel Mauss’s seminal monograph,
The Gift. Because Mauss viewed ceremonial giving as a system of exchange,
Derrida’s concern was giving back, not unconditional giving. Gift and coun-
tergift compose a ‘cycle of restitution’, in which the rules specify conditions
under which a gift is given in response to a gift taken. These rules consti-
tute an EP regime in which, according to Derrida, the ‘thing’ given (which
cannot be a gift) ‘gives, demands, and takes time’.11
Derrida failed to consider giving in an RD regime, in which rules spec-
ify conditions under which a gift must not be reciprocated. If, for Derrida,
176 Relative Strangers

the context is time – giving time/giving in time – and the consequence is

deferral, then for my purposes, the context is space – giving things/fixing
distance. Fixed distances form social space, seemingly naturally and always
with normative consequences. In an RD regime, the foremost consequence
is deference.
As with gifts, so with hospitality. An EP regime sets the conditions under
which hospitality is to be reciprocated and a debt repaid. In an RD regime,
hospitality does not require repayment. Instead, the regime’s rules designate
who is welcomed in the household under what conditions. In doing so, it
establishes and maintains relative distance among households. In effect, the
rules of conditional hospitality make people relative strangers in any given
society. If, following convention, we take social position to be fixed by relative
distance on a vertical axis, these same rules order societal statuses.
Foremost among the ceremonies and courtesies of hospitality among rel-
ative strangers is the gift or tribute, which signals where we stand and not
what we owe. According to Derrida, gifts result in deferral because they are,
by nature, ‘excessive in advance, a priori exaggerated’.12 I suggest that what
might appear to be excessive for the purposes of reciprocity and parity in an
EP regime (Derrida’s frame of reference) would be entirely appropriate in an
RD regime. In such a regime, gifts function as status markers. A lavish gift
generally signals high status for the donor; a lavish gift rejected suggests a
status claim denied. When a gift is seen as unduly lavish but accepted any-
way, the implied acknowledgement of the status claim embedded in the gift
may be offset by the many other ways that regime participants can use the
regime’s rules to affect status assignments.
Evidently universal by virtue of sociality and separation, the RD regime
would appear to consist of ‘natural laws’ – duties arising from a natural dis-
position common to humanity but not by virtue of any necessary association
with exchange. This is, I believe, the way that hospitality is understood in
Classical cosmopolitan thought, most clearly articulated by Cicero.13 Because
modern thought has had so little use for this conception of hospitality or its
justification in natural law, I doubt that there is much to be gained by under-
taking a conceptual history of the RD regime.14 Instead I examine some small
part of the recent literature in cognitive development. By doing so, I hope to
show that our natural disposition is to see the world as composed of objects,
many of which we possess only to alienate – to donate, to give to other
people when we have no expectation of receiving anything back in turn or
in kind.
This disposition is said to reveal itself in ‘communal sharing’.15 This we
might call the CS regime, which is presumed to operate most conspicuously
in small groups and difficult circumstances. It seems likely, however, that
standing differences in how much group members can give will translate
into differences in respect and thus contribute to social distance, in which
case a CS regime will turn into or persist as a recessive or episodic feature
Nicholas Onuf 177

of an RD regime. In any event, the natural disposition to give objects away

does not determine the contents of the RD regime (or, for that matter, the CS
regime). It does require us to live by some set of rules through which routine
hospitality cements our social relations by making us relative strangers in
known degrees.
The psychologists and cognitive scientists on whom I draw in the next
section of the chapter are notably indifferent to language as the medium
through which rules are made and used. No doubt the reason for this is their
common hostility to the assumption, at the heart of contemporary social
theory, that cultures are infinitely variable and the mind is a blank slate.16
In Kantian fashion, many of them assume (as I do) that we have only an indi-
rect access to the world using evolution’s gift of cognitive equipment. Even
so, they ignore the social constitution of a common reality consisting of the
individuated, imbricated realities of many brains working in tandem. Not
only do they fail to see that the full range of ‘natural’ cognitive capacities in
individual human beings work at cross purposes and demand coordination.
They cannot see that the cognitive competence to orchestrate one’s own
mind does so for a multiplicity of minds and that it can do so only because
it is socially acquired, linguistically mediated and normatively realised.
I turn therefore to language in the next section to link the natural disposi-
tion to give things away to the rules of the RD regime. The gift’s importance
is never to be underestimated; it reveals itself as a grammatical construction.
The dative case (from the Latin, dare, to give) tells us that in a well-formed
sentence with a double object, the subject (which need only be human-like)
refers to the one who acts (gives, throws), the direct object to whatever is
acted on and the indirect object to the object’s recipient (which again need
not actually be human). I use recent discussion of dative verbs to develop
my thoughts on giving’s importance for fixing the distance among relative
In the third section of the chapter, I hold that international society con-
sists of states-as-households and that the rules of the RD regime apply to
heads of states and their duly appointed emissaries. I consider and reject
James Der Derian’s argument that diplomats mediate between estranged
sovereigns.17 I suggest instead that diplomats maintain the social distance
among states-as-households. The many rituals and ceremonies that bring
them together constitute their chief means for doing so. That outsiders con-
sider these rituals arcane atavisms hardly troubles the people engaging in
them in their everyday lives.
The fourth and concluding section of the chapter returns to the ethics
of hospitality, on which Derrida and other contemporary writers have fixed
so much attention. Like honour, hospitality is a universal human concern
manifest not in invariant principles but in codes of conduct, the contents
of which vary from society to society but which no society can do with-
out. These codes are the major constituents of what I call everyday ethics.
178 Relative Strangers

Diplomacy is a demanding, sometimes nasty, even dirty world in which the

self-esteem of its members is bound up in the requirements of deference and
donation, honour and hospitality.

Objects in motion

Aristotle held that nature endows living things with the faculties necessary
for them to fulfil their potential.18 Animals have mental faculties and, of
course, a faculty for language distinguishes human beings from other liv-
ing things. Aristotle’s importance for medieval thought assured a continuing
emphasis on mental faculties, which we also find even, or especially, in Kant
but not thereafter, when cultural variability and positivist science dictated a
modern preoccupation with the mind as a vessel to be filled. Only recently
have scholars rediscovered mental faculties, renaming them ‘domains of
human cognition’ or ‘modular cognitive systems’.19 There has since been
raging discussion of domain specificity and modularity, much of it centred
on daunting issues – how are domains bounded, how many modules does
the mind possess? – that need not detain us.20
Noam Chomsky identified three domains: one specific to language, a
second specific to physical objects and a third specific to numbers. Music
may constitute a forth domain. Many scholars divide the second into three
domains, each of which produces commonsense knowledge about physi-
cal objects: objects that only move when moved (folk physics), objects that
move themselves (folk biology) and objects whose movements are goal-
directed or intentional (folk psychology).21 All three domains presuppose
an ability to sort objects according to some discernible property (in speech,
this is predication).
Insofar as classification is a core feature of folk biology, the latter might
better be characterised as the domain where, after assigning properties to
objects, we go on to classify them by reference to movement as a differen-
tiating property and then direct our attention to objects that seem to be
able to move themselves (slowly, by growing, or more quickly, through loco-
motion). From an early age, children see – sense – what we adults take to
be a world of objects. They see that like objects go together – put them
together – in what we call categories. They see – single out – the relation
between objects that we call cause. They are naturally disposed to perform
these operations without any help from language, learning and culture.
In a much cited paper, Alan Leslie has suggested that children have a
naïve theory of mechanical contact and the transmission of FORCE.22 While
using the term theory in this context is rather fanciful and the analogy
between children’s domain specific knowledge and self-conscious theorising
is strained, its connotative sense more or less parallels understanding as that
term and its cognates are used in ordinary language.23 In other words, chil-
dren seem to understand that inanimate objects can be made to move. ‘From
Nicholas Onuf 179

the point of view . . . of contact mechanical theory, launching is the simplest

and most complete instance of the transmission of FORCE’; ‘the two objects
in launching are assigned different and imbalanced mechanical, one as
pusher (transmitter of FORCE), the other as pushed (recipient of FORCE)’.24
The act of launching is central to the large argument of this chapter that
we are naturally disposed to participate in an RD regime. I return to this
act when I link the mechanics of launching – causing to go – and giving in
performative speech.
Here is what we can say, more or less safely: before children are a year
old, they begin to make associations. They realise that some objects are like
other objects and some are not. They sort objects by discernible properties,
such as movement. They recognise that once objects are launched they tend
to move continuously, smoothly in Euclidian space – in some direction that
changes not at all or only gradually – until some other object stops or redi-
rects it. They are intuitive taxonomists and naïve geometers, not Aristotelian
teleologists or functional sociologists.
As mechanical theorists, infants may indeed understand that objects in
motion bounce off each other, just as they understand that two solid objects
cannot occupy the same space at the same time. They need not have any
idea what interaction entails in the way of planning and strategic think-
ing, and I cannot imagine that they do. Infants have no goals except as
imputed to them by observers. Launching an object is a mechanical event,
for very young children a visually stimulating, perhaps an entertaining event
subject to repetition. Giving some object away, giving it to someone else, giv-
ing it up: these are goal-directed activities that very young children cannot
appreciate as such.
Only gradually do children come to realise that giving is a social and not
just a mechanical event. As children construct themselves and others into
self-possessed, wilful beings, they possess objects, including themselves, only
in a weak sense. They participate in the RD regime unselfconsciously, if only
to get along with other evidently wilful beings. Insofar as (dis)possession is
a natural disposition, possession in the strong sense of ownership takes time
and learning. So do autonomy, parity, reciprocity, exchange and fairness –
all constitutive features of the EP regime.
If indeed very young children understand elementary mechanics, calling
what they do understand goal-directed or intentional sows confusion. Fur-
thermore, we as adults need to be clear about what we call self -propulsion to
understand what infants actually do understand. Continuous (constant or
gradually changing) motion by itself leaves the source of motion, its cause,
unknowable. Starting is another matter and so is stopping all of a sudden.
For very young children, the compelling distinction is between launched
and self-launching objects. We are hardwired to understand cause (in space
and time) from a very early age – Kant got it right in his Critique of Pure
Reason. Children soon realise that in a world of objects, there are two kinds
180 Relative Strangers

of causes, external and internal. They cannot see which cause accounts for
continuous motion until they fully understand goal-directedness.
It is wildly misleading to say, as Leslie did in an earlier paper, that ‘infants
possess a capacity for primary representation from the outset of develop-
ment’ – a capacity ‘defined in terms of its direct semantic relation with the
world’.25 Whatever it means to say that we have a ‘direct’ relation to the
world (say, through Kant’s ‘faculty of intuition’26 ), any ‘semantic relation’
is prima facie mediated by language. Representations are models, whether
arrangements of objects or verbal constructions. They are built with or from
representations, in an apparently infinite regress that can only end with the
natural disposition to give names to what we think we see.27
At about the age that children begin to understand goal-directed beings
and their interactions, they begin to develop their faculties for using words
and numbers. In making models, in manipulating the world in their minds,
they use imagination (to make associations), judgement (in dealing with
rules) and reason (to reach beyond the limits of possible experience).28 They
master the relevant faculties with remarkable speed. That all these things
happen at once can hardly be a coincidence.
Children begin to speak by repeating words that they hear in use. These
words are typically nouns, the names for objects in their world. When they
repeat verbs, they are making simple sentences to represent what is hap-
pening in their world of objects. In so doing they acquire beliefs, translate
needs into desires, form goals and achieve them when others respond to
their sentences. Verbs are key.

A verb, then, is not just a word that refers to an action or state but
the chassis of a sentence. It is a framework with receptacles for the
other parts – the subject, the object, and various oblique objects and
subordinate clauses – to be bolted onto.29

Verbs come in different forms, which tell how to put sentence parts together.
These coded instructions may well correspond to specific domains of human
cognition, but they do vary from language to language, just as their inter-
pretation varies from one speaker to another. Scholars typically estimate
the reach of specific verb constructions (as linguists have traditionally called
them – a revealing choice of terms) by offering examples and asking if they
sound right to native speakers of the language. In what follows, I offer exam-
ples in English, which is my native language, judging what sounds right
for myself. I assume my constructions will more or less correspond to the
verb forms that native speakers of other languages are likely to put forward
because human beings tend to represent the world that we see pretty much
the same way. At least this seems like a reasonable assumption for the world
of objects in motion that very young children are naturally disposed to see –
again, pretty much the same way.
Nicholas Onuf 181

Even the most elementary survey of verb constructions must take transi-
tivity into account. In sentences with intransitive verbs, subjects are agents
and the verb tells us that their acts are sufficient or complete as performed
(thunder rumbled; doors open; wars start; I almost gave up). Recalling the
child’s world of objects, subjects are acting objects. Intransitive verbs have
the effect of making motion into an object: an agent, which is an object posi-
tioned as the sentence’s subject, launches a moving object. When verbs are
transitive, subjects are agents performing acts and having effects on objects
directly (lightning struck the embassy; the embassy guard opened the door),
even at a distance (the ambassador saw the lightning; we gave thanks). Tran-
sitive constructions specify two objects, one represented as affecting the
As children, we are naturally disposed to see objects in motion, theorise
cause and express what we see in sentences with transitive verbs. We are also
disposed to locate moving objects in space and time (Ambassador, your hus-
band called you), very often with help from additional instructions, variably
coded as prepositions and adverbs (the foreign minister flew from Bangkok
to Tokyo; call him back right away). Some transitive verbs have a subject and
two objects, in which case we call them dative or ditransitive. They relate a
subject as agent to an object (a noun in the accusative case) and that object
to another object (a noun in the dative case). The causal effect is indirect,
even when there is an observable connection (a moving object) between the
source of motion and the object affected (the indirect object): the ambas-
sador (object as subject) said (verb in dative construction) some harsh things
(direct or first object) to the first secretary (indirect or second object).
At least in English a few dative verbs can take two forms: The embassy
guard threw the ball to the child; the guard threw her the ball (and, drop-
ping the preposition to, it sounds perfectly natural to put the indirect object
first). By contrast, it sounds wrong to say: The ambassador said me some
harsh things; the guard opened the door to her. Using a direct object and a
preposition or the double object interchangeably is a phenomenon linguists
call alternation. Malka Rappaport Hovay and Beth Levin classify alternating
dative verbs as follows:

Verbs that inherently signify acts of giving: give, hand, lend, loan, pass,
rent, sell . . .
Verbs of future having: allocate, allow, bequeath, grant, offer, owe,
promise . . .
Verbs of communication: tell, show, ask, teach, read, write, quote, cite . . .
Verbs of sending: forward, mail, send, ship . . .
Verbs of instantaneous causation of ballistic motion: fling, flip, kick, lob, slap,
shoot, throw, toss . . .
182 Relative Strangers

Verbs of causation of accompanied motion in a deictically specified direction:

bring, take
Verbs of instrument of communication: e-mail, fax, radio, wire, telegraph,
telephone . . .30

Having given the dative case its name, give is the leading example of a dative
verb. Among alternating dative verbs, give is the most common – according
to one source, 53 per cent of the total in English usage – and the one that
seems richest in metaphorical extension and social meaning.31
Alternation is a puzzle, a paradox, begging solution.32 It is not to be found
in languages, such as Russian, where word order is more flexible than it is
in English.33 How do we, as natural-born theorists and syntactically com-
petent speakers, know which datives are alternating and, by implication,
why they are and other dative verbs are not? In looking for an answer to
these questions, linguists attach a great deal of importance to ‘give type verbs’
causing possession and ‘throw type verbs’ causing motion.34 To throw (send,
toss, bring, fax: all alternating verbs in the last four of Rappaport Hovay and
Levin’s categories) is to cause to go.
Classification implies an answer to my questions, a solution to the puzzle.
As Stephen Pinker has put it, there is a shift in what the speaker thinks is
happening to the objects of the world – ‘a conceptual gestalt shift between
causing to go and causing to have’.35 Here is his example: ‘Give a muffin to a
moose means “cause a moose to go to a muffin,” whereas give a moose a muffin
means “cause a moose to have a muffin” ’.36 Pinker went on to observe that

this may seem to be hair-splitting, because causing-to-go usually results

in causing-to-have. With a movable object, you have to cause it to go for
that person to have it, and even immovable and intangible possessions
can be thought of as moving in a metaphorical sense. In this metaphor,
possessions are things, owners are places, and giving is moving.37

Pinker then argued that inanimate objects cannot own things and so
we cannot say, for example, ‘Annette sent the border a package’ except by
metaphorical extension.38
Even when we take metaphorical extension into account (personified gov-
ernments maintain border facilities on behalf of the personified states to
which these borders metaphorically belong), I think that there is something
odd about these claims. When it comes to things – gifts in the usual sense of
the term – we are naturally disposed to think we can choose to keep them as
possessions, use them as we see fit, give them to someone else, or exchange
them for other things of value to us. The ambassador gave her husband a
hug; Annette sent the border station a package; the second secretary sold
his replacement his car, and usually the alternate form sounds right (but not
Nicholas Onuf 183

always: the ambassador gave a hug to her husband) because, as Pinker sug-
gested, causing-to-go and causing-to-have are normally indistinguishable in
effect (although giving a hug favours having over going). So far, so good.
Yet this is not all that happens. When subjects cause direct objects to go,
they go somewhere and they have an effect there – on the indirect object.
All three objects (subject, direct object, indirect object) have new properties.
When we say The president gave the ambassador a medal, we mean to say:
The president, who has medals to give out, gave one to the ambassador so
that the president now has one less medal (and one more medal holder in
his retinue), the medal has moved to a new location and the ambassador
has a ‘new’ medal. If we were to say instead The president gave a medal to the
ambassador, we are shifting the weight of the sentence from the medal to the
ambassador, on the view that we load what is most important in a sentence
on its two ends.39
It would seem then that we use alternating dative verbs to indicate that
the subject, direct object and indirect object have undergone a change in
state. To give means to have the direct object in the subject’s possession, to cause
it to go, and to have an effect not just on the indirect object – the recipient – but also
on the subject and the direct object, without implying that the indirect object,
the recipient, owns or can alienate the direct object. Just as with inalienable
possession in the genitive case (the ambassador’s right hand, motor reflexes,
handshake), the indirect object, as recipient, may not own what it has been
given (the ambassador’s medal is not for the ambassador to give away). The
indirect object has the properties (location and condition) that the subject
gave it until some other subject gives it a new location and properties.
Alternating dative verbs always indicate changes in state, whatever the
properties of the objects in question. Indirect objects of every kind and not
just inanimate objects may be caused to change without being able to alien-
ate whatever it is (direct object, gift) that caused them to change. As the
object of giving, animate beings are not always free to alienate what they are
given. Animals are obviously animate, but we are disposed to see them as
owners only as metaphorical extensions of ourselves. We generally take our
faculties to be inalienable gifts of nature; many of us hold certain rights to
be inalienable.
The verb give identifies objects that by having been caused to go (as mobile
objects also known as gifts) may become possessions in the sense that lin-
guists seem to take for granted. Also, always and simultaneously, the verb
give causes possession in the more fundamental sense of an object possess-
ing new properties. As I have said, the subject as giver, the gift and the gift’s
recipient will have new properties, whether a change in location, condition
or both. All gifts start off in the subjects’ possession. Being alienable, they
are caused go and cause to have (despite what hair-splitting linguists say).
Not all gifts cause to have in both senses of possession – once received, not
all are alienable.
184 Relative Strangers

This distinction is not splitting hairs. For children theorists, objects have
properties such as movement, agents cause objects to move, some moving
objects have an effect on other objects, agents cause objects to have an effect
on other objects: the verb give codes all of this information. As they learn to
use their verbs, they learn that exchange is predicated on the alienation of
mobile things, on giving things in order to get things. They participate as
agents in the EP regime.
Yet this is not all that children learn. They also learn that many other kinds
of social relations depend on the continuous supply of inalienable gifts. Gifts
make us what we are through the effects that they have on us. In doing so,
they constitute the RD regime and regulate our social relations by marking
the differences among us and thus the distances between us, pair by pair, set
by set.
When the president gives a medal to the ambassador, that act enhances
(confirms, perhaps even diminishes) the president’s esteemed position as
someone who dispenses honours, the ambassador’s esteem as honoured
recipient and the esteem that all parties hold for the medal as an honour
and the occasion for its bestowal. Orientational metaphors reveal a natural
disposition to position objects in space, at a distance from each other and
the observer.40 On a horizontal plane, social distance makes us all strangers
to each other, but only relatively – we know where we stand. Rotate the axis,
and we find our rank. Even as children we are naïve geometers who perform
these operations effortlessly as we find our place in the RD regime.

On diplomacy

Not every instance of a gift given is equally important for the constitution
and regulation of social distance. Giving the passing stranger a nod is less
important than giving the ambassador a medal. Formal occasions for giving
and acknowledging gifts – ceremonies, festivals, anniversaries, holidays – are
especially important for social distancing, and they almost always involve
hospitality under rule-specified conditions and the sharing of possessions –
meals and memories, songs and stories, common concerns and good feel-
ings. Sharing describes a situation in which the many give some of what is
theirs to alienate, not to each other, but to the whole as a generalised indi-
rect object. Egalitarian in its thrust, communal sharing may indeed be yet
another natural disposition that human beings share, one that prompts the
formation of a CS regime to mitigate social distance and vitiate any feelings
of alienation that social distancing induces.
It is an ethnographic commonplace that humanity’s evolutionary circum-
stances resulted in small bands of hunters and gatherers, some few of which
have persisted to the present. As an ideal-typical social arrangement such
bands are said to share everything of value; whatever band members acquire
they alienate immediately to the band as a whole.41 Lacking alienable objects
Nicholas Onuf 185

to separate them and to signify rank, band members have no need for the
conditional hospitality and the rituals of giving and getting characteristic
of an RD regime. Instead they form a rankless society – one that rewards or
rankles no one in particular.
One need not accept the claim well known to evolutionary psychology
that mating necessarily results in a ‘dominance hierarchy’ to be sceptical
that living conditions were ever so simple: needs readily met, band size
stable, strangers rarely encountered.42 The natural, cultivable disposition to
circulate esteemed objects, set conditions for hospitality and calibrate social
distance (in time by generations; in horizontal space by reference to kin,
neighbours, strangers; in vertical space by rank) will always find opportu-
nities to assert itself. As a natural disposition, sharing is hardly likely to
dominate social relations for long, even if we decide to cultivate it. Nor is
communal sharing likely to disappear, even as we cultivate other natural
dispositions making us relative strangers in rank-ordered sets.
How the rules of conditional hospitality and the circulation of esteemed
objects instantiate social distance is, on examination, not altogether obvi-
ous. While my focus is on gifts as tokens of esteem and distancing mecha-
nisms (and therefore the RD regime), most scholars focus on gift exchange
as a (re)distributive mechanism and not gifts as such. Focusing on the EP
regime, they follow Mauss, who linked generosity and honour, most spectac-
ularly in the potlatch.43 Blessed with natural abundance and accumulating
largess, the native tribes of the northwest coast of North America engaged
in profligate hospitality, with families giving away their stores of goods in
hopes of being seen as more generous and therefore worthier than their
neighbours. The practice induced imitation, fostered reciprocity and resulted
in a more egalitarian distribution of material goods through their destruction
by consumption.
The rampant alienation of potlatch is not to be confused with communal
sharing. The potlatch did nothing to reduce social distance beyond the cere-
monial confines of seasonal hospitality. On the contrary, some families were
always in a position to give more goods away, with greater honour their
reward. We see this phenomenon repeatedly. Wealthy donors endow art
museums and professorial chairs, always calibrating their generosity against
the honour it accrues their names, the esteem it produces and effect it has
on their position in society. We also see its converse operating to the same
effect. For hundreds of years, China’s tributaries gave less tribute than the
recipient could have extracted by other means, but the occasion for tribute
conferred honour, connoted esteem and codified social distance.44
With Derrida, I see no reason to call this process exchange, as if it involved
alienable possessions or even reciprocity as if some sort of parity is implied.
Only when esteem is reified (as it often is: the ambassador’s medal) and then
commodified (as it is, much less often, in markets, such as for endowed pro-
fessorial chairs) can there be exchange in the usual sense. Only when gifts
186 Relative Strangers

are judged comparable in social value, can there be reciprocity. Only then
does the EP regime override or overlay the RD regime. Yet esteem, as a prop-
erty, typically has different values for different people, depending on their
relative positions in society. If the president gives the ambassador a medal,
the effects on their esteem (self-esteem, esteem for each other, esteem in the
eyes of others) will not be comparable. The RD regime prevails.
Unconditional hospitality is an unconditional gift. If there are rules of
conditional hospitality, then there are rules on giving, taking and giving
back – as Mauss claimed, separate sets of rules telling people when and what
kinds of gifts are obligatory, when and under what circumstances they are
obliged to accept gifts and whether accepting a gift creates an obligation to
give a gift under what circumstances.45 When a humble graduate student
invites an exalted professor home for dinner, the professor is not obliged
to invite the student to her home. Conversely, when an exalted profes-
sor invites a humble graduate student out for a beer, the student is not
obliged to do the same or indeed to share the bill. Again, the RD regime
Few settings in the modern world make the rules of hospitality – the
RD regime – clearer or more consequential than the relations between
states manifest in the activities of chiefs of state, government ministers and
other senior officers and diplomats as standing guests in other states-as-
households. When chiefs of states meet, the occasion is treated as a festive
day warranting extraordinary displays of hospitality and ritual exchanges –
gifts, toasts, reassurances – affirming the formal parity of the states and
their chiefs. The host initiates a carefully calibrated ritual of physical con-
tact (by giving a hand, an embrace, a kiss). If two chiefs meet in neither
one’s country, they give and take back inalienable body parts in a single syn-
chronised moment. Much the same holds for ministers and ambassadors on
appropriately less elaborate scales. Expressions and tokens of mutual esteem
foster solidarity and sharing within ranks, even as they confirm the distance
between ranks.
While important rules make chiefs, ministers and ambassadors formally
equal at each rank, there are additional rules, many of them informal,
acknowledging them to possess or assigning them different properties, all
of which have the effect of differentiating them within ranks. When the
ambassador of large country in a major capital hosts a grand reception and
invites many dignitaries, the ambassador of a smaller country is not obliged
to host an equally grand reception. Indeed, it would be presumptuous for
the ambassador of the smaller country to do so. Finally, there are all sorts of
informal rules for social relations across formal ranks. When the president
gives the ambassador a medal, the ambassador should give her thanks to
the president (confirming her esteem for him) and her thanks to her staff
(raising its members’ esteem for her). That there are so many rules, that so
many of them are informal, suggests that mastering the code of hospitality
Nicholas Onuf 187

in the relations of states takes time and skill – protocol matters because social
distance is a large concern in those relations.
The general features of the RD regime in the relations of states go back
to the fifteenth century. At that time, sovereigns were steadily tightening
their control over lesser lords, with a proportionate increase in the for-
mer’s majesty – the property of inspiring awe.46 This process also saw the
transformation of the sovereign’s lords from warriors to courtiers,47 and the
institution of permanent embassies.48 Before the last of these developments,
occasional visitors representing sovereigns and their interests were of two
sorts: those with symbolic duties such as delivering a message or gracing
a ceremony and those with powers to negotiate.49 Permanent embassies
effectively ended a distinction already tenuous in practice, and resident
ambassadors assumed a variety of duties taking them to their hosts’ courts.50
Together, resident ambassadors constituted the diplomatic corps, defined as
such by set rules for the corps’s members – rules for presenting credentials,
rules assuring respect for each other, rules for dealing with notables and
officials of every rank, rules granting them local privileges and immunities.
The large effect of these closely related developments was to order social
distance within the proto-states of Europe on the same vertical axis and to
routinise the ongoing conduct of relations among them. Over time, the shift
from state sovereigns to sovereign states has done little to change the RD
regime or working relations among states’ agents within and across ranks.
Judging from Garrett Mattingly’s account (1964: 30–8), the first book on
diplomatic practice (Bernard du Rosier’s Ambaxiator breviologus, 1436) failed
to discriminate in any systematic way between what diplomats are, as hon-
oured members of a ranked society subject to an elaborate code of hospitality
and what they do as agents engaged in relations on behalf of sovereigns.51
Indicatively, the two most important manuals on diplomatic practice to
appear before the last century – Abraham de Wicquefort’s L’ambassadeur et ses
functions (1680) and François de Callières’s De la manière de négocier avec les
soverains (1716) – refer to the diplomat as ‘an honorable spy’.52 Both consider
rank and conduct to be inseparable features of the ‘art’ of diplomacy.
Only gradually did later commentators develop the distinction between
ceremony and the conduct of relations – communicating wishes, negotiating
differences – and view the latter as the diplomat’s primary function. Harold
Nicolson, as the twentieth century most influential diplomatic participant-
observer, could emphasise negotiation as the diplomat’s primary function, at
least in theory, all the while concerning himself with the personal qualities
of an ideal diplomat, just as his predecessors had.53 Indeed he also wrote
a book on good behaviour and civility.54 The prevailing sentiment today is
that diplomats are, and have always been, communicators and negotiators
first and foremost, their practical responsibilities warranting their privileges
and immunities.55 Their ceremonial duties come a distant second, their high
standing suiting them to the social whirl of frivolous activities.
188 Relative Strangers

Diplomatic privileges and immunities are long-settled in international

law. The manual on diplomatic practice now most widely in use, Satow’s
Guide to Diplomatic Practice, devotes only a few pages to the diplomatic
corps.56 In contrast, we find hundreds of pages devoted to international law
and institutions, as if these rules are the only ones diplomats really need
to know. The contemporary literature on diplomacy is, for the most part, a
pastiche of diplomatic history, personal anecdotes and half-hearted efforts
to situate diplomatic practice in the larger context of foreign policy-making
and international theory.57
A recent exception to this general tendency is Christer Jönnson and
Martin Hall’s Essence of Diplomacy, which systematically considers diplomacy
from an institutionally oriented theoretical perspective. Influencing this
book is an earlier, conspicuous exception: James Der Derian’s masterpiece,
On Diplomacy.58 Its subtitle, A Genealogy of Western Estrangement, announces
a debt to Michel Foucault. The book is not at all a conventional history of
diplomacy, much less a manual for diplomats on the rules of the RD regime.
It is, however, an inspired, altogether original treatment of the conditions
and consequences of social distance in international relations.
Der Derian’s general point is close to the one I have put forward here: ‘it
is as much the “petty” rituals and ceremonies of power as it is the “great”
events of power politics or the famous developments of international law
which define diplomacy’.59 Der Derian’s point of departure is the unfold-
ing of a ‘diplomatic culture’ incipient in the Western world from its earliest
moments. That culture acquired the rituals and ceremonies so evident even
today when states emerged together but separately in the fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries.

Like the bridges of medieval cities, the diplomatic culture begins as a

neutral link between alien quarters, but with the disintegration and diffu-
sion of a common Latin power, it becomes . . . a discursive space where
representatives of sovereign states can avoid the national tolls of the
embryonic international society while attempting to mediate its systemic

Der Derian’s explication of this development hinges on concepts – alienation

and mediation – conspicuously deployed in this passage.61
Der Derian’s extended treatment of alienation reminds us that the Latin
infinitive alienare means ‘to make something another’s’.62 This is, of course,
entirely consistent with the way I have been using the term alienate and
makes it generally synonymous with give to which I have already given so
much attention. Der Derian focused his attention on economic and juridical
senses of the term established in Roman and early modern practice (in effect,
elements of the EP regime) and on the use of the term in Christian theology,
before turning to Hegel as the master theorist of alienation understood in the
Nicholas Onuf 189

contemporary (modern and post-modern) sense of separation. To simplify

Der Derian’s subtle discussion, Hegel construed alienation as intrapersonal
estrangement brought on by consciousness and interpersonal estrangement
brought on by history. In a parallel dialectic to reunify mind and his-
tory, mediation is the middle term, the mode of synthesis. Estrangement,
with its feelings of indifference or hostility, brings not just recognition
but mediation – metaphorical movement across the space that separates
us all.
For Der Derian, diplomacy is mediation between estranged peoples.63
In the diplomatic culture that emerged half a millennium ago, mediation
is not just metaphorical movement; diplomats as mediators come and go,
with an elaborate code of hospitality to regulate their movements and mark
the places where mediation takes place. In Der Derian’s words: ‘ceremony
and the ritual for receiving and dispatching ambassadors . . . sanctioned the
movement across political boundaries’.64 As metaphorical movement, medi-
ation depends on giving and taking, in the first instance discursively and
thus metaphorically but with the potential or consequence of moving valued
Der Derian emphasised gift exchange in the deep origins of the diplomatic
culture.65 As a medium for establishing parity between mediating parties
and eventually an acknowledgement of the sovereign equality of states,
gift exchange has always had a powerful ritual significance. This is the case
whenever parity within a rank or social stratum needs to be confirmed – as
it must to anchor the EP regime. Yet it hardly exhausts the circumstances in
which gifts (objects caused to go) are taken (have an effect on the recipient)
so as to constitute and regulate social distance between ranks.
Diplomatic culture is rife with gift-giving that has these effects, notwith-
standing the formal parity of states. No one expects parity in giving or gifts
as objects. Der Derian’s emphasis on mediation puts reciprocity first and
not the ‘one-sided nature of the power relation’.66 By contrast, I hold that
ranking is the most important business to be transacted by diplomatic medi-
ators. As I have endeavoured to show, gifts broadly understood are a primary
medium for calibrating and codifying ranks and thus a central feature of the
RD regime.
All gifts are valued, some negatively. Some gifts are hostile in intention,
some are rejected. Promises are deferred gifts; threats are gifts withheld or
gifts not wanted. This is the stuff of diplomacy, all of it affecting social
distance, only some of it constituting exchange in the usual sense of
the term.
Der Derian’s misplaced emphasis on mediation as reciprocity, parity and
exchange betrays an undisclosed assumption that liberal modernity (the EP
regime broadly construed) has generally displaced an old RD regime of aris-
tocratic practices. The insular world of diplomacy is an exception, lagging
behind large changes in the structure of international society.67 ‘The most
190 Relative Strangers

obvious example of diplomatic cultural lag is the formation and retention

of aristocratic manners and norms in diplomacy in a period when merchant
capitalism and bourgeois nationalism were taking off’.68 For Der Derian, the
time needed to internalise structurally induced changes accounts for the lag.
Yet the persistence of the RD regime to this very day suggests something
more than a lag in learning.
Even more, the persistence of diplomacy’s old ways suggests that Der
Derian has gratuitously separated diplomacy (as process) and international
relations (as structure) merely by introducing the notion of lag. As I have
said several times now, the rituals of diplomacy constitute and regulate the
social distance among states. For observers (diplomats, scholars, people in
general), the patterns that these distances exhibit are the structure of inter-
national relations.69 In good measure, this structure remains as stable as it
has seemed over the centuries because diplomats at every rank constantly
manage the distances among states that they are charged with representing.

Codes of conduct

Throughout this chapter, I have referred to the RD, EP and CS regimes

in the singular. Sometimes I have done so to indicate that they are ideal-
types, sometimes to identify a specific regime exhibiting properties of one
or another ideal-type. I do not wish to suggest that there is only one
such regime of each type, reflecting specific natural human dispositions or
faculties and operating universally with some accommodation to local con-
ditions. By definition, a regime is a set of rules more or less durably linked
to each other by derivation from or specification from more general rules
or principles. However general, these rules are social, as such their reach is
limited to a finite set of social relations – societies are regimes in the first
instance.70 To revert to Derrida’s language, regimes are always conditional.
Thus, we can identify any number of RD, EP and CS regimes, each one
containing a host of rules making it fully distinctive, indeed unique, each
overlapping and interacting with other regimes in specific social settings.
That human beings come equipped with natural dispositions that mani-
fest themselves very early in our lives might suggest – has suggested to many
observers for a very long time – the existence of unconditional duties or uni-
versal natural laws. Such natural (and not just social) principles are said to
dictate the content of the many regimes constituting and regulating social
reality. Just perhaps, hospitality is a natural disposition and unconditional
hospitality is a general good and universal duty. Very young children dis-
tinguish faces and imitate facial expressions. According to Alison Gopnik,
these faculties develop into a capacity for empathy.71 From natural empa-
thy to unconditional hospitality is a short step. Even if this turns out to be
the case, I do not believe we can infer the specific contents of regimes from
such principled formulations. Thus, the duty of unconditional hospitality
Nicholas Onuf 191

can tell us nothing about the specifics of conditional hospitality, the con-
tents of any given RD regime – this is exactly the thrust of Derrida’s double
law of hospitality.
In my opinion, recent efforts to jump from Kant (as if he had unam-
biguously formulated a universal duty of unconditional hospitality) to the
contents of an immigration regime are simply fatuous for this very reason.
Moreover, natural dispositions often pull in different directions. If empa-
thy is a natural disposition, so is Hobbesian fear as an evolved, entirely
reasonable response to danger. Unconditional hospitality requires an open
door; fear commends a closed door. In other words, the links between nat-
ural dispositions and particular rules are far too tenuous to call any such
rules natural or necessary. ‘Natural reason’ notwithstanding, general princi-
ples, which are so often at odds with each other, are the weak link in these
chains of association and derivation. How can conflicting general principles
be universal in scope and equally compelling normatively?
The quest for universal principles and binding inferences is the pro-
grammatic core of modern ethics. Given the importance of liberalism for
modernity, it can be no surprise that this quest centres on the general prin-
ciples of the EP regime as an ideal-type – as I said earlier – autonomy, parity,
reciprocity, exchange and fairness. At least in recent times, relative indiffer-
ence to the RD regime as an ideal-type has pretty much spared it from efforts
to generalise such virtues as fortitude, seemliness and magnanimity, which
have always been calibrated by status: higher standing and greater virtue go
hand in hand. Nor do we find any sustained interest in deriving binding
content for particular RD regimes from such principles.
While the recent revival of virtue ethics suits the RD regime by emphasiz-
ing personal traits, I have something more in mind. After all, unconditional
hospitality is arguably a universal duty. The demands of respect and honour
may also have the same unconditional properties and result in Derrida’s dou-
ble law, since every society has at least one RD regime – a code of honour
and of hospitality, however, different in reach, content and effect. I have else-
where argued that honour is a constituent feature of what I called everyday
ethics.72 Here I maintain that we should extend everyday ethics to include
the requirements of conditional hospitality and the many rituals of giving
that make us relative strangers in known degrees.
The ethical status of the RD regime as an ideal-type can only be realised
in specific RD regimes. All such regimes function as normatively weighty
codes of conduct. In practice, I should point out, the same holds for the EP
regime. Whatever we might say about universal principles, specific codes of
conduct, often formalised as law, significantly shape our immediate ethical
Codes of honour and hospitality constitute an everyday ethics for peo-
ple in every society and every walk of life because people know what rules
are – what they are for, why they are to be followed, when they can be
192 Relative Strangers

broken, how they relate to each other. On the evidence, Gopnik has con-
cluded that very young children, as born imitators, understand what rules
are about, implicitly before they are two years old and explicitly by the
time they are three.73 Such claims recapitulate Hans Kelsen’s grundnorm as
a human universal: we ought to behave as we customarily have behaved.74
Whether we have a natural disposition to understand normativity, becoming
linguistically competent provides the necessary equipment.
Any speaker who knows how to modify verbs with such auxiliaries as can,
may, would and should (or their equivalents in other languages) knows that
she is imagining (un)desirable states of affairs. Normativity is latent in this
sort of competence.75 A more explicit awareness of obligation may have to be
learned in different ways in diverse social settings. The rules of any specific
RD regime give children the practice with rules that they need to get along
in their worlds. More than this, I suspect, the rules about gifts that are such
central features of every RD regime teach children and remind adults that
normative force is relative, whatever modern ethicists say.76
As we have seen, not every gift compels reciprocity. Every gift given or
received tells us who (we should think) we are, what we (should) value,
where we (can) stand, and does so with fine discrimination. If relative
normativity makes us relative strangers, it gives us the relative comfort of
being strangers in familiar ways. The RD regime so conspicuous, so impor-
tant, in diplomatic culture and international relations – two aspects of the
same world – works this way in order for diplomats to be able to mediate the
relations of states. Other RD regimes conspicuously constitute and regulate
social reality in non-modern worlds (perhaps excepting hunting and gather-
ing bands). RD regimes are pervasive; we find them even where EP regimes
seem to dominate. Rearing children readies them for a world of objects where
location – position, social distance – always matters.


I presented an earlier version of this essay for the Workshop on Hospitality in

International Political Thought, Griffith University, Brisbane, 7–8 July 2010.
I give my thanks to Gideon Baker for his hospitality and to participants
for their comments. Several of them deserve particular thanks for drawing
my attention to Jacques Derrida’s treatment of gifts and giving, as do Jens
Bartelson and Harry Gould for suggestions I knew better than to ignore.

1. Immanuel Kant, ‘Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch’, in Hans Reiss
(ed.), Kant: Political Writings, second edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1991), pp. 105–8; see Seyla Benhabib, Another Cosmopolitanism (Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 148–52; and Nicholas Onuf, ‘Friendship
Nicholas Onuf 193

and Hospitality: Some Conceptual Preliminaries’, Journal of International Political

Theory 5 (2009), pp. 10–12, for contrary interpretations.
2. Georg Cavallar, ‘Vitoria, Grotius, Pufendorf, Wolff and Vattel: Accomplices of
European Colonialism and Exploitation or True Cosmopolitans?’, Journal of the
History of International Law 10 (2008), pp. 181–209; Gideon Baker, Politiciz-
ing Ethics in International Relations: Cosmopolitanism as Hospitality (Abingdon:
Routledge, 2011), Chapter 3.
3. Gideon Baker, ‘The “Double Law” of Hospitality: Rethinking Cosmopolitan Ethics
in Humanitarian Intervention’, International Relations 24 (2010), p. 88.
4. Jacques Derrida, Of Hospitality, Rachel Bowlby (trans.) (Stanford, CA: Stanford
University Press, 2000), pp. 75 and 77, emphases in text.
5. Jacques Derrida, ‘The Principle of Hospitality’, Parallax 11 (2005), p. 6.
6. Baker, ‘The “Double Law” of Hospitality’, p. 92.
7. Jacques Derrida, Adieu: To Emmanuel Levinas, Pascale-Anne Brault and Michael
Nass (trans.) (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999), pp. 55–7; Derrida,
Of hospitality, pp. 123 and 125.
8. Onuf, ‘Friendship and Hospitality’, p. 14.
9. Derrida, Of Hospitality, p. 137.
10. Jacques Derrida, Given Time: I. Counterfeit Money, Peggy Kamuf (trans.) (Chicago,
Il: University of Chicago Press, 1992), quoting pp. 12–14, emphasis in translation.
11. Ibid., pp. 48, 13, 41.
12. Ibid., p. 38, emphasis in translation.
13. Cicero, On Duties, Margaret Atkins (trans.) (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1991), pp. 22–3, 36–7, 87–9.
14. But see Nicholas Greenwood Onuf, The Republican Legacy in International Thought
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 47–57; and Nicholas Onuf
and Peter Onuf, Nations, Markets and War: Modern History and the American Civil
War (Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2006), pp. 197–206, for
relevant materials.
15. Alan Page Fiske, Structures of Social Life: The Four Elementary Forms of Human
Relations (New York: Free Press, 1991), pp. 13–14.
16. See Stephen Pinker, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature
(New York: Penguin Books, 2002), for an extended, unremitting expression of this
17. James Der Derian, On Diplomacy: A Genealogy of Western Estrangement (Oxford:
Basil Blackwell, 1987).
18. Aristotle, ‘On the Soul’, in Jonathan Barnes (ed.), The Complete Works of Aristotle
(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984), vol. 1, pp. 641–92.
19. Noam Chomsky, Rules and Representations (New York: Columbia University Press,
1980), pp. 3–4 and Jerry Fodor, The Modularity of Mind: An Essay on Faculty
Psychology (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1983), p. 2, respectively.
20. See David Buller, Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest
for Human Nature (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005) for a critical review.
21. See, for example, David Premack and Ann Premack, Original Intelligence: Unlocking
the Mysteries of Who We Are (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003), pp. 2–37.
22. Alan M. Leslie, ‘ToMM, ToBy, and Agency: Core Architecture and Domain
Specificity’, in Lawrence A. Hirschfeld and Susan A. Gelman (eds.), Mapping the
Mind: Domain Specificity in Cognition and Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge Univer-
sity Press, 1994), pp. 119–48. Leslie used the upper case to indicate a ‘primitive
notion’ (p. 125).
194 Relative Strangers

23. Leslie is not alone in using the term theory for whatever children seem to know
in a domain-specific way. See, for example, David Premack, ‘The Infant’s The-
ory of Self-Propelled Objects’, Cognition 36 (1990), pp. 1–16; Alison Gopnik and
Henry M. Wellman, ‘The Theory Theory’, in Lawrence A. Hirschfeld and Susan A.
Gelman (eds.), Mapping the Mind (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994),
pp. 257–93; Paul L. Harris, ‘Thinking by Children and Scientists: False Analo-
gies and Neglected Similarities’, in Hirschfeld and Gelman (eds.), Mapping the
Mind, pp. 294–315; Gopnik and Andrew N. Meltzoff, Words, Thought, and Theories
(Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997).
24. Leslie, ‘ToMM, ToBy, and Agency’, p. 133; see generally pp. 123–37.
25. Alan M. Leslie, ‘Pretense and Representation: The Origins of “Theory of Mind” ’,
Psychological Review 94 (1987), p. 414.
26. Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, Norman Kemp Smith (trans.) (New York:
St Martin’s, 1929), p. 105.
27. For an accessible overview, see Stephen Pinker, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a
Window into Human Nature (New York: Viking, 2007), pp. 281–96.
28. Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, pp. 141 and 177.
29. Pinker, The Stuff of Thought, p. 31. See generally pp. 25–87 for a fascinating
disquisition on verbs and their analysis.
30. Malka Rappaport Hovay and Beth Levin, ‘The English Dative Alternation: The
Case for Verb Sensitivity’, Journal of Linguistics 44 (2008), p. 134.
31. Joan Bresnan and Tatiana Nikitina, ‘The Gradience of the Dative Alternation’,
in Linda Ann Uyechi and Lian-Hee Wee (eds.), Reality Exploration and Discovery:
Pattern Interaction in Language and Life (Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications, 2010),
p. 178.
32. Pinker, The Stuff of Thought, pp. 58–60; Rappaport Hovay and Levin, ‘The English
Dative Alternation’, pp. 129–33.
33. Rappaport Hovay and Levin, ‘The English Dative Alternation’, p. 161.
34. Ibid., p. 132.
35. Pinker, The Stuff of Thought, p. 58, his emphasis.
36. Ibid., pp. 58–9, citation deleted.
37. Ibid., p. 59.
38. Ibid.; also see Rappaport Hovay and Levin, ‘The English Dative Alternation’,
p. 138.
39. Compare Rappaport Hovay and Levin, ‘The English Dative Alternation’, p. 156,
on ‘heaviness’.
40. The locus classicus on orientational metaphors is George Lakoff and Mark
Johnson, Metaphors We Live By (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1980);
also see Onuf, The Republican Legacy, pp. 193–219, on levels.
41. See Jack Donnelly, ‘The elements of the Structures of International Systems’,
International Organization 66 (2012), pp. 609–16, for an overview.
42. On dominance hierarchy, see especially David M. Buss, The Evolution of Desire:
Strategies of Human Mating, revised edition(New York: Basic Books, 2003), and see
Buller, Adapting Minds, pp. 201–345, for a critical assessment.
43. Marcel Mauss, The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies, Ian
Cunnison (trans.) (New York: Norton, 1967). On the potlatch, see pp. 31–7 and
Derrida’s, Given Time, pp. 37–47, which reads Mauss against Mauss and his many
44. David C. Kang, ‘Hierarchy in Asian International Relations: 1300–1900’, Asian
Security 1 (2005), pp. 53–79.
Nicholas Onuf 195

45. Mauss, The Gift, pp. 37–41.

46. Onuf, The Republican Legacy, pp. 113–38.
47. Norbert Elias, Power and Civility: The Civilizing Process, Vol. 2, Edmund Jephcott
(trans.) (New York: Pantheon, 1982), pp. 258–70.
48. Garrett Mattingly, Renaissance Diplomacy (Baltimore: Penguin, 1964), pp. 55–70,
49. Ibid., pp. 25–7.
50. Ibid., pp. 94–102.
51. Ibid., pp. 30–8.
52. H.M.A. Keens-Soper and Karl W. Schweizer (eds.), The Art of Diplomacy: François de
Callières (New York: Holmes & Meier, 1983), p. 80, citing Wicquefort’s book and
quoting Callières’s.
53. Harold Nicolson, Diplomacy (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1939); and The Evolu-
tion of the Diplomatic Method (London: Cassell, 1954); also see Derek Drinkwater,
Sir Harold Nicolson and International Relations: The Practitioner as Theorist (Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 94–102.
54. Harold Nicolson, Good Behavior: Being a Study of Certain Types of Civility (London:
Constable, 1955).
55. Christer Jönnson and Martin Hall, Essence of Diplomacy (Basingstoke: Palgrave
Macmillan, 2005), pp. 67–97.
56. Paul Henry Gore-Booth (ed.), Satow’s Guide to Diplomatic Practice, fifth edition
(London: Longman, 1979), pp. 161–73. I have yet to inspect Ivor Roberts’
sixth edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), which is too recent for
wide use.
57. See Paul Sharp and Geoffrey Wiseman (eds.), The Diplomatic Corps as an Institution
in International Society (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), for one of the better
58. As Jönnson and Hall acknowledged, Essence of Diplomacy, p. 18.
59. Der Derian, On Diplomacy, p. 114.
60. Ibid., pp. 42–3.
61. Ibid., pp. 13–26; James Der Derian, ‘Mediating Estrangement: A Theory for
Diplomacy’, Review of International Studies 13 (1987), pp. 91–110; reprinted in
Der Derian, Critical Practices in International Theory: Selected Essays (Abingdon:
Routledge, 2009), pp. 7–30.
62. Der Derian, On Diplomacy, p. 13; Der Derian, ‘Mediating Estrangement’, pp. 96–7.
63. Der Derian, On Diplomacy, pp. 34 and 110.
64. Ibid., p. 34, his emphasis.
65. Ibid., pp. 67 and 72. Also see Jönnson and Hall, Essence of Diplomacy, pp. 45–8.
66. Ibid., p. 72. So does Jönnson and Hall’s emphasis on communication in Essence
of Diplomacy.
67. Ibid., pp. 31–2.
68. Ibid., p. 33.
69. On this conception of structure, see Nicholas Onuf, ‘Structure, What Struc-
ture?’, in Ken Booth (ed.), Realism and World Politics (Abingdon: Routledge, 2011),
pp. 89–106.
70. Nicholas Onuf, International Legal Theory: Essays and Engagements, 1966–2006
(Abingdon: Routledge-Cavendish, 2008), pp. 302–4.
71. Alison Gopnik, The Philosophical Baby: What Children’s Minds Tell Us about Truth,
Love, and the Meaning of Life (New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2009),
pp. 202–5.
196 Relative Strangers

72. Nicholas Onuf, ‘Everyday Ethics in International Relations,’ Millennium: Journal

of International Studies 27 (1998), pp. 669–93.
73. Gopnik, The Philosophical Baby, pp. 222–5.
74. Hans Kelsen, General Theory of Law and State, Anders Wedberg (trans.) (New York:
Russell & Russell, 1961), pp. 110–1, 120.
75. Note that my claim here differs from John R. Searle’s tendentious and unnecessary
claim to the effect that speech acts have ‘deontic powers’ and normative effects by
their nature. Making the Social World: The Structure of Human Civilization (Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 80–6.
76. Also see Onuf, International Legal Theory, pp. 464–6.
Reservations on Hospitality:
Contact and Vulnerability in Kant
and Indigenous Action
Jimmy Casas Klausen


The shared provenance of ‘contact’ and ‘contagion’ amounts to more than

a linguistic curiosity: they risk becoming one and the same in practice. Con-
tact of one people with another always risks contagion, and even deliberate
contagion, say, in germ warfare from afar (by missiles or pox-infected blan-
kets) is always also contact and therefore posits link or alliance. However,
the contingency at the heart of the sometimes unintentional transmuta-
tion from one to the other is not purely stochastic. Rather, surviving the
contingencies of contact and contagion is always a matter of power: of con-
testations, struggles, resistances, adaptations, equilibria and reversals among
forces in a particular milieu – in short, the deliberate and tacit strategies that
living beings undertake to live on. Writing of the question of what counts
as a ‘successful’ form of life, the philosopher of medical sciences Georges
Canguilhem insists that

Just as in war and politics there is no definitive victory, but only a rela-
tive and precarious superiority or equilibrium, so in the order of life there
are no successes that radically devalorize other attempts and make them
appear failed. All successes are threatened, since individuals and even
species die. Successes are delayed failures; failures are aborted successes.1

In other words, there is no single, absolute metric for judging among the
various strategies undertaken to live on. What may look like mere living
from one point of view may, seen otherwise, signal the exuberance of surplus
One strategy of international contact that has returned to prominence
among political theorists of late is hospitality. Some scholars have mar-
shalled accounts of duties, rights, religious rites, or customary practices of

198 Reservations on Hospitality

hospitality among peoples to articulate past thinkers’ critiques of European

imperialism and settler colonialism.3 Similarly, hospitality has figured as a
counterpoint in academic analyses of nation state policies of asylum for
refugees, laws pertaining to immigration, moral and cultural expectations of
non-citizen temporary workers and resident aliens, and the ethics of inter-
national humanitarian intervention.4 Absent from these accounts is any
sustained attention to the vulnerability to biological contagion between hosts
and guests in these scenes of contact. Even Derrida, for whom vulnerability
was implicitly a dimension of unconditional hospitality and who began to
theorise openness to alterity as ‘autoimmunity’ or immunity against limi-
tations of a hermetic, autarkic self, did not think these terms congruently
with bodily contagion. In short, we could say that these political theories
presume that parties to hospitality have bodies that are epidemiologically
neutral and transparent, either apparently invulnerable to the contingency
of diseases or else not suffering differential vulnerabilities to disease con-
tagions. This ignorance of differentially embodied vulnerability not only
inaccurately presumes hospitality to be limited only to matters of cogni-
tion (i.e., of an ethical attitude of openness to others whose differences from
one’s own people ought to be considered morally neutral or irrelevant)but
it also, as a consequence, invites political theorists to see mortality and
morbidity as exceptional rather than normal effects of contacts between peo-
ples.5 However, if peoples suffer differential vulnerabilities to one another’s
contagious diseases, then post-contact mortality and morbidity may be nor-
mal effects of any hospitality at all rather than the result of not enough
In what follows, I make the case that, if we think cultural difference
as embodied (and think of both contagion and immunity as ultimately
cultural), then respect for one’s own or an other people’s integrity may
enjoin the refusal or rejection of welcoming contact between us. In par-
ticular, I study the legacy of Kantian cosmopolitanism via an analysis of
self-isolating indigenous societies in late modern nation states and conclude
that creating viable reservations for self-quarantining populations would
advance hospitality today. The argument unfolds in four parts. First, in a
broadly technical exposition, I confront Immanuel Kant’s construction of
a cosmopolitan right to hospitality in Toward Perpetual Peace. Kant takes
a minimalist approach to hospitality by restricting the cosmopolitan right
of hospitality to the right to visit. This rendering will seem frustrating or
inadequate to those theorists for whom hospitality properly means aiming
to intensify the frequency, length and intimacy of cosmopolitan contacts
among peoples – what Kant identifies as philanthropy. Kant’s minimalism
and especially his leaving open the possibility of hospitably turning away a
stranger ‘if this can be done without destroying him’,6 may present advan-
tages once we take account of contagion as an irreducible contingency of
contact between peoples.
Jimmy Casas Klausen 199

The second section engages Michel Foucault’s initial articulations of

biopower in The History of Sexuality as a means of complicating Kantian cos-
mopolitan right while transposing it to contemporary nation states. I bring
Foucault’s insights to bear on Kantian hospitality in order to investigate,
in following sections, the confounding of sovereignty and biopower in
some nation states’ protection or non-protection of so-called uncontacted
tribes. In the third part, I return to the overlap between contacts and con-
tagion in order to show why Europeans seemed relatively invulnerable to
illness while native peoples in the Americas and beyond succumbed so
readily. Such historical and epidemiological analyses have allowed schol-
ars to conclude that indigenous groups who continue to live in radical
isolation from surrounding populations today may be as dangerously vulner-
able to disease transfers as those indigenes who first encountered European
conquerors. Finally, this last point provokes us to confront two differ-
ent kinds of nation state policies towards disease-vulnerable indigenous
peoples living within their borders: territorial reservations or biomedi-
cal intervention. Reading the Kantian distinction between hospitality and
philanthropy alongside Foucault on biopower, I argue that respecting a self-
quarantining people’s moral freedom and physical vitality by demarcating
for that people an indigenous reserve may be the height of hospitality
rather than its absence. By contrast, biomedical intervention may risk health
and annihilate moral personhood even as it seems philanthropically to
foster life.

Kant: hospitality versus philanthropy

What may seem most curious, indeed perhaps perverse, about the formu-
lation of hospitality in Toward Perpetual Peace is that hospitality for Kant
amounts to nothing more than non-hostility. In contrast to the other the-
ories and practices of hospitality (e.g., the hostly duties that Francisco de
Vitoria derives from a presumption of natural human fellowship),7 Kantian
hospitality as a mere abstention from hostility will likely disappoint. Kant’s
abstentionism is double: Kantian hospitality entails abstention not only
from hostility but also from positing ‘thick’ duties of hospitality and yet,
to count as right, abstention from hostility must be supplemented mini-
mally by moral duty. Kantian theory thus emphasises the form of right (the
right of hospitality) by minimising any possible empirical contents of con-
textually specific practices of hospitality (e.g., determinate rituals of xenia,
guest-friendship that developed in Archaic Greece). By judging interactions
between peoples by a formal right of hospitality rather than measuring such
interactions according to a standard of hospitality derived from particular
practices, Kant aims at universality. However, this universality is illusory –
for it is yoked to thick, perfectionist, progressive conceptions of nature
and humanity that generate hierarchies of culture. Nevertheless, even if the
200 Reservations on Hospitality

Kantian right of hospitality disappoints by comparison to other hospitality

formulations, it is precisely its minimalism that yields the surprising political
effect of affirming the self-isolation of certain peoples otherwise effectively
dehumanised by Kant’s universalism.
For Kant, hospitality correlates a host’s duty of and a stranger’s right to
hospitality, as grounded in a conception of world citizenship. Thus, this uni-
versal right of hospitality pertains to cosmopolitan right, the last division of
public right whose tripartite structure Kant precipitates and systematises in
Toward Perpetual Peace: the right of citizens of a state (ius civitatis), of nations
(ius gentium), and of citizens of the world (ius cosmopoliticum).8 Although
Kant divides public right into three parts and considers them separately,
an identifiable red thread does stitch them together, though the various
strands of this thread display slightly different textures from part to part.
All three ‘definitive articles for perpetual peace’ share abstentionism as a
structural feature, and this abstentionism derives from Kant’s critical adop-
tion of certain Hobbesian assumptions. In general, one might say that Kant
adapts many of the features of Hobbes’s state of nature thesis and believes
he can build on and further extend the escape hatch that Hobbes constructs
to exit this state of war definitively rather than merely sublating it from the
interpersonal to the international level.
In part the divergence between Hobbes and Kant follows from their dif-
ferent conceptions of reason. Kantian reason is universal, impersonal and
autonomous but accessible by all humans – including sovereigns. Hence,
both domestically and internationally, any individual state’s sovereign can
neither claim to be bound only by reason of state nor can she rightfully
admit that the reason of the commonwealth is nothing more than her
personal reason. Indeed, a sovereign can no more claim that the rational
judgement of right amounts to her own reasons than can the sovereign’s
subjects: all must answer to a universal, impersonal, autonomous reason.
As rational subjects, then, all are thus available to morality even if none
is perfectly moral. Hence, if it is not exactly the case that, amongst modal
Kantian subjects, ‘Man is a God to man’, then at least it is not the case
that, as Hobbes has it, ‘Man is a wolf to Man’9 either. Or, as Kant puts it,
one need not assume ‘a state of angels,’ for, after all, the ‘problem of estab-
lishing a state . . . is soluble even for a nation of devils (if only they have
understanding)’; he explicates as follows:

Given a multitude of rational beings all of whom need universal laws

for their preservation but each of whom is inclined covertly to exempt
himself from them, so to order this multitude and establish their consti-
tution that, although in their private dispositions they strive against one
another, these yet so check one another that in their public conduct the
result is the same as if they had no such evil dispositions.10
Jimmy Casas Klausen 201

It is telling that Hobbes opposes God to beast – domestic interpersonal

morality as against international amorality – while Kant opposes angels and
devils: the reason available to these latter already has some connection to
morality. Even rational devils would understand that their covertly wrong-
ful, partial reasons cancel each other out, thus yielding right public conduct
vis-à-vis one another. Ultimately, right conduct for the wrong reasons clears
ground for a properly moral reason – that is, right conduct for the right
reason – to take hold.
Kant thus endeavours to improve upon Hobbes by invoking a different
kind of reason, available to all rational creatures and thus pointing them
universally to the singular right reason for right conduct (which they can
know only imperfectly, though asymptotically less imperfectly over time
in accordance with law-governed universal history11 ). Kant’s different con-
ception of reason consequently relates to the impasse between devils in
a way that diverges from Hobbes. While Hobbes imposes a third-party’s
(the sovereign’s) personal, thus not strictly impartial, reason in order to
settle, qua sovereignly displace, the clash between two personal, partial
reasons, Kant’s moral practical reason is not externally imposed on them,
nor does it insert itself into the devils’ fray. Strictly speaking it does not
even settle their impasse at all but rather maintains itself in readiness
for the moment they will to be free of the constraints that the impasse
subjects them to. In Hobbes, the two parties to the impasse subjugate
their reasons in unison to another’s reason; they thus settle their dispute
by making another settle them, and this other now enforces unity over
prior division and represents them as one by the singularity of her rea-
son. In Kant, there is a gap between the impasse and reason proper. For
the impasse is the result of nature; the constraints on action are nature’s
constraints. Nature wills that the private reasons of ‘self-seeking inclina-
tions’ mutually annul one another to bring an end to hostilities through
However, impasse is not yet peace, which requires something yet beyond
nature’s constraints: namely, fulfilled duty. As Kant puts it:

what nature does for this purpose [of perpetual peace] with reference to
the end that the human being’s own reason makes a duty for him, hence
to the favoring of his moral purpose, and how it affords that guarantee
that what man ought to do in accordance with laws of freedom but does
not do, it is assured he will do, without prejudice to his freedom, even by
a constraint of nature, and this in terms of all three relations of public
right . . . . When I say of nature, it wills that this or that happen, this does
not mean, it lays upon us a duty to do it (for only practical reason, without
coercion, can do that) but rather that nature itself does it, whether we will
it or not . . . 12
202 Reservations on Hospitality

Nature may constrain – may will – that humans act or forebear to act in
ways that look like peace, but duty is something else entirely. What Kant
calls the mechanism of nature grounds right conduct for the wrong reasons –
namely, abstention from hostility produced by natural impasse between two
opposed egoisms – while morality asks humans to aspire to right conduct
for the right reason – namely, peace as a duty that humans morally and
rationally impose on themselves beyond nature’s constraint. ‘A condition
of peace’, Kant insists, ‘must therefore be established’: a peaceful condition
must be deliberately posited in order to distinguish it from the non-hostility
that nature wills for humans by default.13
So in Kant there is a simultaneity and yet a gap between nature’s provi-
dence and the point at which humans freely initiate properly moral actions.
Nature brings humans to the threshold of right conduct, but humans bear
the burden of stepping across. Yet they need not amble too far. Although
Kant and Hobbes crucially part ways on concepts of reason, Kant neverthe-
less retains important features of Hobbesian thinking precisely in refusing –
in spite of his reputation for moralism – to expect much of humans. Rather
than extravagant faith in philanthropy, Kant grounds morality on nothing
beyond a rational ordering of what the mechanism of nature already pro-
vides. Humans may transgress this threshold, but such supersession counts
as philanthropy and no longer as right stricto sensu. Philanthropy, moreover,
may indeed harm others in not respecting their freedom. The fundamen-
tal problem of public right, Kant insists, ‘is not the moral improvement of
human beings’,14 and this holds true in regard to each of its three relations.
First, in light of Kant’s emphasis on a republican constitution, the right of
a state might seem in principle to demand a depth of intimacy among citi-
zens that in fact goes absent from his account. To be sure, Kant grounds the
right of a state in neighbourliness, which must be positively established as
a relation. It is, furthermore, a moral relation rather than a spatial relation,
for mere proximity amounts to enmity in the state of nature. Yet neigh-
bourliness actually implies very little in practice: an abstention from active
hostility supplemented, quite minimally, by nothing beyond the formal
assurance of a lawful condition. As Kant explains, ‘suspension of hostilities is
not yet assurance of peace, and unless such assurance is afforded one neigh-
bor by another (as can happen only in a lawful condition), the former, who
has called upon the latter for it, can treat him as an enemy’.15 Humans must
give assurance for peace to prevail locally, and nature grounds at least local
conditions of peace by bidding humans to ‘form itself internally into a state’
if only to repel ‘another people pressing upon it’.16 In order to direct their
hostility outwards, they must assure one another of non-hostility internally,
which they do by erecting a sovereign who has power over them all yet
who (pace Hobbes) cannot exempt herself from the minimal duty of neigh-
bourliness (and is aided in understanding what it takes to be a neighbourly,
republican sovereign by public philosophy).
Jimmy Casas Klausen 203

Second, this abstentionism supplemented by minimalism holds for the

right of nations, too, as neighbourliness (or its absence) can describe rela-
tions among nations as well as among persons. Assurance of non-hostility in
both cases is key:

But a human being (or a nation) in a mere state of nature denies me this
assurance and already wrongs me just by being near me in this condition,
even if not actively (facto) yet by the lawlessness of his condition (statu
iniusto), by which he constantly threatens me; and I can coerce him either
to enter with me into a condition of being under civil laws or to leave my

Again, proximity lacking assurance is already hostility, while a lack of hostil-

ity in itself is not yet assurance. While the guarantor of assurance among
individuals is a sovereign, the instrument of assurance among nations is
the pacific federation. Although Kant explicitly recognises that ‘the positive
idea of a world republic’ or ‘state of nations’ would seem the theoretical solu-
tion most perfectly in symmetry at the international level with the function
that a sovereignly executed republican constitution performs among indi-
vidual humans, he nevertheless notes that the effect of symmetry is false
since ‘what holds in accordance with natural right for human beings in
a lawless condition, “they ought to leave this condition,” cannot hold for
states in accordance with the right of nations’.18 A state already comprises
rightful relations internally and so, qua lawful constitution, does not con-
front individual humans’ binary alternative – ‘savage (lawless) freedom’ or
submission to public coercion – but rather a threefold alternative – savage
freedom, or coordination among independent and discrete sovereignties or
uniform public coercion.
This threefold choice reflects the state’s liminal position: beyond nature
though still yet highly imperfect in morality. Consequently, Kant, main-
taining his moral minimalism, opts for ‘the negative surrogate of a league
that averts war’ as the alternative best grounded in nature. At the interna-
tional level, both savage freedom and expansive public coercion ultimately
tend to destroy the lawfulness of discrete nations by dissolute egoism and
disintegrating uniformity, respectively: a nation maintaining utterly savage
freedom would scarcely remain a nation since it would court lawlessness
internally as well as externally, while an extreme unity of fused nations
would generate uniform public coercion at the cost of weakened rightful-
ness. Only a pacific federation can guarantee a balance of agonism within a
plurality of separate sovereignties against these separate nations’ moral coor-
dination, a balance not only appropriate to international neighbourliness
and respect for freedom but moreover willed by nature through religious
and linguistic difference.19
204 Reservations on Hospitality

Thus, in regard to the right of nations and the right of citizens of a state as
well, progress in moral culture brings about an ‘equilibrium’ of discrete forces
‘in liveliest competition’,20 i.e., not friendship but rather neighbourliness.
Friendship is characterised by forms of intimacy too empirically specific and
too locally particular to count as formal, universal right; it is better subsumed
under philanthropy. By contrast, neighbourliness retains a morally mini-
malist sense and yet involves more than mere abstentionism without going
so far as to oblige philanthropy. That is, Kantian neighbourliness demands
not only the absence of hostility between proximate persons or societies
that nature’s providence would bring about anyway but also humans’ posi-
tive, moral assurance of mutual non-hostility. Among individuals deliberate
assurance establishes peace (because a sovereign power enforces it), while
among nations this assurance merely averts war (precisely because there can
be no supersovereign power to enforce a pacific league). In both cases, right
merely enjoins abstention from harmful conduct rather than positively insti-
tuting good conduct and to the degree that Kant refuses to legislate moral
improvement, he takes inspiration from Hobbesian realism, although Kant
exceeds Hobbes in morally (though not legally) binding the sovereign to
neighbourly conduct both domestically and internationally.
Third, the construction of cosmopolitan right follows the pattern given by
the prior two relations of right; however, hospitality displaces neighbourli-
ness as the relevant duty, although, as we shall see, hospitality maintains
a curious relationship to the (natural) proximity that neighbourliness had
turned into a (moral) duty. In considering cosmopolitan right, Kant finally
makes explicit the distinction between philanthropy and right heretofore
left implicit. He writes: ‘it is not a question of philanthropy but of right,
so that hospitality (hospitableness) means the right of a foreigner not to be
treated with hostility because he has arrived on the land of another’.21 Thus,
hospitableness too amounts to no more than non-hostility. Kant elaborates
as follows:

The other can turn him away, if this can be done without destroying him,
but as long as he behaves peaceably where he is, he cannot be treated
with hostility. What he can claim is not the right to be a guest (for this a
special beneficent pact would be required, making him a member of the
household for a certain time), but the right to visit; this right, to present
oneself for society, belongs to all human beings by virtue of the right of
possession in common of the earth’s surface . . . ; but originally no one had
more right than another to be on a place on the earth.22

The mere absence of hostility seems to suffice for according a stranger hos-
pitality understood not as philanthropy, but as right; i.e., delimited as not
the right to be a guest, but the right to visit. Hospitality, then, is non-
hostility, and in regard to right, Kant assures us, the category ‘nonhostility’
Jimmy Casas Klausen 205

does not expand to include everything except hostility, for it does not, after
all, include the right to be a guest, whose empirically local and interpersonal
specificities far exceed right per se and push into philanthropy proper.
This third definitive article for perpetual peace continues the abstention-
ist trend of the previous two, then. Yet, by comparison to them, there is
something curious about its moral minimalism: peculiarly, the minimalism
that Kant heretofore superadds to abstention from hostility is now col-
lapsed into the abstentionism itself. As relations of right per se, the right
of citizens of a state and the right of nations required a gap so that the
apparent simultaneity between humans’ right conduct for the wrong rea-
sons (non-hostility brought about by impasses between egoisms as willed by
providential nature) could be marked off from right conduct for the right rea-
son (abstention from hostility out of moral duty). Assurance of non-hostility
marked this gap and was externally guaranteed either by sovereignty or by
the device of a league among sovereignties. In the third definitive article,
that assurance – and therefore the gap between abstentionism and moral
minimalism – goes missing. Not only is hospitality indistinguishable from
abstention from hostility but so also is the assurance of hospitality. To the
external spectator (an important figure in Kant’s philosophy),23 hospitality,
positively practiced though minimally construed, will thus look exactly like
hostility negated.
The collapse of the gap between abstentionism and minimised morality
generates a number of interconnected effects for Kantian hospitality. Above
all, the collapse of minimalism into abstentionism necessarily entails col-
lapse of moral duty into nature’s constraints. Nature wills that humans be
sociable through the constraint of territorial finitude. Even if humans spread
out to avoid each other’s hostile proximity (or outright war24 ), they nev-
ertheless cannot do so infinitely but rather bump up against one another
again on the other side of the spherical earth, a collision that returns a
reactive shock back through each prior migratory wave. Hence, as ‘they
cannot disperse infinitely,’ they ‘must finally put up with being near one
another’.25 So if nature constrains humans to be near one another, then
the parallel moral duty is that humans try to enter into relations peace-
ably. The collapse of natural constraint into moral duty raises two questions:
(1) what specifically characterises cosmopolitan relations so as to render the
prior categories of (natural) proximity and (moralised) neighbourliness now
inadequate or insufficient?; (2) absent a discrete device for assurance, what
counts as ‘present[ing] oneself for society’ ‘peaceably’?26
First, as conceived in the third definitive article, the attempt to enter into
relations is engendered by distance. That is, Kant emphasises contacts across
distance rather than proximity, even though the right to visit which cir-
cumscribes Kantian hospitality is grounded in the eventuality of nearness
under conditions of territorial finitude. Significantly, distance already organ-
ises cosmopolitan right’s proximity in that an eventual, global effect is what
206 Reservations on Hospitality

drives humans finally to tolerate others’ nearness, but this nearness that
humans must put up with differs from proximity as considered under the
right of a state and international right. For it is not a would-be neighbour but
rather a would-be visitor whose proximity one must make a duty of tolerat-
ing – visitors come from afar, approaching others across the ‘[u]ninhabitable
parts of the earth’s surface, seas and deserts’, that ‘divide this community’ of
citizens of the world.27 Kant names this seeking of others across distance com-
merce, which serves as a conceptual substitute for the function that proximity
had served in the prior two relations of public right. Their interrelationships
can be expressed as an analogy; hence: commerce: hospitality:: proximity:
And yet, while proximity is by definition hostile in the state of nature,
commerce (understood more broadly than mercantile relations) seems not to
be by definition hostile. Indeed, nature utilises the self-interest that animates
commerce to unite nations, though obviously the unity comes about for the
wrong reasons:

It is the spirit of commerce, which cannot coexist with war and which
sooner or later takes hold of every nation. In other words, since the power
of money may well be the most reliable of all the powers (means) subordi-
nate to that of a state, states find themselves compelled (admittedly not
through incentives of morality) to promote honourable peace and, when-
ever war threatens to break out anywhere in the world, to prevent it by
mediation, just as if they were in a permanent league for this purpose.28

Just as natural proximity inclines humans to hostility in fact and certifies

wrongful conduct in spirit, so commerce predisposes humans to peaceable
conduct at least in spirit. In fact, though, commerce still involves the risk of
hostility, which can assume many forms. Beyond outright war, the particular
form the risk takes depends on which party suffers it, the would-be visitor
or the would-be host. Would-be hosts risk the hostility of a commerce that
becomes conquest or tantamount thereto – not only the inhabitants’ out-
right violent subjugation by would-be visitors but also their dehumanisation
by foreigners who count them as nothing.29 Obversely, would-be visitors suf-
fer the hostility of possible plunder and enslavement by native inhabitants,
but more elusively – a counterpart to natives’ being treated as nothing – for-
eigners may face the mortal refusal of relations by natives. Whether express
or implicit on the part of natives, a rejection of foreigners that leads to those
would-be visitors’ ‘destruction’ seems tantamount to hostility.30
The right to visit must avoid claiming more than minimal expectations
of hospitality, which are consigned to philanthropy. At the same time, to
qualify as a moral relation, visiting must go beyond the commerce willed
by nature in the meeting of self-interests. In spite of both of these limits,
however, peaceably presenting oneself for society with others proves to be
Jimmy Casas Klausen 207

far from straightforward when the risk of hostility inherent in commerce

expands to embrace rejection or indifference, which may effectively destroy
either party’s humanity. Indeed, perhaps the most significant effect of the
collapse of the gap between abstentionism and moral minimalism in Kant’s
third definitive article is that the moral status of visiting requires proof. What
looks like visiting must be certified actually to be visiting qua moral relation
of hospitality, but such verification can never be achieved, not even in the
breach, whether on a local or global scale. Locally, in the encounter between
foreigner and native, a would-be visitor cannot strictly speaking attain the
status of rightful visitor unless he commits no inhospitable conduct. Note,
though, that the moral status of the omission of inhospitable conduct
remains uncertain, for the only conduct that can be certified is willed wrong-
fulness; moral duty and nature’s constraints, the rightful and the neutral,
persist as an indistinct remainder. This holds likewise for the would-be host:
not having committed wrong to the foreigner might seem to verify the hos-
pitality of the native, but the sense certainty of externally unbesmirched
conduct cannot prove the rational truth of morality. Hospitality – in the
morally minimal Kantian sense – thus collapses into the abstention from
inhospitable conduct, being inseparable from it. Consequently, no identifi-
able assurance of one’s moral abstention from inhospitality (right conduct
for the right reason) can be had.
In the case of cosmopolitan right, then, the acts that would establish peace
turn out to resemble acts that at best temporarily suspend inhospitality, but
a mere suspension of inhospitable conduct is not peace, precisely because it
is temporary (and therefore more analogous to a truce).31 One might judge
the lack of assurance fatal or devastating to Kantian hospitality. I will argue
otherwise. More so than Kant’s express criticism of European conquest and
the dehumanisation of its imperial practices, it is Kant’s drastic minimisa-
tion of cosmopolitan right – his reducing both it and the assurance of it
to almost nothing – that renders Kantian hospitality so amenable to non-
european practices of encounter and especially those of ‘less’ than ‘civilized’
small-scale indigenous societies. Together, Kant’s minimalism alongside his
evacuation of assurance that abstention is moral duty rather than natural
constraint can arm us with arguments for the critical advocacy of small-
scale societies’ self-isolation, their negative quarantine, as hospitality. Before
considering indigenous societies, I want to highlight one last feature of my
apophatic reading of Kantian hospitality.
Kant limits the right of hospitality to the right to visit – which he in
turn limits to the right ‘to present oneself for society’.32 He insists quite
overtly that the native can turn away the foreigner and mentions with appar-
ent approval the restrictive policies of Japan and China.33 In short, Kant’s
account turns only on the attempt to enter into relations: ‘the right of hos-
pitality – that is, the authorization of a foreign newcomer – does not extend
beyond the conditions which make it possible to seek commerce with the
208 Reservations on Hospitality

old inhabitants’.34 A party to hospitality fulfils her duty merely in present-

ing herself for society with a stranger; the duty itself neither guarantees nor
demands success in their conjuncture; therefore, lack of success in estab-
lishing society does not necessarily evince a violation of right: one party
can rightfully reject another’s presentation to consociate. In sum, Kantian
hospitality quite straightforwardly authorises peaceable, non-fatal rejection,
refusal and denial of society with non-neighbouring others.

Biopower: transposing Kant to the contemporary

nation state

So far I have determined, through an attenuating interpretation of Kant’s

Perpetual Peace, that a society’s or group’s self-isolation is perfectly com-
patible with hospitality. While Gideon Baker has argued that hospitality
as an ethicopolitical principle may entail positive humanitarian interven-
tion abroad in order to protect the lives of possible future visitors against
destruction,35 Kantian hospitality, moving in the opposite direction, invites
the rejection of another’s presentation for conjoint society, even if tempo-
rary. I insist on this reading of Kant against Jeremy Waldron’s invocation
of a Kantian cosmopolitan ‘Proximity Principle’, which stipulates that
human groups must eventually tolerate one another’s proximity by becom-
ing neighbours; for Waldron, the cosmopolitan Proximity Principle ‘gives us
arguments against things like separatism . . . ’36 In what follows, I show that
respecting a people’s self-isolation accords with Kantian minimalist hospi-
tality, whereas a maximal, interventionist approach looks more like Kantian
philanthropy, which both disrespects that people’s freedom and also risks
their destruction.
What, in Kantian terms, might motivate a society or group to quaran-
tine itself deliberately from society with others? Kant suggests that bodily
integrity and personhood are at stake. While Kant mentions a number of
specific forms that inhospitality has taken – from plunder to enslavement –
these fall under two more general vulnerabilities: destruction of the other
and counting her as nothing. He aligns the first harm with a native society’s
turning away a foreigner and, obversely, the second with a foreign group’s
refusal to leave a native society be. Though each may conform to expec-
tations of the particular violences committed, respectively, by natives and
foreigners within the broader framework of European empires, there seems
no good reason why the two vulnerabilities – physical-corporeal and moral-
cultural – should be mutually exclusive. Moreover, my reading of Kant allows
for a mirror-effect that may help to explain why a native society might want
to refuse, reject, or deny a foreign group’s advances, or vice versa (a for-
eign group might want to refuse, reject or deny natives’ advances). As if in
a mirror, natives witness in the would-be visitors’ vulnerability their own
availability to physical-corporeal or moral-cultural destruction. Or, as with
Jimmy Casas Klausen 209

the cases of China and Japan, after having ‘given such guests a try’, native
societies turned away foreigners presumably out of an actual – rather than
projected – experience of harm.
The account of motivation that we might glean from Kant, then, goes
as follows: native societies may turn away or turn away from foreign vis-
itors out of an intimation – whether based on past experience, reports of
similar societies’ experiences or extrapolations of consequences from within
indigenous knowledge frames – that they must avoid their own destruction
(including destruction of freedom), which may follow from contact with
these visitors. The anthropologist Pierre Clastres and the political scientist
James C. Scott have argued that certain small-scale societies in Amazonia
or Zomia isolate themselves in rejection of encroaching statist forms of
political organisation – they aim to remain ‘societies against the state’.37
With truly inaccessible peoples, of course, the motivations for self-isolation
escape our knowledge, perhaps will remain forever radically unknowable.
Whatever may have motivated them historically and empirically to isolate
themselves, the Kantian right of hospitality bids us to expect that they have a
good reason for doing so. The national, statist and late capitalist global soci-
eties that surround them, according to right, ought to respect self-isolating
societies’ reason or reasons alongside their freedom. My reconstruction of
an extremely minimalist duty of hospitality that collapses into (naturally
willed) abstention from inhospitality suggests that one cannot judge native
groups that turn away non-neighbouring foreigners by a thick standard of
hospitality. We ought to take self-quarantine seriously as a strategy for living
on rather than judge it as an instance of imperfect or incomplete hospitality.
However, applying Kantian hospitality to the contemporary nation state
system raises questions. What does the Kantian right of hospitality now
become with the statist enclosure of and administrative claims over all
territorial space? Analysis of the issues is complicated by other questions.
First, who now assumes the position of ‘host’? Different designations
have now superseded Kant’s pair native/foreigner, though none adequately
captures all, and some surely obscure certain parts of what is at stake:
aborigine/settler-colonist, indigene/national, internal alien/citizen, and so
on. Even if the self-isolating peoples in question were indigenous to the
nation states in which they now find themselves, they now ironically
seem intruders in their respective national ‘state spaces’.38 Nevertheless,
for a variety of reasons ranging from topography to weak state capac-
ity, national communities and state police and administrative agents can
only saturate their state spaces incompletely, and so for all intents and
purposes self-quarantining peoples fiercely guard a modicum of practiced
self-determination under enormous external constraint from state powers
bent on effective capture of the entire jurisdictional domain. This statist
propensity is one among many forces that marginalises internal self-isolating
210 Reservations on Hospitality

Moreover, why is host/visitor, rather than neighbour/neighbour, even the

proper Kantian rubric for analysis now that indigenes and national citi-
zens occupy the same bounded country? Even in spite of the mutation of
terms, it seems that, first, cosmopolitan right would still hold that hospitality
entails respecting self-isolating peoples’ rejections of conjoint society with
surrounding national populations. Second and consequently, self-isolating
peoples’ quarantine should serve as the very sign of their deliberate self-
exclusion from duties of neighbourliness. Even though the wider population
of the nation states which surround them might easily invade the territories
inhabited by self-isolating peoples in mere hours, these peoples’ flight from
proximity itself indicates that they do not wish to partake in the moral con-
cerns of what Kant would consider neighbourly right. In other words, just as
mere proximity did not necessarily indicate neighbourhood, so does techno-
logically abetted spatial proximity not indicate culturally framed nearness.
Even if spatially nearby, a people that signals it does not want to remain
close is only made close in the brutest or most brutal sense, one that ignores
its freedom as made manifest in the labour of continual flight: ‘Staying out
of contact is not easy – retreating into remoter zones is a deliberate decision,
made to evade new diseases, armed white men, loggers, slave raiders or mis-
sionaries’.39 In other words, self-quarantine involves freedom, which must
not be counted as nothing.
A third set of questions, however, is more fraught: who lives on at
whose whim?; what are the political effects, the power effects, of the moral
injunction that surrounding national, statist communities respect the self-
quarantine of societies in their midst? In Kant’s mostly ahistoric, acontextual
imagining of the scene of hospitality, vulnerabilities and attendant abuses
seem fairly matched, differences merely gestured towards. On the imagined
islands or shores of first contact, hosts and visitors both exercised some-
thing like the sovereign power to take life or let live, though ‘sovereignty’
may misname a situation where the power to destroy the other falls on
both sides of the native/foreigner divide. Other modes of power insinu-
ate themselves when the question of hospitality is transposed to the plight
of self-isolating peoples in the contemporary nation state system. In spite
of international conventions against genocide and ethnocide, contempo-
rary nation states understand themselves to command sovereign power over
self-quarantining peoples. That is, given reasons, state agents could take
the lives of self-isolating peoples or let them live – which hardly seems
a matter for Kantian hospitality. And yet there is a more subtle power at
work, what Michel Foucault called biopower, which is more consonant with
the parameters of hospitality. In Foucault’s famous formulation, sovereign
power contrasts with biopower in the following way: ‘One might say that
the ancient right to take life or let live was replaced by a power to foster
life or disallow it to the point of death’.40 If Kantian hospitality served to
make commerce between non-neighbouring peoples possible though not a
Jimmy Casas Klausen 211

fait accompli while making the preservation of the lives of both natives and
foreigners an object of right, then the effects of the exercise of this right of
hospitality certainly have biopolitical dimensions. To what effect are life and
livelihood preserved when the scene of Kantian hospitality is transposed to
the contemporary nation state? In respecting – or not – the self-quarantine
of some indigenous peoples in their midst as consonant with hospitality,
agents of contemporary neoliberal nation states exercise powers to foster or
disallow self-isolating life.
When we read Kant’s Perpetual Peace through Foucault on biopower in
regard to nation state policies towards self-quarantining indigenous soci-
eties, we see that both hospitality and philanthropy foster life. In other
words, hospitality’s abstentionism fosters life as much as does an inter-
ventionist philanthropy. However, the effects of these fosterings diverge
drastically: hospitality, because minimal and negative, fosters life by not
disallowing it to the point of death, while philanthropy, because maximal
and positive, turns out to disallow life in fostering it. In order to make
sense of how hospitality and philanthropy produce these effects in the
case of disease-vulnerable indigenous populations, though, I first reconsider
the historical simultaneity of contact and contagion. Then I analyse two
policies, the creation of reservations and biomedical intervention, for the
way they reveal contemporary biopolitical effects of Kantian hospitality and


In regard to contagion from infectious diseases, a group’s self-isolation

against contact with outsiders may in fact produce the critical effect of allow-
ing it to live on, even if its negative quarantine had not been a deliberate
strategy for surviving pathogenic infections. Briefly, the population dynam-
ics of hosts in relation to pathogens are not stochastic, yet patterning of
infection chains is highly complex. Consequent to their complex articula-
tion, patterns of pathogenic contagion accordingly invite multiple points
for human intercession, whether this favours pathogens’ spread or allows
would-be hosts to escape. However, to become fixed in a population and
therefore survive indefinitely, pathogens of ‘crowd-type’ diseases require a
large reservoir, from hundreds of thousands into the low millions. As the
historian William H. McNeill explains: ‘In such a population the chance of
encountering enough susceptible new hosts so as to keep a chain of infec-
tion going is obviously greater than when the potential hosts are scattered
thinly across a rural landscape . . . . As the local supply of susceptible hosts
run out, the infection dies and disappears’.41 However, McNeill leaves out
of his account the possibility of host mobility, which can effectively mimic
large concentrations of people when it occurs rapidly and frequently enough
for the incubation of an illness to outlast the period of movement between
212 Reservations on Hospitality

discrete human communities. In other words, fast, frequent transit can link
multiple, dispersed, but now increasingly porous communities into a single
stable human reservoir for disease.
There is a vast historical and anthropological literature arguing that dis-
ease transfer after Columbus’s discovery of America for European states over-
whelmingly advantaged (especially urbanised) Europeans who had adapted
to their own crowd-type contagious diseases through painfully having built
up immunities and establishing endemicities over centuries, as against peo-
ples in the Americas, Australia and the Pacific. These latter groups, previously
unexposed to the pathogens causing diseases such as measles and smallpox
and therefore lacking what McNeill dubs ‘disease experience’, had con-
sequently been unable to acquire any immunities against these foreign
contagions and so served as so-called ‘virgin soil’ populations in which the
pathogens could run virulently rampant.42 As for the question of virulence,
according to broadly Darwinian hypotheses, pathogens and hosts both seek
to survive their encounter. Too virulent an expression will kill the host and
therefore endanger the disease pathogen’s continued survival. Therefore,
over time and after generations of hosts and pathogens have died, ‘a process
of mutual accommodation between host and parasite’ is arrived at43 : poten-
tial human hosts will have acquired relative biological or cultural immunity
through development of antibodies after infection or other means, while
pathogens will have undergone a process of natural selection resulting in the
evolution of less self-destructive and more host-adaptive expressions. Thus,
disease expression becomes less virulent and endemicity is achieved: ‘over
time a kind of symbiosis evolves in which the host works for the parasite,
but both host and parasite survive’.44 Having never had the opportunity to
participate in establishing such a symbiosis with pathogens, virgin soil popu-
lations have never consequently produced any of the antibodies that would
blunt or even completely mask the expression of a pathogenic infection.
(Even those with naturally or artificially acquired immunities – those won,
respectively, through infection or vaccination – endure, often unawares, very
low-grade infections, whose side effect is the temporary boosting of antibody
Variability in exposure to the three highly infectious diseases of Eurasia –
smallpox, measles and bubonic plague – contributed to enormous global
differentials in vulnerability during disease transfer. Whereas, of course, pre-
modern Europeans had also endured the demographic stresses of virgin soil
epidemics on the path to endemic fixity, what substantially differed about
the experience of aboriginal peoples in the Americas and Oceania is that
these populations suffered the simultaneous onslaught of multiple disease
transfers. The historian Suzanne Austin Alchon puts it thus: ‘before the fif-
teenth century, there is no evidence to suggest that any human population
anywhere in the world ever experienced the nearly simultaneous arrival
of three such highly virulent pathogens. The most devastating epidemics
Jimmy Casas Klausen 213

recorded in the Old World involved only one new pathogen at a time . . . ’45
(By comparison, it is generally accepted that, though many Europeans died
of illnesses in the Americas, the only major disease transferred to Europe
itself was syphilis.46 ) Through intergroup communication, epidemic ill-
ness in native communities could precede actual European contact thereby
facilitating conquest, colonisation and enslavement (all of which in turn
intensified mortality). Moreover, excess mortality during virulent epidemics
often occurred due to starvation or dehydration because pandemic illness
broke down all normal community maintenance structures: there were sim-
ply not enough healthy bodies to hunt, gather, tend to crops or fetch
water. All told, mortality rates based on comparison of pre-contact and post-
contact population estimates reveal a catastrophic demographic collapse –
only between 10 and 25 per cent of indigenous inhabitants’ surviving the
first century of New World contact.47
Native societies suffered severe cultural disruptions as a result. Thus, even
when not destroyed physically, native survivors underwent destruction as
moral-cultural subjects. In the stark words of the Mesoamerican chronicle,
Annals of the Cakchiquels (circa 1559–1581):

Great was the stench of the dead. After our fathers and grandfathers
succumbed, half of the people fled to the fields. The dogs and vultures
devoured the bodies. The mortality was terrible. Your grandfather died,
and with them died the son of the king and his brothers and kinsmen.
So it was that we became orphans, oh my sons! So we became when we
were young. All of us were thus. We were born to die!48

Societal collapse from disease may already have made native peoples feel
annihilated as persons – unmoored by a birth pointing only to death – even
without Europeans’ needing to be present and actively treating the natives
‘as nothing’.49 At the same time, cultural devastation of native societies
as peoples and in their persons also provided opportunities for regrouping
movements on the order of nativism and ethnogenesis.50

Biopower: reservations versus biomedical intervention

If contact could thus bring devastating contagion to previously isolated

societies, then Kant’s third division of public right, cosmopolitan right,
necessarily entails biopolitical effects – especially for self-isolating indige-
nous societies in our contemporary nation states. In concluding, then,
I use Kant’s distinction between hospitality and philanthropy as a means of
critically analysing two types of administrative policies in regard to such self-
isolating indigenes: the creation of reservations and biomedically supported
214 Reservations on Hospitality

Among possible native adaptations to post-contact, post-contagion

environments, self-isolation could offer great rewards. The case of the
Tarahumara of what is today central north Mexico is illustrative and invites
Kantian analysis: the Tarahumara succeeded in living on by effectively cre-
ating their own reservation. After barely surviving a cycle of assaults of
Old World disease throughout the seventeenth century – an onslaught that
effectively destroyed Zacateco, Irritilla, Tepehuán, Acaxee and Xixime as dis-
crete peoples – the Tarahumara by contrast lived on as a people. Why? ‘The
answer’, as described by one historian, ‘appears to be that the Tarahumara,
after tremendous early population losses, made a conscious decision to iso-
late themselves from the outside world and to establish a ‘region of refuge’
in the inhospitable barranca country of southwestern Chihuahua’.51 From
the late seventeenth and into the eighteenth century, the remnants of the
Tarahumara – an estimated 10,000 people of a precontact population greater
than five times that – fled their former pueblos and made themselves topo-
graphically inaccessible. By 1944, their population had again climbed to
approximately 44,000.52 Moreover, not only did the Tarahumara survive as a
population; just as significantly, they lived on as a distinct people, sustained
by and sustaining a continuity of culture by which they are able to adapt
themselves to new developments in their regional environment.
The Tarahumara were able to put an end to the persistent recoiling chain
of infections by cutting off contact. Previously they had accepted (or been
coerced to accept) Spanish missionaries and military administrators’ presen-
tations for a conjoint colonial society. Yet when the Tarahumara found that
it was not they who must turn away the Spaniards without destroying the
latter but rather they who must themselves turn away from the Spaniards
in order not to be destroyed, they did so. Their self-isolation, subsequent to
‘put[ting] up with being near’53 these visitors from a distance (lately become
conquerors), did not revoke the right to visit but rather served as an adaptive
strategy perfectly consistent with such right’s compounded abstentionism
and minimalism. The Tarahumara had once made it possible for Spaniards
to seek commerce with them but need not have continued to accede to such
commerce when it proved destructive.
There is more at stake here than a retrospective analysis of known indige-
nous peoples’ having survived European contact and contagion. For, accord-
ing to one estimate by the advocacy group Survival International, there are
upwards of 100 marginalised and radically self-isolating tribes or bands in
the world today.54 The most well attested or controversial include many
in Amazonia, some on the island of New Guinea,55 and those inhabiting
India’s Andaman Islands. Obviously they live on in spite of the nation states
that surround them, even as they fall within their states’ jurisdiction and
sovereignty. Their struggle to live on thus involves a tug of war between their
continued acts and affirmations of isolation (flight and resistance sometimes
made visible by apparently deliberate signs) and their surrounding national
Jimmy Casas Klausen 215

and neoliberal societies’ attempts to subordinate them and thus marginalise

them once for all through vectors of governmentality. Even though, accord-
ing to direct or comparative anthropological and ethnohistorical evidence,
precolonial ancestors of these peoples used to practice sedentary agriculture
on prime lands, now many self-isolating peoples carry on nomadic or semi-
nomadic resource exploitation strategies, often in small bands and often
on marginal lands, in order to facilitate their continued flight from out-
siders’ encroachments.56 Some have responded to such encroachment with
apparent signs of inhospitality: famously, on an aid reconnaissance mis-
sion after the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, forces on an Indian Coast
Guard helicopter flying over Sentinel Island photographed a Sentinelese
man threatening to shoot an arrow at the intruders overhead.57
What are the simultaneously Kantian and biopolitical stakes of nation
state policies towards native disease-vulnerable self-isolating populations?
On the one hand, national-statist communities can condone the encroach-
ments on self-isolating peoples by often poor agricultural internal colonists,
petroleum interests, mining concerns, logging companies or (ironically)
tourists participating in the hospitality industry. For nation state authori-
ties to take no actions at all is tantamount to counting self-quarantining
indigenes as nothing: if self-isolating peoples lack the immunities to these
intruders’ diseases, then not to disallow these encroachments is already tan-
tamount to disallowing self-quarantining indigenous lives to the point of
death – outright Kantian hostility. On the other hand, national-statist com-
munities can wield the techniques of governmentality to foster the lives
of highly disease-vulnerable, self-quarantining indigenous peoples through
the creation of reservations and public health interventions. If taking no
action at all amounts to Kantian hostility, then creating reservations and
biomedical intervention are tantamount to Kantian hospitality and philan-
thropy, respectively. Only the creation and enforced protection of reser-
vations refrains from both directly destroying self-quarantining indigenes’
bodies and counting their freedom as nothing. Taking no action indirectly
does both, while, as we shall see, biomedical intervention risks physical-
corporeal destruction while directly counting moral-cultural personhood as
On the one hand, land rights legislation and the creation of indigenous
reservations by nation state governments would seem, at least when the
protections are enforced in good faith, to foster the lives of self-isolating
indigenous peoples by allowing them to reproduce themselves on their own
terms and according to their own values. Indigenous reserves thus accord
with Kantian hospitality. Effectively, territorial reserves for self-quarantining
peoples affirms these societies’ motivations for self-isolation, whatever they
may be, without destroying that isolation and allows these peoples to
determine their own future relations with their surrounding societies in
ways compatible with their own cultural beliefs. In other words, not only
216 Reservations on Hospitality

does land rights legislation accord self-isolating peoples’ recognition by the

nation state enveloping it but also such legal enactments by nation states
foster life through local indigenous practices of self-determination. Para-
doxically, nation states may tender such recognition without recognising
who the benefactors of such protected territories are. In 1996, in a redirec-
tion of prior policy (described below), the Brazilian government’s National
Indian Foundation (FUNAI) created a reserve named Massacó on behalf of
a self-isolating tribe without having made prior contact with it. Calling it a
‘landmark,’ a representative of FUNAI beamed, ‘This is the first Indian ter-
ritory in Brazil to be demarcated without our knowing anything about the
group – we don’t know their name, their language or how many there are.
It is not important to know them or study them, what is important is to
guarantee their survival’.58
Such acts of preemptive generosity by agents of contemporary nation
states containing self-quarantining societies seem mostly to be a good.
On the whole, I accept the critical assessment of the anthropologist Elizabeth
Povinelli: ‘land-rights legislation, whether one supports it or not, is a sig-
nificant piece of social legislation in the Fourth World’s ongoing struggle
for the recognition of their rights as indigenous peoples. It has had an
important effect not only on the political-economic viability of Aboriginal
groups, but also on the cultural construction and reception of their iden-
tity . . . ’.59 Although Povinelli writes here about Australian aboriginal land
claims, her comments certainly apply more broadly, but of course in the case
of self-isolating peoples the reservation itself erects a screen that renders the
external reception of their identities radically unknowable. Officially, Brazil,
Peru and India accord protection to self-isolating groups in their midst. Yet
demarcation of indigenous reserves requires vigilant enforcement to qual-
ity as Kantian hospitality. For to protect without actively assembling police
powers to enforce said protection is likewise to leave a population in dan-
ger and disallow self-quarantined indigenous lives to the point of death – in
effect, outright hostility.
On the other hand and by contrast, the governmental reach of public
health initiatives that would effect the improvement of isolated indigenous
populations’ health accords with Kantian philanthropy – with all the risks
of violated freedom and smothered life that entails. Public health advocates
would repair the disadvantaged morbidity profile of isolated indigenous
groups through a policy of initiating contact supported by the provision
of modern biomedical health care services to ameliorate the epidemiological
effects of contact. State-initiated contact without attendant health care has
proved disastrous. Into the 1970s, FUNAI attempted to make friendly contact
with isolated Indians. By relying on hired expert indigenous trackers, gov-
ernment contact expeditions located isolated groups and – demonstrating
their interest in seeking commerce – enticed the latter with gifts of machetes
and blankets. One FUNAI expedition to contact the Matis in 1978 resulted
Jimmy Casas Klausen 217

in high morbidity from pneumonia and other infectious diseases and killed
one of every two Matis.60 To correct such devastating policies, anthropolo-
gists Magdalena Hurtado, Kim Hill, Hillard Kaplan and Jane Lancaster have
elaborated the following argument:

Many anthropologists and indigenous-rights activists believe that

uncontacted Indians should be left alone. These people are well-meaning,
but they are wrong because they base their position on three incorrect
assumptions. First, they assume that the Indians have chosen to remain
isolated . . . . Those who oppose contact also assume that the Indians will
inevitably be decimated by virgin-soil epidemics . . . . Finally, opponents of
contact assume that isolated native groups will survive if not contacted.61

However, even correcting for the fatal infelicities of past policy-driven,

state-initiated contacts such as FUNAI’s, the preponderantly disadvantaged
morbidity profile of such virgin-soil populations cannot be reduced by
greater hospitality in the form of redoubled and more expert interventionary
contacts. Although public health efforts like those advocated by Hurtado
et al. might reduce mortality, highly disease-vulnerable persons will still
sicken and will do so through means that would pretend to foster life by
actively disregarding how the people subject to these external machinations
might determine their own needs and value their own health. Isolated indi-
genes’ biological lives would be simultaneously fostered and risked, while
their free personhood would count as nothing morally–culturally.
In short, there are serious political costs to be weighed in such an inter-
vention. Because of – and not in spite of – their philanthropy, public health
interventions of the type that Hurtado et al. advocate extend the reach of
governmentality much more intrusively than land rights policies. Besides
deciding on behalf of peoples in regard to the interpretation of their acts of
self-quarantine, the advocated public health policies surgically insert appara-
tuses of biomedicine directly into the contacted peoples’ living being. Such
policies thereby displace indigenous norms of health and native cultural
strategies of living on with the norms and overall strategy embedded in the
culture of scientific and clinical biomedicine. Though the pretence is that
such acts demonstrate the hospitality of the wider national or global society,
such health policy interventions cannot simply make a presentation for pos-
sible society; rather, qua philanthropy they initiate contact, which, because
of the high degree of vulnerability of those contacted, must needs lead to
the proliferation of contacts. It is not a hospitable policy of fostering life
that Hurtado et al. support, not merely possible commerce but an obsessive
philanthropy of biomedical life support and literally unavoidable onslaught
of commerce, possibly forevermore.
Most startlingly, such public health interventions presume as universal a
standard of life that could certainly vary while retaining meaning and value.
218 Reservations on Hospitality

The anthropologist Tess Lea describes this universalising interventionary

compulsion in withering words:

When you are a helping bureau-professional, the compulsion to do

something to fix the problems of target populations – those deemed as
suffering from unequal and preventable conditions – exceeds all other
impulses . . .. ‘They’ need our greater commitment. The idea that life might
be lived differently with value and meaning or that ‘need’ might be con-
ceived differently from the way in which we calculate it through our
interventionary lens, becomes impossible to imagine.62

Hurtado et al. assume that health professionals and policy makers must
hospitably confer biomedically acquired immunity on heretofore isolated
and now contacted virgin soil populations. Fostering indigenous lives by
imposing an alien conception of immunity, they would inhospitably destroy
alternate strategies of living on. Seeing through their interventionary lens,
Hurtado et al. themselves become arbiters of successful and unsuccess-
ful forms of life: they presume that self-quarantine cannot itself serve
as an effective cultural strategy to immunise living bodies. Thus, ironi-
cally perhaps, these anthropologists choose biology above culture by seeing
each from a standpoint authorised by the culture of biomedicine. From
their interventionary lens and against Canguilhem’s admonition above,
self-quarantine appears to be a failed strategy for living on because the
immunity it would confer is imperfect or incomplete. Likewise, condon-
ing self-isolation is imperfect or incomplete hospitality as against their
more perfect interventionary hospitality in the name of life. Authorising
themselves to make these judgements, they enact an altogether different col-
lapse of morality into nature than the Kantian collapse I reconstruct above.
Whereas Kant’s collapse of minimalism into abstentionism and moral duty
into nature’s constraints opens hospitality and therefore strategies for liv-
ing on, this other collapse binds moralising conceptions of ‘health’ to the
biomedically conceived body. Yet if, according to Canguilhem, for humans
especially, ‘health is precisely a certain latitude, a certain play in the norms
of life and behavior’,63 then it seems that the ‘health’ that supposedly
hospitable, though strictly philanthropic, ‘life’-fostering interventionary
contact would impose on the exuberance of self-quarantining indigenous
peoples is a sickness unto that other perpetual peace Kant mentions:

1. Georges Canguilhem, ‘The Normal and the Pathological’, in Stefanos Geroulanos
and Daniela Ginsburg (trans.) Knowledge of Life (New York: Fordham University
Press, 2008), p. 126.
Jimmy Casas Klausen 219

2. Cf. Jacques Derrida, ‘Living On: Border Lines’, in Harold Bloom, Jacques Derrida,
Geoffrey Hartman, Paul de Man, and J. Hillis Miller (eds.), Deconstruction and
Criticism (New York: Seabury Press, 1979), pp. 75–176.
3. Sankar Muthu, Enlightenment Against Empire (Princeton: Princeton University
Press, 2003), Chapters 3 and 5; Jimmy Casas Klausen, ‘Of Hobbes and Hospi-
tality in Diderot’s Supplement to the Voyage of Bougainville’, Polity 37:2 (April 2005),
pp. 167–92. Cf. Georg Cavallar, The Rights of Others: Theories of International Hos-
pitality, the Global Community, and Political Justice since Vitoria (Aldershot: Ashgate,
4. Jacques Derrida, Of Hospitality and Forgiveness, Mark Dooley and Michael Hughes
(trans.) (London: Routledge Press, 2001); Seyla Benhabib, The Rights of Others:
Aliens, Residents, and Citizens (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004),
and Another Cosmopolitanism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006); Bonnie
Honig, Emergency Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009), Chapter 5;
Gideon Baker, ‘The “Double Law” of Hospitality: Rethinking Cosmopolitan Ethics
in Humanitarian Intervention’, International Relations 24:1 (2010), pp. 87–103.
5. Gideon Baker’s consideration of hospitality as involving differential ‘risks’ (espe-
cially when imperial power is involved) is consonant with my emphasis on
vulnerabilities here. See Baker, ‘The Spectre of Montezuma: Hospitality and
Haunting’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies 39:1 (2010), pp. 23–42.
6. Immanual Kant, ‘Toward Perpetual Peace’, in Mary J. Gregor (trans. and ed.),
Practical Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), p. 329.
7. Francisco de Vitoria, ‘On the American Indians’, in Anthony Pagden and Jeremy
Lawrance (eds.), Political Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991),
pp. 278–84.
8. Kant, Toward Perpetual Peace, 322n.
9. Thomas Hobbes, On the Citizen, Richard Tuck and Michael Silverthorne (eds. and
trans.) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 3–4.
10. Kant, Toward Perpetual Peace, p. 335.
11. Cf. Kant, ‘Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose’, in Hans
Reiss (ed.) and H. B. Nisbet (trans.) Political Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1991), pp. 41–53.
12. Kant, Toward Perpetual Peace, pp. 334–5.
13. Ibid., p. 322.
14. Ibid., p. 335.
15. Ibid., p. 322.
16. Ibid., p. 335.
17. Ibid., p. 322n., first emphasis added.
18. Ibid., pp. 328 and 327.
19. Ibid., p. 336.
20. Ibid.
21. Ibid., pp. 328–9.
22. Ibid., p. 329.
23. E.g., Hannah Arendt, Lectures on Kant’s Political Philosophy (Chicago, IL: University
of Chicago Press, 1992), pp. 50–65.
24. Kant, Toward Perpetual Peace, pp. 333–4.
25. Ibid., p. 329.
26. Ibid.
27. Ibid.
28. Ibid., p. 337, final emphasis added.
220 Reservations on Hospitality

29. Ibid., p. 329.

30. Ibid.
31. Ibid., p. 317.
32. Ibid., p. 329.
33. Ibid.
34. Ibid.
35. Baker, ‘The “Double Law” of Hospitality’, pp. 97–9.
36. Jeremy Waldron, ‘Redressing Historic Injustice’, University of Toronto Law Review
52 (2002), pp. 135–60, 140 qtd.
37. Pierre Clastres, Society Against the State, Robert Hurley and Abe Stein (trans.)
(New York: Zone Books, 1987); James C. Scott, The Art of Not Being Governed:
An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (New Haven: Yale University Press,
38. On ‘state space’, see Scott, Art of Not Being Governed, Chapter 2. I should spec-
ify that, since I am analysing the issue of societies’ self-quarantine from the
perspective of infectious disease vulnerability, I concentrate only on the case
of indigenous self-isolating peoples, not other self-isolating societies (such as
maroon societies). This focus is admittedly problematic, seeming to turn on a
concept of purity or origin I consider suspect (On such issues, see James Clifford,
‘Indigenous Articulations,’ The Contemporary Pacific 13:2 [fall 2001], pp. 467–90).
However groups might construct their own identities, outsiders have been able
to reconstruct accounts that suggest their indigeneity. In any case, it is their
self-isolation that is the politically salient fact – their assumed indigeneity and
attendant vulnerability to Old World disease imports occasions the analysis of
some political stakes of continued self-isolation.
39. Survival International, Disinherited: Indians in Brazil (London: Survival Interna-
tional, 2002), p. 21.
40. Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction, Robert
Hurley (trans.) (New York: Vintage, 1978), p. 138.
41. William H. McNeill, Plagues and Peoples (New York: Anchor, 1998 [1976]), p. 77.
42. Ibid., passim; Alfred W. Crosby, ‘Virgin Soil Epidemics as a Factor in the Aborigi-
nal Depopulation in America’, The William and Mary Quarterly 33:2 (April 1976),
pp. 289–99; Marshall T. Newman, ‘Aboriginal New World Epidemiology and Med-
ical Care, and the Impact of Old World Disease Imports’, American Journal of
Physical Anthropology 45 (1976), pp. 667–72.
43. McNeill, Plagues and Peoples, p. 75.
44. Ann Ramenofsky, ‘Diseases of the Americas, 1492–1700’, in Kenneth F. Kiple (ed.),
The Cambridge World History of Human Disease (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1993), pp. 317–28, 318 qtd.
45. Suzanne Austin Alchon, A Pest in the Land: New World Epidemics in a Global
Perspective (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2003), p. 143.
46. Cf. Jane E. Buikstra, ‘Diseases of the Pre-Columbian Americas’, in K.F. Kiple (ed.),
Cambridge World History of Human Disease (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1993), pp. 305–17.
47. Austin Alchon, A Pest in the Land, 3; Henry F. Dobyns, ‘Disease Transfer at
Contact,’ Annual Review of Anthropology 22 (1993), pp. 273–91.
48. Qtd. in David Noble Cook, Born to Die: Disease and New World Conquest, 1492–
1650 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. vi. Cf. Austin Alchon,
Pest in the Land, pp. 2–5.
49. Kant, Toward Perpetual Peace, p. 329.
Jimmy Casas Klausen 221

50. Stuart B. Schwartz and Frank Salomon, ‘New Peoples and New Kinds of Peo-
ple: Adaptation, Readjustment, and Ethnogenesis in South American Indigenous
Societies’, in Richard E.W. Adams and Murdo J. Macleod (eds.), Cambridge
History of the Native Peoples of the Americas, Vol. III: South America, Part 2
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 443–501; Paul Kelton, ‘Avoid-
ing the Smallpox Spirits: Colonial Epidemics and Southeastern Indian Survival’,
Ethnohistory 51:1 (winter 2004), pp. 45–71; Hilary M. Carey and David Roberts,
‘Smallpox and the Baiame Waganna of Wellington Valley, New South Wales,
1829–1840: The Earliest Nativist Movement in Aboriginal Australia’, Ethnohistory
49:4 (fall 2002), pp. 821–69.
51. Daniel T. Reff, Disease, Depopulation, and Culture Change in Northwestern new Spain,
1518–1764 (Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah Press, 1991), p. 208, citing
Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán, Regions of Refuge (Washington, DC: Society for Applied
Anthropology, 1979).
52. Reff, Disease, Depopulation, and Culture Change, pp. 206 and 207.
53. Kant, Toward Perpetual Peace, p. 329.
54. Though the term has caused some grumbling in the scholarly community, Sur-
vival International refers to ‘Uncontacted Tribes’ in its campaign literature. See
the discussion on the Savage Minds blog:
are-there-uncontacted-tribes-the-short-answer-no/, accessed 21 March 2010.
55. On controversies associated with authenticity of accounts of ‘lost tribes’ in New
Guinea, see Edward L. Schieffelin, ‘Early Contact as Drama and Manipulation
in the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea: Pacification as the Structure
of the Conjuncture’, Comparative Studies in Society and History 37:3 (July 1995),
pp. 555–80; Pierre Lemonnier, ‘The Hunt for Authenticity: Stone Age Stories out
of Context’, The Journal of Pacific History 39:1 (June 2004), pp. 79–98.
56. Survival International, Disinherited, p. 21; Pierre Clastres, Chronicle of the Guayaki
Indians, Paul Auster (trans.) (New York: Zone Books, 1998), p. 113; Clastres, Society
Against the State, pp. 7–26, 77–100; Scott, Art of Not Being Governed, Chapter 6.
57. An image – in a gallery called ‘ “Uncontacted” and Isolated Tribes’ – is
available through the National Geographic Society website, http://travel., acce-
ssed 23 June 2010.
58. FUNAI’s Sydney Possuelo qtd. in Survival International, Disinherited, p. 24.
59. Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Labor’s Lot: The Power, History, and Culture of Aboriginal
Action (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1993), p. 27.
60. Survival International, Disinherited, pp. 34–7.
61. Magdalena Hurtado, Kim Hill, Hillard Kaplan, and Jane Lancaster, ‘The Epidemi-
ology of Infectious Diseases among South American Indians: A Call for Guidelines
for Ethical Research’, Current Anthropology 42:3 (June 2001), pp. 425–40, 427 qtd.
62. Tess Lea, Bureaucrats and Bleeding Hearts: Indigenous Health in Northern Australia
(Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2008), p. 16.
63. Canguilhem, ‘The Normal and the Pathological’, p. 132.
Conducting Strangers: Hospitality
and Governmentality in the
Global City
Dan Bulley

Hospitality is as much about control as it is about welcome. Offering,

granting, receiving, experiencing or refusing hospitality always involves the
exercise of power and constraint as well as a potential ethics and freedom.
Indeed, the seemingly contradictory elements, which some speak of as ethics
and politics, cannot be separated: ‘The apparently incompatible pair are
doomed to cohabit, unhappily, chaotically, because that tension is precisely
what hospitality is about’.1 This defiance of reason, its incapacity to be con-
ceptualised as simply one thing or the other, has been well observed by
contemporary explorations of the concept.2 While Jacques Derrida is right
to claim that because it has to do with the ethos ‘that is the residence, one’s
home, the familiar place of dwelling . . . the manner in which we relate to
ourselves and to others, to others as our own and as foreigners, ethics is hos-
pitality’, this is not the end of the story. As he goes on to say, being at home
with oneself ‘supposes a reception or inclusion of the other which one seeks
to appropriate, control, and master according to different modalities of vio-
lence’.3 Few treat hospitality without an eye to its attendant hostility.4 Yet
there has been little sustained analysis of the power relations, the appropria-
tion and control involved in practices of hospitality. What types of power are
being exercised in this encounter between a ‘host’ and a ‘guest’?, and how
does this work to reconfigure, confuse and disturb the actions and experi-
ence of ‘hosting’ and ‘guesting’? How does it affect the material experience
of global hospitality?
It may appear that the power involved is simply one of a sovereign host
granting or refusing access to their home, which they have possession of and
rights over, which is bounded and secured on all sides by walls or their equiv-
alent, yet which opens out through doors and windows. Indeed, for Derrida
at least, this delimitation of space is the very condition of hospitality.5
But such conditions are not replicated when we speak of hospitality in a

Dan Bulley 223

global, or world, context. Rather, what we might see as different potential

‘spaces’ of hospitality exhibit very different notions of bounding, bordering
and diverse power dynamics. For example, the more or less circumscribed
space of the refugee camp, where many today rely on hospitality to survive,
demonstrates transnational, gendered and hierarchical notions of govern-
mentalised power and authority in the welcome it offers.6 By contrast, the
borders of the EU, the ‘common European home’, shifts depending upon the
hospitality which it offers or withholds: a highly conditional hospitality to
states based on a shaping of their identity through its ‘Enlargement’ policy7
or a highly restricted biopolitical hospitality exercised thousands of miles
from mainland Europe.8 And as may be gleaned from these brief examples,
such spaces as ‘the EU’ and ‘the refugee camp’ are themselves produced and
reproduced through the extension of hospitality. The European ‘home’ forms
itself through the welcome it offers or fails to offer, while the space of the
camp would be meaningless without the offer to host refugees.
Perhaps too many political studies of hospitality consider the ‘home’ as
the nation or state. Some may have used hospitality to contest the state,
but in doing so have reinforced its central role in limiting our imagination
of hospitality in world politics.This move perhaps also restricts the exami-
nation of hospitality, its ethics and politics, to the moment of inclusion or
exclusion: an apparently clear operation of sovereign power in which the
acceptable is distinguished from the unacceptable guest by the host. But, as
Mireille Rosello puts it, there is little sign ‘that our supposedly global village
has started thinking about a global yet diverse law of hospitality’.9 I am not
convinced that a ‘law’ is the best way into this issue, nor what it could really
mean. But there is clearly a need to consider different spaces, beyond the
increasingly problematised and embattled ‘sovereign’ state. Without doing
so, we miss out on how many experience the everyday benefits, controls and
restrictions of global hospitality, both at the ‘borders’ of the hospitable space
and once access to this space has been granted. What I propose to do in this
chapter is examine one such space which is crucial in producing and being
produced by diverse practices of hospitality: the global city.
I argue that an important element in constructing the global city as a
significant hospitable space, as the first section below will explore, is the
way cities actively compete to be more welcoming, more hospitable than each
other. While Western polities are characterised by a stress on exclusion and
anti-immigrantism,10 cities are stressing precisely the opposite tendencies.
In London, on which I will focus the study, policy makers have been at
pains to stress that greater restrictions on immigration are in fact a ‘threat’
to its competitiveness.11 Indeed, the current Mayor of London has actively
campaigned for some of these hostile policies to be eased.12
However, while cities like London form themselves through their open-
ness and the welcome they offer, this welcome is meticulously planned,
governed and controlled. The second and third sections of this chapter look
224 Conducting Strangers

at precisely how this power is exercised as a form of governmentality, exam-

ining policy documents prepared by the Mayor of London and his office,
such as The London Plan: Spatial Development Strategy for Greater London, The
Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy for London, and Cultural Metropolis:
The Mayor’s Cultural Strategy – 2012 and Beyond, all published in or around
2010. The final section examines how the governmentality of hospitality
in the global city works to refigure the simple relationship between hosts
and guests. In particular, it depends upon the production of liminal (g)host
figures, guests who perform much of the traditional role of hosts, but who
also disrupt the traditional relations of power of hosts. Thus, the chapter
has three aims: to examine how London has created itself as a competitive
cosmopolitan space of hospitality; to explore the power relations involved
in this construction and its practices of segregating and controlling dif-
ferent guests; and to pinpoint the central, but disruptive role that guests
who host play in the operation and contestation of governmentality in the
global city.

Global London: competing to host

With the rise of globalisation, whatever it may mean, the ‘global city’ has
come to be seen as a crucial node that commands and controls the flows of
people, goods and services.13 The very idea of global cities is that they are
open, welcoming strangers from all over the world in order to exert a con-
trol over those strangers and their economic activities. A significant aspect
of this rise of global cities is that they compete to offer a better welcome,
to offer a more hospitable environment in which to enjoy both business
and leisure. This is far from being an entirely novel phenomenon. Rather,
it draws on long-standing traditions: European cities have been competing
from the late seventeenth century over population size, public improve-
ments and fashion.14 More recently and despite some arguments to the
contrary,15 most agree that cities increasingly compete with one another over
tourism, infrastructure, investment, environmental standards and quality
of life.16
One particularly high profile way in which major cities across the world
have come to overtly compete is through the staging of spectacular ‘mega-
events’, ‘large-scale cultural (including commercial and sporting) events
which have a dramatic character, mass popular appeal and international
significance’.17 While the Olympics are the most grand or ‘mega’ of mega-
events, the category also includes all trade fairs and expos as well as sporting
and international book fairs. These events have great significance to the
international fortunes of cities – for example, Barcelona has been hailed
as ‘the most successful global model for post-industrial urban regeneration’
on the back of its 1992 Olympics, whereas Montreal is still repaying debts
accrued from hosting the 1976 games.18 Certainly cities compete over the
Dan Bulley 225

logistics, physical capacity and financial ability to stage a mega-event such

as the Olympics, but the process also involves cities actively competing to
out-welcome each other – to present your city as more hospitable than the
others and to convince the governing body (e.g. the International Olympic
Committee) that your welcome has greater scope and will therefore attract
the most visitors.19
But such high-profile rivalries are about broader hospitality contests. The
welcome generated by urban competition is ultimately directed at two spe-
cific demographics: firstly, wealthy short-term guests in the form of tourists
and, secondly, aspirational long-term residents in the form of the creative
classes. While tourism encompasses all forms of geography from desert
trekking to mountaineering, urban spaces have always been central to all
forms of holiday-making, either as transport hubs to more remote destina-
tions or as destinations in their own right. As Fred Inglis argues, ‘Wherever
travel takes tourists, it leads them always towards the city’.20 Contempo-
rary European cities such as Barcelona, London, Paris, Florence, Dublin and
Berlin now vie to attract wealthy cosmopolitan travellers for ‘city breaks’.21
Indeed, in recent years, these city breaks have become one of the fastest
growing sectors of the leisure industry in Europe. In 2004, there was a 12 per
cent increase in European city breaks, compared to a 5 per cent rise in beach
Secondly, to boost strategies of regeneration and gentrification, cities also
compete to attract more ‘permanent’ guests – the cosmopolitan aristocracy
or ‘creative class’. Massey terms them ‘the rich, and those wanting to be
rich’, who are restructuring the class system of global cities.23 Richard Florida
claims that the ‘creative class’ is a self-selecting group of people ‘who add
economic value through their creativity’ – people such as scientists, poets,
artists, entertainers, actors, IT specialists, software programmers and archi-
tects.24 According to Florida, cities like San Francisco and Seattle that do best
in the contemporary world economy are those that can draw in these tal-
ented new ‘no-collar’ workers. Companies have to locate in such cities if they
want to attract the creative classes that have come to reside in them. Rather
than competing over tax breaks and generous relocation packages, Florida
argues that the most successful cities are ‘places that are open to immi-
grants, artists, gays, and racial integration’.25 His most successful measure
of openness, the so-called ‘Gay Index’, is based on the idea that ‘gays . . . can
be thought of as canaries of the creative economy and serve as a strong sig-
nal of a diverse, progressive environment’. The density of a gay population
thus proves to be a good indicator of high-tech industries and economic
Florida’s ‘basic message that other cities and regions should heed is that
talent powers economic growth, and diversity and openness attract talent’.27
This is a message London appears to have accepted wholeheartedly for some
time. Ken Livingstone, the first elected Mayor of London, who served two
226 Conducting Strangers

terms (2000–2008), often described London as ‘a city which welcomes the

world with open arms and an open mind’.28 It is, he claimed, ‘a city that peo-
ple of all faiths, cultures and languages can call “home” ’.29 Remarkably, and
commendably, Livingstone retained and redoubled this rhetoric in response
to the terrorist attacks on the city on 7 July 2005.30 The Mayor’s ‘commit-
ment to diversity and hospitality rang a clear note after a general election,
some months previously, in which dismally negative debates around immi-
gration and asylum had been prominent’.31 This again draws a nice contrast
between the hostility of the state and the apparent hospitality of its only
global city.
This has continued with the current Mayor, Boris Johnson (elected in 2008
and re-elected in 2012), who, for example, responded strongly to the claims
of neo-fascist politician, Nick Griffin, that London had been ‘ethnically
cleansed’ and was no longer British.

Nick Griffin is right to say London is not his city. London is a welcoming,
tolerant, cosmopolitan capital which thrives on its diversity. The secret
of its long-term success is its ability to attract the best from wherever
they are and allow them to be themselves – unleashing their imagination,
creativity and enterprise. The BNP has no place here and I again urge
Londoners to reject their narrow, extremist and offensive views at every

Here Johnson not only places hospitality as the foundation of London’s eco-
nomic success but also demonstrates the way this welcome is governed – it
is only offered to those who share London’s values. It is offered to partic-
ularly valued guests (‘the best’, with imagination and creativity – echoing
Florida), while those who do not abide by London’s ‘welcoming, tolerant,
cosmopolitan’ ways are excluded.
In this chapter, I am particularly interested in examining the way London
has ‘officially’ produced itself as space of hospitality (and government)
through its ‘plans’ and ‘strategies’ published around the year 2010. These
documents, such as The London Plan and the Economic Development Strategy,
have emerged from the London Mayor’s Office; the Greater London Author-
ity (GLA) and the London Development Agency (LDA),33 have been sent
out for extensive public consultation and now offer a useful lever on how
London has been spatially produced. This is not to say that the Mayor,
the GLA or the LDA have single-handedly created hospitable London,
merely that they are important examples of how ‘London’, a contested and
problematic space, is being interpreted and represented to the world.
Very much relying upon truths established by influential spatial planners
like Richard Florida, it is established within the plans and strategies that
London’s cultural and creative industries are key to its ‘competitive advan-
tage’ and that this stems from its ‘cosmopolitan character’.34 The result is
Dan Bulley 227

that London is to be promoted as ‘an open and welcoming city’ because

‘openness to people and ideas from around the world’ is ‘an economic asset’
and ‘a key element in generating innovation and growth’.35 London is ‘by
some margin the most visited city in the world’.36 Its hospitality is central
to shaping London and its spatial, cultural, transport and tourist plans. Not
only is London open, welcoming and incredibly diverse but it must always
have been so. These documents therefore script a narrative of London’s past
2000 years as a space which has always been a ‘home for people in all walks
of life and from all parts of the world’.37 Its peculiar economic success is a
‘continuation of its remarkable history’ or ‘being open to the world’.38 Even
its built heritage is said to exhibit the ‘story of the city’ as multicultural,
yet cohesive.39 London is thereby scripted as the ultimate global city, as a
neutral, open, welcoming space where anyone can come and ‘achieve their
potential’40 (as long as they’re not racist).

Governing hospitality

It would appear from what we have seen above that London’s hospitality
is open and liberating, allowing any guest ‘to be themselves – unleash-
ing their imagination, creativity and enterprise’. Yet, in fact, the London
Plan and its attendant strategies describe a highly controlled and restricted
environment and a thoroughly managed welcome. After all, one of the
top priorities of the London Tourism Action Plan is to ‘deliver and pro-
mote a world class sense of “Welcome” throughout the visitor experi-
ence’.41 This welcome is far from spontaneous, but is planned to appear
as such. Indeed, hospitality and welcome is promised ‘from pre-arrival to
post-departure’, and this includes ‘inspiring all customer facing staff to
raise the standard of welcome’,42 though there is no clear example of how
such inspiration will be achieved. More concretely, the London Ambassador
Scheme includes a “‘welcome” role’ for personnel ‘patrolling the streets,
transport gateways and public spaces of London’.43 The mention of ‘pub-
lic’ spaces, as opposed to private, is important here and becomes a key
way in which London is spatially produced, and thereby governed, as a
hospitable home.
This division is mapped from the Mayor’s foreword to the London Plan.
Here, Johnson suggests that the secret of understanding London is seeing it
from above via a satellite map; from here, we see that London is divided into
‘private space’ and ‘shared space’:

This shared space is a vast and complex environment in which millions of

perfect strangers must move, meet and negotiate . . . . The genius of a big
city is in the way it organises that shared space, for the benefit of visitors
and inhabitants alike.44
228 Conducting Strangers

It is questionable whether this organisation is for the benefit of visitors

and inhabitants equally, but the London plan stresses the ‘organisation’ of
shared space, its management and control. Shared space is where London
can manage and control the hospitality on offer. However, in Chapter 2 of
the plan, entitled ‘London’s Places’, the city is mapped and remapped in var-
ious different ways, over and over again to show further sub-divisions of this
shared space of welcome and control. Amongst others, we see London’s sub-
regions,45 its development sites (‘opportunity’ and ‘intensification’ areas),46
its regeneration areas,47 its ‘strategic industrial locations’48 and its network of
‘open spaces’.49 Perhaps the firmest sub-division of the city’s space, however,
one which is referred to over and again, is that recorded below (Map 9.1) into
Outer London, Inner London and the Central Activities Zone (the CAZ).
This mapping is important to a study of hospitality because it graphically
underlines (pictured, as it is, in bold, darker shade) the centrality of cen-
tral London. As it is stressed, the CAZ is London’s ‘geographic, economic
and administrative core’.50 It not only contains the ‘largest concentra-
tion of London’s financial and globally oriented business services’ but also
‘embraces much of what is recognized around the world as iconic London’.
It is the centre of London’s hospitality because it attracts both the key demo-
graphics identified in the first section of this chapter (wealthy tourists and
the ‘creative classes’), thus it has become ‘the world’s leading visitor des-
tination’.51 In contrast to this, inner London contains ‘probably the largest

Central activities zone

Inner London
Outer London

Map 9.1 Outer London, inner London and central activities zone52
Source: GLA 2009 © Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Greater London authority 100032379
Dan Bulley 229

concentration of deprived communities’, a hugely varied ethnic population,

high housing densities in high-rise estates, outdated social infrastructure and
limited access to open space.53 The distinction in emphasis placed on these
two spaces is also demonstrated by the fact that the CAZ is accorded four and
a half pages of policy and analysis while ‘Inner London’ receives one and a
half. The deprived inner city is not central, ‘iconic London’, and contains
little that the planners would like either demographic of guest to see. Thus,
it forms the boundary of the acceptable home, an inner division which both
includes and excludes but governs the movement and choices of both hosts
and guests by keeping key attractions within the CAZ.
This governing of movement is also apparent in the differential classi-
fication of ‘town centres’ on offer. These are divided into four different
types (illustrated in Map 9.2 below): ‘International centres’ are ‘globally
renowned retail destinations’ with excellent public transport connections.54
There are only two of these and they are, unsurprisingly, in the CAZ, the
boundary of which marks off the ‘cosmopolitan’ space of urban hospital-
ity from the ‘metropolitan’ town centres. This second category merely has
a wide catchment area of several boroughs,55 and the majority of these are
in outer London. Inner/outer London is not in fact marked on this map,
denoting that the CAZ/rest of London is the most important border.56 Sim-
ilarly, elsewhere the city’s ‘night time economy of strategic importance’
(bars, restaurants, night clubs and performing arts venues) designates only
two areas of ‘international importance’, both in the CAZ.57 According to
London’s spatial plan, visitors, tourists and the creative guests will not be

Wood Green
Harrow Romford
Uxbridge Shepherds
Bush West End
Ealing Kinghtsbridge


International centre
Kingston Bromley
Metropolitan centre
Croydon Major centre
District centre
Central activities zone

Map 9.2 London’s town centre network58

Source: GLA 2009 © Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Greater London authority 100032379
230 Conducting Strangers

encouraged to venture outside the CAZ. This is further demonstrated by

the designation of ‘Strategic Cultural Areas’, identified in order to ‘pro-
tect and enhance’ places with significant clusters of cultural institutions.
Of seven such areas, five are in the CAZ (West End, South Bank, Barbican,
Wembley and South Kensington Museum Complex) with only two war-
ranting trips beyond this boundary (Greenwhich Riverside and London’s
Arcadia).59 This will be facilitated in part by limited transport connections
beyond the CAZ. Unsurprisingly, the major rail transport schemes proposed
concentrate themselves and terminate in the CAZ.60 All this contributes to
the claim that global cities are not so much populated ‘by the spontaneous
movement of urban inhabitants’ but by visitors transported through a ‘series
of packaged zones of enjoyment, managed by an alliance of urban plan-
ners, entrepreneurs, local politicians and quasi-governmental “regeneration”
While these rather grand-scale spatial plans are important, it is also crucial
to note how London’s space is managed at a lower level – all to increase the
‘welcome’ it offers. For example, all new ‘places’ and ‘spaces’ in London are
called upon to reach the best quality of design as ‘high-quality spaces’.62 The
outcome should be places ‘where people want to live and feel they belong,
which are accessible and welcoming to everyone’.63 These are fairly vague
suggestions, but the importance of welcoming spaces is pursued through a
variety of strategies such as ‘targeted support’ for creative industries,64 the
Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy (aimed at reducing public exposure to pollu-
tants)65 and the Mayor’s Ambient Noise Strategy (which seeks to reduce noise
and ‘enhance soundscapes’).66 There is a London View Management Frame-
work to help restrict building and planning in order to preserve ‘strategic’
views of the city and its major vistas and landmarks.67 Through the London
Tree and Woodland Framework, the Mayor will even advise on Tree Strate-
gies which, we are assured, will always follow the principle of ‘right place,
right tree’.68
All these small-scale policies come together in producing and reproduc-
ing London as a space which is welcoming and hospitable to those from
outside, rather than ‘native’ Londoners. After all, the ‘quality of the pub-
lic realm has a significant influence on quality of life’.69 While quality of
life is ‘important for Londoners’ it is ‘also necessary’ to the attraction of
‘investment and skilled labour in the context of a very competitive global
economy’.70 Indeed, this is especially important because, while London does
very well on most indicators of attractiveness to global business, it has a ‘dis-
tinctly mixed performance’ on overall quality of life, and this is pinpointed
as an area of necessary improvement.71 Once again, hospitality drives eco-
nomic success through the creative economy, therefore it is in the interests
of Londoners to produce the city as a welcoming space.
As we noted earlier, public or ‘shared space’, that ‘vast and complex
environment in which millions of perfect strangers must move, meet and
Dan Bulley 231

negotiate’72 is where the government and control of hospitality is most

focused. However, regulations are also introduced to help manage and regu-
late more private or at least semi-private spaces of hospitality. For example,
the LDA will encourage VisitLondon to develop a London quality ‘marque’,
which will recommend hotels and guest houses ‘which achieve core regu-
latory standards and also minimum standards of cleanliness, maintenance,
security, services, hospitality and facilities’.73 Such regulation seemingly can-
not be done at the national level, but distinct standards of hospitality are
required for Britain’s only global city. Semi-private hotel rooms are there-
fore moving under the sway of a specifically London-based government of
hosting standards. The stress on hospitality and welcome even becomes
a key requirement for the planning stage of private dwellings in the city.
In the design of these shared spaces (which are becoming-private), ‘all new
dwellings should take account of factors relating to “arrival” at the building
and the “home as a place of retreat” . . . ’74 This rather bizarre requirement
is later outlined as a matter of ‘active frontages’ and ‘shared circulation
spaces’.75 Later, we are told that new buildings should be laid out in a
way that ‘clearly defines, defends and overlooks private spaces’76 in order
to enhance security, though such ‘overlooking’ also reduces the privacy of
the private space.
So the attempt to govern and control the hospitality and welcome offered
in a global city such as London has clearly become almost all-encompassing.
It literally produces the material space of the city as open and desirable.
However, this management and control is also perpetual, changing accord-
ing to circumstance but never ending. It is stressed several times that the
approach is one of ‘plan, monitor and manage’, with each element being
monitored for progress, and if necessary, changed or replaced.77 Similarly,
under the Tourism Action Plan, one of the core objectives (2.4) is to ‘research
and monitor the quality of the visitor experience’.78 The extensive meth-
ods and mechanisms to welcome the guest are therefore heavily controlled
and monitored, as is the guest’s experience upon entry into the city. The
control it attempts is far-reaching, seeking to extend over every element
of the guest’s experience, and it is perpetual, never lapsing but continually
monitoring and tweaking its governing performance.

Hosting, guesting and governmentality

It should be clear by now that hospitality in the global city is a carefully

managed, far from spontaneous, gesture of welcome which shapes and pro-
duces London, with strong commercial interests at stake. But what does this
do to our conception of how international hospitality works in terms of
ethics and power, welcome and control? An important way to understand
the power relations embedded in any offer of hospitality is to examine the
manner in which the subject positions of host and guest are produced and
232 Conducting Strangers

governed. Traditionally, the positions of host and guest structure our under-
standing of what hospitality means, and the assignment of one’s role in this
regard always involves an operation of power or violence. Max Beerbohm’s
claim from 1920 is exemplary in this regard:

In every human being one or the other of these two instincts is predom-
inant: the active or positive instinct to offer hospitality and the negative
or passive instinct to accept it. And either of these instincts is so signifi-
cant of character that one might well say that mankind is divisible into
two great classes: hosts and guests.79

The premise of Beerbohm’s claim that guest and host are separable entities
and instincts has been widely problematised, not least by Derrida’s observa-
tions on the figure of the hôte which will be discussed later.80 But we can see
how the characteristics of hosting (active, positive) are already valued more
highly, placed hierarchically above, those of guesting (passive, negative).
It was noted in the Introduction that hospitality generally encourages us
to think of an autonomous host, with complete mastery of his (conven-
tional hospitality being heavily gendered)81 home, who acts with a form
of sovereign power to grant or refuse entry. As outlined by Michel Foucault,
sovereign power was based on the ability or right to put to death or to let live:
‘the right of life and death was one of sovereignty’s basic attributes’.82 In a
similar way, it is conventional to think of hospitality in terms of sovereign
power – the right of the host to decide who does and does not gain entry to
the home. Thus Derrida argues that hospitality structurally implies sovereign
‘mastery’ of the space of a home, control over its thresholds and the decision
to welcome or reject.83 Jean-Luc Nancy conceives of sovereign power as that
of abandoning or banning – a power which casts out from under its own law,
under its own jurisdiction. ‘To abandon is to remit, entrust, or turn over to
such a sovereign power, and to remit, entrust, or turn over to its ban, that is,
to its proclaiming, to its convening, and to its sentencing’.84 This is in a sense
an inverse of hospitality (a banishing, or casting out from within the com-
munity, rather than a rejection of the already outside), but sovereign power
as the decision on the ban holds nonetheless. Either way, sovereign power
works via an inclusive exclusion, defining the limits of the community (the
inside) through exclusion (to the outside) of what does not belong.85
In contrast to this, the sovereign host – ‘London’ – in London’s offer of
hospitality is always ephemeral or spectral, always both present and absent.
Even the space of the global city, the boundaries of its ‘home’, is not clearly
defined. When we refer to ‘London’ as welcoming the world, are we talking
only about the CAZ (see Map 9.1)? Or do we include the less acceptable
‘inner London’? Where ‘London’ stops is blurred – after all, of London’s
five airports (City, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton and Stansted) only two (City
and Heathrow) are to be found within the area marked on Maps 9.1 and
Dan Bulley 233

9.2 (above), while one (Stansted) is in Cambridgeshire. This means that the
‘Key Diagram’ of the London Plan has five large shaded areas, complete with
arrows in and out, crossing the boundaries of London and designated as
‘Regional Coordination Corridors’.86 Cities like London are thus continually
‘seeping out at the edges’ and cannot be reduced to anything but the ‘illusion
of unity and stability conferred by the proper name’.87 This is why Ash Amin
and Nigel Thrift contend that the city’s ‘boundaries have become far too per-
meable and stretched, both geographically and socially, for it to be theorized
as a whole. The city has no completeness, no centre, no fixed parts’.88 As a
‘home’ London is blurry and indefinite, its ‘windows’ and ‘doors’ appearing
a long way from its shifting ‘walls’.
Even if London were geographically or socially definite, as a host it does
not have the power simply to welcome or reject the guest. Its control over
the guest’s movement, and the encouragement of the guest to remain in the
CAZ, the ‘international’ as opposed to ‘metropolitan’, ‘major’ or ‘district’
centres, is obviously not an operation of the sovereign ban, and as a ‘host’
London does not appear singular or clearly defined. It defines itself as a space
which welcomes, a space of hospitality, but with no obvious figure of host.
Under the title ‘Who Runs London’, the GLA website notes that ‘We have
our own unique way of running London. It involves a number of key players
with different roles and responsibilities and a shared commitment to making
London the best city in the world’.89 Thus, for instance, much of the material
I have examined above has been produced by the office of the Mayor of
London. But the Mayor’s role is one of ‘strategic development’, for setting
the ‘vision for how to make London an even greater city’ and encouraging
and backing action to ‘realise that vision’.90 He/she cannot operate without
the extensive support on development of policy offered by the GLA and the
LDA, and the actual delivery of policy is largely handled by the 32 London
Boroughs, the City Corporation of London and Central Government.91
But the governmental structure does not just stop there. As is emphasised
in the Economic Development Strategy, the Mayor works ‘closely and collabora-
tively with a wide range of public and private institutions’ in the formation
and delivery of policy.92 Indeed, every framework and strategy which pro-
duces London as a welcoming space and outlined in the London plan or its
corollaries, involves working with QUANGOs, non-ministerial government
departments or private bodies. For instance, the Ambient Noise Strategy,
referred to earlier, requires working with actors such as central government,
the Highways Agency and Heathrow Airport.93 Indeed, despite the continued
emphasis on the centrality of culture and the creative industries in mak-
ing London a welcoming, hospitable space for both key denominations of
‘guest’ – it is ‘the key reason why people visit’ and ‘move to’ London94 – the
Mayor’s cultural strategy emphasises the lack of control he has over cultural
policy. Though the GLA has ‘strategic responsibility for culture, no single
agency for culture exists in London, and nor is the GLA a major direct funder
234 Conducting Strangers

of culture’. The GLA and Mayor work together to ‘set priorities, provide lead-
ership’ and ‘encourage innovation’.95 Thus the ‘host’ of London’s hospitality,
for whom cultural and creative activities are key, is never identifiable.
While London’s hospitality does not enact sovereign power in a straight-
forward manner, neither is this a politically neutral or benign form of
democratic or bureaucratic governance. It does not designate an absence of
power relations or control. Rather, it is perhaps better conceived as what
Michel Foucault called a matter of ‘governmentality’,96 power as ‘le con-
duire des conduits’ – famously translated by Colin Gordon as ‘the conduct
of conduct’.97 This designates the diffusion and spread of the mentality and
power of government, the power to conduct conduct, something which for
Rose and Osborne is intimately connected with cities and the urban.98 The
new strategies of government ‘multiply the agencies of government whilst
enwrapping them within new forms of control. The autonomy of politi-
cal actors is to be shaped and used to govern more economically and more
effectively’.99 The government of hospitality is to be handed over to those
who know best, those with expertise and knowledge of the issue at hand,
regardless of their political status. After all, who are the people and groups
helping to influence and deliver these strategies? The Mayor’s Cultural Strat-
egy, to take one example, was heavily reliant on the London Cultural Strategy
Group (made up from ‘individuals from key agencies and institutions’ in the
cultural sector), which is headed up by the unelected and unaccountable
Iwona Blazwick (Director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery).100 Such individu-
als are thus governmental actors, involved in the ‘practices and programmes
aiming to shape, guide and govern the behaviour of others and the self’,101
in this case through the shaping of London’s ‘culture’.
Indeed, each strategy, each aspect of the London Plan and its corollaries,
engages in the production and conduct of London, its space, its people and
its guests. As Huxley emphasises, governmentality involves all ‘the calcula-
tions, measurements and technologies involved in knowing and directing
the qualities of a population’.102 The Plan is thus full of such mundane
statistics which produce London as a space and population with a certain
percentage of regeneration potential, a specifically identified network of
‘open spaces’, groupings of land for industrial transfer, clusters of night-time
economies and ‘heating density’ measured in kWh/m2 /year.103 Even the nar-
ratives of London as always having been an open, welcoming place are part
of its government – control being inseparable from continual attempts to
generate truths about the city.104 Thus the apparent withdrawal of official
organs of state government, the concentration on collection and publica-
tion of statistics, is not a matter of their being less control, less government.
The aim is not to govern less but ‘to govern better, in the sense of ingrain-
ing the power to govern more deeply into the social body’105 such that
it becomes barely noticeable and a constitutive part of the openness of
the city.
Dan Bulley 235

It is important to stress that governmentality does not entirely replace

sovereign power, which will always continue to operate through decisions
of certain individuals and agencies within the structure of London’s hospi-
tality.106 For instance, immigration officials at London airports, bureaucrats
who produce the CAZ’s boundaries and security guards at London’s muse-
ums and art galleries can all make decisions to include and exclude. But the
borders of the CAZ are not fenced or monitored as such, circulation beyond
its bounds is always possible but not encouraged. Sovereign power is not
where the emphasis of hospitality is placed any longer. With this in mind,
my concern is not so much with the changes in power relations that have
occurred in the global city, as this has been covered far more extensively by
others. My interest is in how these changes affect the host–guest relations
that are so apparently central to the possibility of hospitality.

(G)hosting the world

Much of the last section involved demonstrating that there was no singular
host of London’s offer to ‘welcome the world’. Rather, the hospitality works
generally through the dispersed relations of governmentality, with the exer-
cise of sovereign power at certain points within the system. But another way
into this question is to ask who does the physical, material work of hosting.
Who is it that carries out the mundane tasks of servicing, feeding, shelter-
ing, cleaning and securing those temporary and semi-permanent creative
guests which London seeks? The documents we have examined thus far give
us very little answer in this regard. In fact, they are almost entirely disem-
bodied, with only the Tourism Action Plan speaking of nameless ‘volunteers’,
the ‘tourism workforce’ and ‘customer facing staff’.107 In most documents,
hosting tasks appear to be performed merely by ‘agencies’ or even by the
‘strategies’ themselves. Hospitality seems to materialise or simply happen,
without any human involvement.
This unaddressed issue of embodied hosting brings us to what Saskia
Sassen calls a ‘structural process’: that global cities are a ‘key site for the
incorporation of large numbers of immigrants in activities that service the
strategic sectors’.108 As global cities do all they can to welcome the creative
classes and wealthy tourists they need to sustain their own global compet-
itiveness, those same cities also require an equally large flow of workers
whose talents are not as valued to carry out traditional hosting services.
As Sassen continues, private households are developing with no traditional
‘wife’ figure, as both partners have equally demanding jobs, thus ‘we are see-
ing the return of the so-called “serving classes” in all the global cities around
the world, made up largely of immigrant men and women’.109 The creative
classes, many of whom are guests from across the globe, are welcomed into
global cities by guests whose skills are less valued, but who are no less impor-
tant to maintaining London’s competitive cosmopolitan openness. Despite
236 Conducting Strangers

carrying out the activities of the host by generally being placed in low-
paid service jobs, such as catering and cleaning (literally, the ‘hospitality’
industry), these hosts are ostensibly guests of the global city.
While Sassen stresses the role that such guest/hosts play in New York,110
they perform a crucial role in enabling London to ‘welcome the world’.
London is in fact ‘seriously dependent for its normal functioning on labour
from elsewhere’.111 Simply in order to sustain its own health and deliver its
babies, London welcomes nurses from countries in Asia and Africa which are
paid to train them. As Massey puts it, Sri Lanka and Ghana are effectively
‘subsidising the reproduction of London’.112 But such parasitic reliance on
foreign nurses is, perversely perhaps, the more acceptable side of London’s
reliance.113 Official data from 2001 suggests that up to 46 per cent of those
doing far less ‘skilled’ work in the city, such as domestic labour, caretaking,
refuse collection and cleaning (the jobs of a host), were not born in the UK,
the majority from poorer parts of the globe.114 Unsurprisingly, the ‘hospital-
ity industry’ is most dependent on such immigrant labour, with rates well
over 50 per cent.115 Indeed, in 2004–5, it is thought that 76 per cent of chefs
and cooks in London and 69 per cent of cleaners were foreign born.116
These guests that host are thus central to the operation of London’s hospi-
tality, but crucially, they are often not caught in official statistics. They play
no role in London’s Economic Development Strategy in spite of the essential
part they play therein. ‘The mode of incorporation is one that renders these
workers invisible’ such that they emerge ‘as the systematic equivalent of the
offshore proletariat’.117 They are guests that host, but are largely invisible as
such to the official narrative of London: they are the global (g)hosts who
make the hospitality of London possible. This was brought into stark relief
in a series of stories: in May 2006 it came to light that five illegal immigrants
had been working illegally as cleaners in the Home Office, and in 2007 it
emerged that an illegal immigrant had been employed on the front desk
security team at the Home Office in Whitehall.118 One government minister,
the Attorney General Baroness Scotland, was even found to have employed
an illegal immigrant as her housekeeper in London.119
Thus, Rosello’s observation that the post-colonial guest’s point of view is
‘that of the subject who can never become the host’120 is only partially true –
the post-colonial subject is all too frequently the exploited (g)host, unde-
cidably caught between a host and a guest,121 and amusing though these
stories of the Home Office may be, the arrest of these guest hosts reveals the
dangers they face. After all, those most willing to work in the most exploita-
tive and low-paid jobs are those who do not have the legal status to work –
those truly trying to be invisible.122 This constitutes perhaps the darkest side
of London’s cosmopolitan welcome: the illegal and semi-legal immigrants
from Asia and Eastern Europe who play a significant role in London’s cater-
ing firms, restaurants and hotels.123 These are the guest hosts who are the
most vulnerable – as ‘dismissal is equivalent to deportation’124 – and suffer
Dan Bulley 237

the worst violence. An investigation for the UK’s Channel 4 show Dispatches,
aired in the summer of 2010, found that thousands of foreign domestic
workers, especially based in London, were living as slaves, suffering sexual,
physical and psychological abuse daily.125
The real irony is that such (g)hosts make London’s hospitality possible
in a second sense: they help constitute the diversity which London prides
itself on and parades to the world. As the London Plan stresses, London’s
‘diversity is one of its greatest strengths . . . more languages and cultures are
represented here than in any other major city’.126 Its ‘diverse culture’ is what
attracts so many talented people from all over the world,127 and it ‘draws
strength from the immense variety of its people’.128 (G)hosts, those which
formed this diversity over many years and those which currently arrive and
contribute in great part to this diversity are finally revealed here in London’s
hospitality script. But they appear only as a backdrop. They appear merely as
an attraction or spectacle, something the creative classes can enjoy sampling
or experiencing in the form of an ‘authentic’ curry on Brick Lane, much like
a boat cruise on the Thames. The only other way London’s dependence on
silent, invisible (g)hosts is revealed is through an understated attempt to
make the ‘best’ of them less invisible. Increasing immigration controls are
presented as a ‘threat’,129 but the Mayor also advocates ‘an earned amnesty
for irregular migrants who have been law abiding and working in London
for a number of years’. This is supported by a London School of Economics
(LSE) study which estimates that an amnesty could add £3 billion to the UK’s
gross domestic product (GDP).130
So London’s hospitality is literally dependent upon these legal, illegal and
semi-legal (g)hosts in two ways: to provide the diversity which helps it pro-
duce itself as a genuinely open and hospitable space and to carry out the
work, the material acts of hosting, despite themselves being guests. But this
productive confusion of hosts and guests, this apparently malign hostile hos-
pitality, is not carried out by a sovereign host. Rather, the diffusion and
confusion of the host and guest is a product of, and helps to reproduce,
the most efficient and effective governmentality of hospitality. The use of
(g)hosts both makes London a more efficient (cheaper) host and a more wel-
coming one, as its diversity means it is a place everyone feels at home. Thus,
the conduct and control of governmentality is not primarily about plac-
ing restrictions on movement but ‘the opening up and release of spaces, to
enable circulation and passage’.131 The conduct of conduct is about enabling
rather than disabling circulation, though only along acceptable channels and
preferably within the CAZ for privileged guests. An ‘earned amnesty’ for
good (g)hosts would work in this vein to enable more efficient circulation
of the (g)hosts who could now pay taxes.
Yet the operation of the modern government of hospitality in the global
city does not operate without an opposition, which is never entirely external
to it. As Foucault emphasises, where there is power there is resistance,132 and
238 Conducting Strangers

where there is the conduct of conduct, one will find ‘counter-conducts’.133

Such counter-conducts are not simply misconducts, it need not be simply
behaving other than one is supposed to.134 Counter-conducts operate where
governmentality’s very openness, its attempt to generate and preserve cir-
culation, allows for challenges to the conduct’s meaning and goals. Thus,
Amin and Thrift have noted that, while the governmentality of the global
city makes it a space of ‘command and control’, it is not a panopticon. Its
very openness and diffusion of sovereign and disciplinary power makes it
only ever ‘a series of partial orders, localized totalities, with their ability to
gaze in some directions and not others’.

Thus the city provides not only a set of objectives and knowledges but also
a set of . . . gaps, blind spots, mistakes, unreliable paradoxes, ambiguities,
anomalies, invisibilities, which can only ever be partially taken in, since
they are, to an extent, one of the means by which knowledge itself is
created and justified. Even as the city creates objects to be governed, these
are exceeded . . .135

Two examples of counter-conducts generated by the governmentality of

hospitality in the global city are useful to illustrate the point. The first is
the issue of transiency. Once we start viewing these (g)hosts as not just
objects of power, but political agents in their own right, we begin to see the
way they are actively negotiating the world processes which have produced
the global city. Instead of immigrants, many of these actors would better
be termed ‘transients’, as they never consider the UK or London as their
final destination, their new ‘home’.136 Rather, London is a step, a temporary
stop-off on their journey elsewhere – perhaps to the US or Canada, perhaps
back to wherever they consider ‘home’. Such transients are strangers who,
Rosello claims, never really achieve or look to achieve the status of guest.
They do not seek hospitality or London’s welcome, let alone UK citizenship.
‘Settling’ is not really an option.137 ‘For “transients”, the main hospitable
gesture is not to welcome them into “our” house, metaphorical or literal,
but to make sure that we do not put obstacles in their course, to let the flow
In other words, transients can make use of the openness of London as a
global city, while having no use or interest in the welcome the London Plan
seeks to produce through its open spaces, its carefully managed CAZ, its
iconic views or cultural hot spots. For transients, the run-down deprivation
and anonymity of inner London, which causes such a concern to the London
Plan,139 is not necessarily a problem. London is less like a plush hotel with a
five-star welcome and more like a functional motel whose purpose is merely
to make a journey elsewhere more bearable. The global city is merely a ‘nodal
point’ through which global flows pass and circulate – its command and con-
trol being aimed at reducing blockages. In this sense, transients are making
Dan Bulley 239

use of the governmentality of hospitality in London but significantly alter-

ing its apparent aims. They are neither the publicly desired guests (wealthy
tourists or ‘creative classes’) nor the silently coveted pool of semi-permanent
(g)hosts who allow a global city to operate. Rather, transients can be tem-
porary (g)hosts making use of London’s relative openness and paying for it
with their vulnerability in order to move on as soon as possible.
A second example of potential counter-conducts of the global city’s exer-
cise of hospitality would be, in contrast to the first, a permanent assumption
of the (g)host as an agential subject position. This would involve the rejec-
tion of an amnesty offer, an offer to make the status of the (g)host more
visible in law, allowing the rights and duties of citizenship. Amnesty would
appear to be the kind of liberal cosmopolitan gesture of hospitality that
Seyla Benhabib advocates in her works.140 But such an open-handed offer
effectively works to make the (g)host acceptable, to make it visible and
thereby reduces its potentially disruptive and eruptive agency. Being made
permanently acceptable as a ‘Londoner’ and potential host in this manner
would have substantial benefits, especially reducing one’s terrible vulnera-
bility to legal and illegal violence as well as giving one the right to vote and
receive social benefits. But it would also involve giving up the advantages
of the semi-legal (g)host: not paying taxes and the genuine anonymity of
the city. But most importantly it gives up the possibility of producing the
(g)host as an alternative site of political agency. In a similar way to Jenny
Edkins and Veronique Pin-Fat’s suggestion of asylum seeker’s ‘assumption of
bare life’,141 if a (g)host were to reject amnesty in favour of assuming the
permanent role of a (g)host, it would demand recognition and status for
this perpetually necessary and vulnerable group. While a high-risk counter-
conduct, the assumption of (g)host status is something which the blind spots
of the global city’s governmentalised hospitality allow for and could call
attention to the violence involved in its necessary confusion of guests and
Ultimately any such counter-conduct is always liable to be subsumed
by the government of the global city’s hospitality. However, the point is
that both these suggestions show that the global city’s hospitality remains
ambiguous: offering opportunities for progressive forms of welcome, while
enacting terrible violence in its reliance upon and production of the guest
as host. But crucially, both offer ways for the ‘foreign’ strangers to exercise
their agency in a powerful manner through negotiating, rather than simply
rejecting, the Western global city’s offer of hospitality. In ‘What is Critique?’
Foucault notes a perpetual question in our analyses of governmentalities:
‘how not to be governed like that, by that, in the name of those principles,
with such and such an objective in mind and by means of such procedures,
not like that, not for that, not by them’.142 These are perhaps ways that
(g)hosts have come to exercise their agency by rejecting hospitality like that,
in the name of those principles and for those objectives.
240 Conducting Strangers


Thanks to Gideon Baker for organising an inspiring workshop on Hospital-

ity in Brisbane in July 2010 as well as organising this volume. The discussion
of my paper at that conference by Jimmy Casas Klausen has proven invalu-
able in drafting this chapter, as have Bal Sokhi-Bulley’s constant provocative
comments on governmentality. Finally, special thanks to Debbie Lisle – a
lot of the thinking behind this paper emerged from our collaborative explo-
ration of hospitality in the London 2012 Olympic bid. Errors are my own,
but many of the ideas are as much Debbie’s as mine.

1. Mireille Rosello, Postcolonial Hospitality: The Immigrant as Guest (Stanford, CA:
Stanford University Press, 2001), p. 11.
2. Two recent collections are Jennie Germann Molz and Sarah Gibson (eds.), Mobi-
lizing Hospitalities: The Ethics of Social Relations in a Mobile World (Aldershot:
Ashgate, 2007); and Mustafa Dikec, Nigel Clark and Clive Barnett (eds.), ‘Extend-
ing Hospitality: Giving Space, Taking Time’, Special Issue, Paragraph (March
3. Jacques Derrida, On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness (London: Routledge, 2001),
pp. 16–17.
4. An exception may be Seyla Benhabib, Another Cosmopolitanism, Robert Post (ed.)
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006); and Bonnie Honig’s excellent response,
‘Another Cosmopolitanism? Law and Politics in the New Europe’, pp. 107–27
(especially p. 112).
5. Jacques Derrida, in Jacques Derrida and Bernard Stiegler, Echographies of Televi-
sion: Filmed Interviews (Oxford: Polity Press, 2002), p. 81.
6. See Jennifer Hyndman, Managing Displacement: Refugees and the Politics of
Humanitarianism (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2000).
7. See Dan Bulley, Ethics as Foreign Policy: Britain, the EU and the Other (London:
Routledge, 2009).
8. See Nick Vaughan-Williams, Border Politics: The Limits of Sovereign Power
(Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009), pp. 24–59.
9. Rosello, Postcolonial Hospitality, p. vii.
10. See Roxanne Lynn Doty, Anti-Immigrantism in Western Democracies: Statecraft,
Desire, and the Politics of Exclusion (London: Routledge, 2003).
11. London Development Agency and the Mayor of London, The Mayor’s Economic
Development Strategy for London (London: Greater London Authority, 2010),
p. 36.
12. London Mayor, Cultural Metropolis: The Mayor’s Cultural Strategy – 2012 and
Beyond (London: Greater London Authority, 2008), pp. 63–4.
13. Saskia Sassen, The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo, second edition
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), pp. 5–6. An important forerunner
of these claims is John Friedman, ‘The World City Hypothesis’, Development and
Change 17:1 (1986), pp. 69–83. See also Peter Marcuse and Ronald van Kempen,
Globalizing Cities: A New Spatial Order (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2000); and
Peter J. Taylor, World City Network: A Global Urban Analysis (London: Routledge,
Dan Bulley 241

14. Peter Clark, European Cities and Towns: 400–2000 (Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 2009), p. 132.
15. See Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift, Cities: Reimagining the Urban (Oxford: Polity
Press, 2002), p. 56.
16. William F. Lever and Ivan Turok, ‘Competitive Cities: Introduction to the
Review’, Urban Studies 36:5–6 (1999), p. 791.
17. Maurice Roche, Mega-events and Modernity: Olympics and Expos in the Growth of
Global Culture (Abingdon: Routledge, 2000), p. 1.
18. Monica Degen, ‘Barcelona’s games: The Olympics, Urban Design, and Global
Tourism’, in Mimi Sheller and John Urry (eds.), Tourism Mobilities: Places to Play,
Places in Play (London: Routledge, 2004), p. 131.
19. For more on this see Dan Bulley and Debbie Lisle, ‘Welcoming the World: Gov-
erning Hospitality in London’s 2012 Olympic Bid’, International Political Sociology
6:2 (2012), pp. 186–204.
20. Fred Inglis, The Delicious History of the Holiday (London: Routledge, 2000), p. 150;
see also Robert Maitland and Peter Newman (eds.), World Tourism Cities (London:
Routledge, 2008).
21. See B. Hayllar, City Spaces – Tourist Places: Urban Tourism Precincts (Burlington,
MA: Butterworth Heinemann, 2008); Dan Knox, Tourism Cities (London:
Routledge, 2011); Stephen Page and C. Michael Hall (eds.), Managing Urban
Tourism (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002); Martin Selby, Under-
standing Urban Tourism: Image, Culture and Experience (London: I.B. Tauris,
2003); Costas Spirou, Urban Tourism and 21st Century Cities (London: Routledge,
2010); and Duncan Tyler, Yvonne Guerrier and Martin Robinson (eds.), Man-
aging Tourism in Cities: Policy, Process & Practice (London: John Wiley & Sons,
22. Gerard Dunne, Joan Buckley and Sheila Flannigan, ‘City Break Travel
Motivation – The Case of Dublin’, UCC Department of Management and
Marketing Working Paper Series,
WorkingPaperSeries/DocumentFile,30790,en.pdf, accessed 12 January 2010.
23. Doreen Massey, World City (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007), p. 51.
24. Richard Florida, The Rise of the Creative Class . . . and How It’s Transforming Work,
Leisure, Community & Everyday Life (New York: Basic Books, 2002), pp. 68–9.
25. Richard Florida, Cities and the Creative Class (London: Routledge,
2005), p. 7.
26. Ibid., p. 131. For an excellent series of critiques of Florida’s highly contestable
claims see Jamie Peck, ‘Struggling with the Creative Class’, International Journal
of Urban and Regional Research 29:4 (2005), pp. 755–66.
27. Florida, Cities and the Creative Class, p. 139.
28. Ken Livingstone, Singapore Presentation, 6 July 2005. Interestingly, the phrase
‘welcomes the world’ survives Livingstone’s term as Mayor and appears in the
London Tourism Action Plan, 2009–2013, p. 22.
29. Ken Livingstone, in a letter to Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC, in London
2012, ‘Introduction’, Candidature File, Volume 1, November 2004, p. 7.
30. It should be noted that, perhaps because of the documents I have chosen to
focus upon, security does not appear as a major concern of London’s hospitality.
This has enabled me to focus on other areas, but security is of course a key
concern in the discourse of a global city’s ‘openness’. For more on this, see the
meticulous study by Jon Coaffee, Terrorism, Risk and the Global City: Towards
Urban Resilience, revised edition (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009).
242 Conducting Strangers

31. Massey, World City, p. 5.

32. Boris Johnson, quoted in Hélène Mulholland, ‘Griffin: Unfair that Question
Time was filmed in “ethnically cleansed” London’, 23 October 2009, www., accessed 14 January 2010.
33. Other key actors are specific to the plan or strategy. For instance, ‘VisitLondon’
has a key role in the London Tourism Action Plan 2009–13 (London: Greater
London Authority, 2009), see p. 22; ‘Transport for London’ and its partners are
most important for the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, Public Draft (London: Greater
London Authority, 2009).
34. London Mayor, Cultural Metropolis, p. 35, see also p. 40.
35. London Development Agency and the Mayor of London, Economic Development
Strategy, 1.9.
36. London Mayor, Cultural Metropolis, p. 37.
37. See Mayor of London, The London Plan: Spatial Development Strategy for Greater
London, consultation draft replacement plan (London: Greater London Author-
ity, 2009), p. 13.
38. London Development Agency and the Mayor of London, Economic Development
Strategy, p. 25.
39. Mayor of London, The London Plan, p. 177.
40. Livingstone, quoted in Massey, World City, p. 1
41. Livingstone, London Tourism Action Plan, p. 20.
42. Ibid., p. 26.
43. Ibid.
44. Boris Johnson, ‘Mayor’s Foreword’, The London Plan, p. 5.
45. Mayor of London, The London Plan, Map 2.2, p. 36.
46. Ibid., Map 2.4, p. 48.
47. Ibid., Map 2.5, p. 49.
48. Ibid., Map 2.7, p. 54.
49. Ibid., Map 2.8, p. 57.
50. Mayor of London, The London Plan, pp. 44–5.
51. Ibid., p. 43.
52. Mayor of London, The London Plan, Map 2.2, p. 36.
53. Ibid., p. 41.
54. Mayor of London, The London Plan, p. 237.
55. Ibid.
56. The other centres are ‘Major centres’, defined as retail spaces with a borough-
wide catchment, and ‘District centres’ which provide ‘convenience goods and
services for more local communities’. See Mayor of London, The London Plan,
p. 237.
57. Mayor of London, The London Plan, Map 4.3 – ‘Night time economy clusters of
strategic importance’, p. 104.
58. Mayor of London, The London Plan, p. 41, Map 2.6, ‘London’s Town Centre
Network’, p. 52.
59. Mayor of London, The London Plan, Map 4.2 – ‘London’s Strategic Cultural
Areas’, p. 103.
60. Mayor of London, The London Plan, Map 6.1 – ‘Major Transport Schemes’, p. 149.
61. Nikolas Rose, ‘Governing Cities, Governing Citizens’, in Engin F. Isin
(ed.), Democracy, Citizenship and the Global City (London: Routledge, 2000),
p. 107.
62. Mayor of London, The London Plan, p. 170.
Dan Bulley 243

63. Ibid., p. 171.

64. Ibid., p. 103.
65. Ibid., p. 183.
66. Ibid., p. 184.
67. Ibid., pp. 178–9.
68. Ibid., pp. 191–2.
69. Ibid., p. 174.
70. London Development Agency and the Mayor of London, Economic Development
Strategy, p. 36.
71. Ibid., p. 24.
72. Johnson, The London Plan, p. 5.
73. Livingstone, London Tourism Action Plan, p. 26.
74. Mayor of London, The London Plan, p. 68.
75. Ibid., p. 70.
76. Ibid., p. 172.
77. Ibid., pp. 9, 67, 97.
78. Livingstone, London Tourism Action Plan, p. 29.
79. Max Beerbohm, ‘Hosts and Guests’ (1920), available online: http://etext., accessed 11 February 2010.
80. It should be noted that Beerbohm does note that guest and host are not
linguistically separable but that ‘sterling common sense’ makes them so.
81. See Judith Still, Derrida and Hospitality: Theory and Practices (Edinburgh:
Edinburgh University Press, 2010), especially pp. 51–92.
82. Michel Foucault, Society Must be Defended: Lectures at the Collège de France,
1975–76 (London: Penguin, 2005), p. 240.
83. Jacques Derrida, ‘Hostipitality’, Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities
5:3 (2000), pp. 13–14. For more on this, see Dan Bulley, ‘The Power of Hos-
pitality: Producing International Spaces/Governing Ethics’, in Sarah Dillon and
Sarah Jackson (eds.), Venturing Derrida (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press,
84. Jean-Luc Nancy, The Birth to Presence, Brian Holmes and others (trans.) (Stanford,
CA: Stanford University Press, 1993), p. 44.
85. See Vaughan-Williams, Border Politics, p. 98, also contains a discussion of the
way Giorgio Agamben, especially in Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life
(Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1998) has made the inclusive exclusion
of the sovereign ban fundamental to his own thought.
86. Johnson, ‘Key Diagram’, The London Plan, p. 59.
87. Rose, ‘Governing Cities, Governing Citizens’, p. 95.
88. Amin and Thrift, Cities, p. 8.
89. Greater London Authority, ‘Who Runs London’,
who-runs-london, accessed 10 February 2010.
90. Ibid.
91. Ibid.
92. London Development Agency and the Mayor of London, Economic Development
Strategy, p. 28.
93. Mayor of London, The London Plan, p. 184.
94. London Mayor, Cultural Metropolis, p. 17.
95. Ibid., p. 24. See also, p. 7.
96. Michel Foucault, Security, Territory Population: Lectures at the Collège de France
1977–1978 (New York: Picador, 2007), pp. 108–10.
244 Conducting Strangers

97. Colin Gordon, ‘Governmental Rationality: An Introduction’, in Graham

Burchell, Colin Gordon and Peter Miller (eds.), The Foucault Effect: Studies in
Governmentality (London: Harvester/Wheatsheaf, 1991), p. 2.
98. They claim that the ‘vicious immanence’ of the city has been a ‘never-ending
incitement to projects of government’, Thomas Osborne and Nikolas Rose, ‘Gov-
erning Cities: Notes on the Spatialisation of Virtue’, Environment and Planning D:
Society and Space 17 (1999), p. 737.
99. Osborne and Rose, ‘Governing Cities’, p. 751.
100. London Mayor, Cultural Metropolis, p. 7.
101. Margo Huxley, ‘Geographies of Governmentality’, in Jeremy W. Crampton
and Stuart Elden (eds.), Space, Knowledge and Power: Foucault and Geography
(Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), p. 187.
102. Ibid.
103. Mayor of London, The London Plan, p. 123.
104. Osborne and Rose, ‘Governing Cities’, p. 739.
105. Bal Sokhi-Bulley, ‘Government(ality) by Experts: Human Rights as Governance’,
Law and Critique 22:3 (2011), p. 255.
106. Thanks to Jimmy Casas Klausen for pointing this out to me in his discussant
comments at the ‘Hospitality in International Political Thought’ Workshop in
Brisbane, Australia, 7–8 July 2010.
107. Livingstone, London Tourism Action Plan, pp. 18 and 26.
108. Sassen, The Global City, p. 322.
109. Ibid.
110. Such immigrant labour is seen as being far more numerous and signifi-
cant in New York than in London and Tokyo. See Sassen, The Global City,
pp. 305–25.
111. Massey, World City, p. 175.
112. Ibid.
113. Immediately acceptable from a London viewpoint, that is. When one considers
the damage this is doing to Sri Lanka and Ghana’s standards of health service
and economy, it is far less acceptable and tells us something of the damaging
wider political economy of London’s hospitality.
114. See Lorna Spence, Country of Birth and Labour Market Outcomes in London:
An Analysis of Labour Force Survey and Census Data (London: Greater London
Authority, 2005).
115. Gareth Matthews and Martin Ruhs, ‘Are You Being Served? Employer Demand
for Migrant Labour in the UK’s Hospitality Sector’, Centre for Migration, Policy
and Society, Working Paper No. 51, University of Oxford (2007), p. 36.
116. Jane Wills, Jon May, Kavita Datta, Yara Evans, Joanna Herbert, and Cathy
McIlwaine, ‘London’s Migrant Division of Labour’, European Urban and Regional
Studies 16:3 (2009), p. 263.
117. Sassen, The Global City, p. 322.
118. Christopher Hope, ‘Jacqui Smith Has No Idea Whether Illegal Immigrants are
Working at the Home Office’, The Telegraph, 24 September 2008.
119. Gordon Rayner and John Bingham, ‘Home Office Investigates Baroness
Scotland Over Illegal Immigrant Housekeeper’, The Telegraph, 17 September
120. Rosello, Postcolonial Hospitality, p. 17.
121. The relationship between London’s (g)host community and its colonial history
is outlined by the likes of Chris Hamnett, Unequal City: London in the Global
Arena (London: Routledge, 2003), pp. 95–117.
Dan Bulley 245

122. See Wills et al., ‘London’s Migrant Division of Labour’, p. 268.

123. Hamnett, Unequal City, p. 104.
124. Sassen, The Global City, p. 309.
125. Amelia Hill, ‘Many Migrant Workers in the UK are Modern Day Slaves, Say
Investigators’, The Guardian, 30 August 2010.
126. Mayor of London, The London Plan, p. 62.
127. London Development Agency and the Mayor of London, Economic Development
Strategy, p. 18.
128. Ibid., pp. 28–9.
129. Ibid., p. 36; and London Mayor, Cultural Metropolis, pp. 63–4.
130. See London Development Agency and the Mayor of London, Economic Develop-
ment Strategy, p. 49.
131. Stuart Elden, ‘Rethinking Governmentality’, Political Geography 26:1 (2007),
p. 30.
132. Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality Vol. 1: The Will to Knowledge (London:
Penguin, 1998), p. 95.
133. Foucault, Security, Territory, Population, p. 196.
134. Ibid., p. 201.
135. Amin and Thrift, Cities, p. 92.
136. Mireille Rosello, ‘ “Wanted”: Organs, Passports and the Integrity of the Tran-
sient’s Body’, Paragraph 31:1 (2009); Rosello, in Paragraph, p. 19.
137. For an example, see the interviews with migrant workers in Jane Willis, Kavita
Datta, Yara Evans, Joanna Herbert, Jon May and Cathy McIlwaine, Global Cities
at Work: New Migrant Divisions of Labour, pp. 121–37.
138. Rosello, ‘Wanted’, p. 20.
139. Mayor of London, The London Plan, p. 41.
140. See Benhabib, Another Cosmopolitanism.
141. Though importantly, they are talking about the form of life that sovereign power
seeks to impose. Jenny Edkins and Veronique Pin-Fat, ‘Relations of Power and
Relations of Violence’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies 34:1 (2005),
p. 3.
142. Michel Foucault, ‘What is Critique?’, in Michel Foucault (ed.), The Politics of
Truth (Los Angeles, CA: Semiotext(e), 1997), p. 44.

Notes: Locators followed by ‘n’ refer to note numbers

Achenwall, G., 77–8, 81–2, 87–8 justice and, 154

Achrati, A., 156 legal assistance, 163–4
Adams, R.E.W., 221n50 national politics, role in, 124–5
Adamson, J.P., 142n43 in 21st century, 145
Agamben, G., 130–1 religious responses towards, 150–1,
Ahrensdorf, P.J., 40n81, 40n83 160–4
Ai, A.L., 167n30, 169n87 sanctuary provision to, 162–3
Akhavan, P., 143n82, 144n85 state responses to, 148, 160
Akpinar, S., 169n71 stinting treatment of, 3
Alchon, A., 212, 220n45, 220n48 in Victor Hugo’s, Les Miserables novel,
Allen, T., 143n83 145, 158
Amerasinghe, C.F., 93n61 Aurelius, M., 102–4, 107, 109, 111–12
Amin, A., 233, 238, 241n15, 243n88, Auster, P., 221n56
243n135 Austin, J., 84–5, 87
Anderson-Gold, S., 67n101
Anghie, A., 121n34 Baker, G., 1–16, 41–63, 173–4, 192, 208
antiquity, 2, 22, 53 Barbeyrac, J., 65n62, 89n11
Appleby, J.C., 141n35 Barkin, J.S., 166n20
Aquinas, T. Barnes, J., 193n18
on hospitality, 24–5 Barnett, C., 140n2, 141n28, 240n2
on natural rights, 107 Barry, B., 118
Archibugi, D., 17n16, 121n36, 123n70 Barthelson, J., 165n7
Arendt, H. be welcome, concept of, 4, 124, 145–65
on Jewish refugees, 148–9 see also faithful hospitality
Aristotle Bedingfield, K, 143n72
Aquinas on, 24 Beerbohm, M., 232
conception of natural law, 178 Behme, T., 90n17
on friendship, 25 Beitz, C., 118
Hobbes’ criticism on, 24 Bell, A., 140n3
idea of regimes, 27, 175 Beltrán, G.A., 221n51
Armitage, D., 89n12, 90n16 Benhabib, S., 56, 239
Arneil, B., 90n20 Bentham, J., 84, 87
Arthur, Sr B., 167n32, 169n90, 169n91 Bernstein, R., 165n4, 166n13
asylum seekers biblical hospitality, 152–3
compassionate and just treatment of, Bingham, J., 244n119
12 biopower
depiction as illegal and criminal, Foucault on, 199
155–6 Kant on, 208–11
domestic population towards, 149 reservations versus biomedical
global response, 12 intervention, 213–18
international response to, 147–8 Blackstone, W., 132
in Islam, 152–3 Bleakley, H.H., 89n12

Index 247

Bloom, H., 219n2 world of object and, 178–81, 184

Blum, C.P., 167n35, 168n53, 170n98, Chomsky, N., 178
170n99, 170n102 Christian/Christianity
Blum, G., 143n75 belief in charity, 8, 22
Blumenberg, H., 69 biblical hospitality, 152–3
Bolchazy, L.J., 16n8 classical political philosophy, 24–9
Booth, K., 195n69 cosmopolitanism, 69, 85
Bowlby, R., 16n3, 63n1, 165n7, 193n4 foundational belief, 155, 158–60
Brault, P., 16n3, 63n1, 193n7 hospitality discourses, 4
Bresnan, J., 194n31 identity adoption, 7
Brett, A., 89n12 property rights, 45
Briffault, H., 16n1 treatment of alienation, 188–9
Brown, G.W., 10–11, 99–120 Vitoria’s laws of hospitality and, 110
Brune, M., 167n30 Cicero, M.T., 42, 102–4, 107, 109,
Brunner, O., 88–9n4 111–12, 120, 176
Buckley, J., 241n22 citizens/citizenship
Buikstra, J.E., 220n46 in Christian perception, 158, 160
Bulfinch, T., 143n68 in Hobbes’ view, 21–5, 27–8, 32, 35
Bull, H., 40n84 in Kantian view, 54, 56, 58, 202,
Buller, D., 193n20, 194n42 204–6, 209–10
Bulley, D., 15–16, 222–40 non-citizens and, 111–12, 198
Burchell, G., 244n97 as outlaws, 130, 138
Burns, J.H., 93n70 of sovereign states, 85, 112, 148–9
Buss, D.M., 194n42 rights and duties of, 73, 74
Bustos, E., 167n30 under cosmopolitan law, 100–4, 107,
Butterfield, 40n83 200
Byock, J.L., 142n37 universal public right and, 115–16
in Vitoria’s view, 45, 53, 110
Canguilhem, G., 197, 218 Clark, I., 40n83
Carey, H.M., 221n50 Clark, N. (CHECK), 240n2, 241n14
Carlson, J.D., 167n44 Clark, P., 241n14
Carr, 40n83 Clastres, P., 209
Carro, J.L., 170n97, 170n100 Clifford, J., 220n38
Casas, L. Coaffee, J., 241n30
on cosmopolitan legal theory, 106–7, code of honour, 14, 191
113 Coleman, C., 167n32, 170n116,
on universal natural right, 107–9 170n117
Cavallar, G., 10–11, 53–4, 69–88 communal sharing (CS) regime, 176–7,
Caws, P., 39n71 184, 190
Central Activities Zone (CAZ), 228–9 conditional hospitality, 3, 13, 127–8,
charity, 8–9, 22, 24–6, 29, 41, 49, 51, 138, 174, 176, 185–6, 191, 223
53–4, 61–2, 78 contact-contagion environment
Cheneval, F., 40n85, 91n25, 91n28, biomedical intervention, 199. see also
91n34, 91n35 Foucault, M.
Chiity, J., 65n38 cultural difference, impact on, 198
children cutting off. see Tarahumara case study
as goal-directed beings, 180 indigenous peoples’ survival, 214–15
linguistic competency, 180–1 infectious diseases through, 211–13
in RD regime, 179, 184, 192 risk analysis, 197–8
social relationship and, 184 self-isolating people in, 213–16
248 Index

Conze, W., 88–9n4 Diderot, D., 53, 62, 82, 85, 88

Cook, D.N., 220n48 on ancient hospitality, 79–80
Cortes, H., 7, 107 Dikeç, M., 140n2, 240n2
cosmopolitan law Dillon, S., 243n83
hospitality and, 43 diplomacy, art of
Kantian view, 48, 55–6 Der Derian on, 188–90
naturalism and, 99–120 function of diplomats, 187
practice of, 11 theoretical perspectives of, 188
see also cosmopolitan school see also social distance
cosmopolitan school, 10, 70–1, 74, Dobyns, H.F., 220n47
79–82, 86–8 Dooley, M., 63n1, 219n4
Crampton, J.W., 244n101 Dorsett, S., 64n13, 94–5n97
Cronin, B., 166n20 Doty, R.L., 64n16, 240n10
Crosby, A.W., 220n41 Drake, J.H., 91n22
Cunnison, I., 194n43 Dreitzel, H., 89–90n12, 90n14, 91n36
Cutler, C., 40n84 Dudley, D., 120n5
Dunne, G., 241n22
Dalton, P., 141n35
Dann, O., 93–4n74 Ecoffey, C.B., 170n110
Daston, L., 90n13 Edkins, J., 239
Datta, K., 244n116, 245n137 education, 21–5, 35, 155, 162, 164
de Las Casas, B. Eerdmans, W.B.
de Man, P., 219n2 Eisenman, D., 167n30
Degen, M., 241n18 Elden, S., 244n101, 245n131
Der Derian, J. Elias, N., 195n47
on alienation and mediation policies, Erickson, M.J., 167n44
188–9 ethics
on EP regime, 13 in Derridas’ view, 174
on RD regime, 190 in European law of nations, 78
Derrida, J. of hospitality, 4–8, 12–14, 101, 125–9,
asylum to persecuted writers, 124 138–9, 222–3, 231
critiques of Cantos right of hospitality, Kantian, 173–4
58 modern, 191
ethical stance of, 173–7 of international humanitarian
on delimitation of space, 222 intervention., 198
on European inhospitality, 55 principle of, 44, 57, 60
on host characteristics, 232 Evans, Y., 244n115, 245n137
on moral dimension of hospitality, 69 exchange and proportion (EP regime),
on natural law tradition, 41 13, 174–6, 179, 184–6, 188–92
on outlaws, 125
on respect and donation (RD) regime, faithful hospitality
13–4, 190–1 to asylum seekers, 160–1
on unconditional hospitality, 128–9, basic features, 147–8, 157–60
148, 198 and against injustice, 163–4
philosophical hospitality of, 147–8, international responses to, 12–13
152 religious actor’s role in, 161–2
vs Kant, 127–8 religious belief and, 151–7
Derrida’s ‘Double Law,’ 8, 14, 129, 174, to refugees, 160–1
191 sanctuary provision and, 162–3
Devetak, R., 166n19 and transformative power, 163–4
Index 249

Fassbender, B., 91n35 Gopnik, A., 190, 192

Finkenauer, T., 90n13 Gordon, C., 234
Fiske, A.P., 193n15 Gore-Booth, P.H., 195n56
Fitzpatrick, M., 93n63 Gosden, D., 170n114
Flannigan, S., 241n22 Gozdziak, 167n23, 167n30, 167n33
Fletcher, G., 135–6 Grace, E., 63n4
Flikschuh, 57 Gregor, M.J., 115
Florida, R., 225–6 Griffin, N., 226
Fodor, J., 193n19 Griffiths, W., 169n70
Fortin, A., 166n15 Grotius, H.
Foucault, M. on duties towards strangers, 80
on biopolitics/biopower, 3, 14, 16, on law of nature, 41, 77, 84–5, 105,
188, 199, 210–11, 237–8 111
on governmentality, 234, 239 on right of international hospitality,
on sovereign power, 232 51–2
Fox, J., 167n23 on right to property, 46
Franceschet, A., 122n53 on right to trade, 74
freedom, external, 56, 74–5, 81–2, 85–6 on Vereenighde Oostindische Compagnie,
Friedman, J., 240n13 71–2
FUNAI (Brazilian government’s National Stoic sense of, 42
Indian Foundation, 216–17 Guerrier, Y., 241n21
Gaskin, J.C.A., 37–8n33, 39n61 European, 43, 60
Gauthier, D.J., 140n2, 141n13, 168n48 friendship, 2–3, 25, 29, 199
Gay Index, 225 outlaw, 125, 138–40
Geffcken, H., 94n78 unknown, 125, 128–9, 138–9
Gelman, S.A., 193n22, 194n23 unwelcome, 8, 49
Geroulanos, S., 218n1
Gert, B., 38n47, 123n72
(g)host, 236, 239 Haasen, C., 167n30
Gibson, S., 140n2, 140n3, 240n2 Habenicht, W., 93n67, 93n68
gifts Habermas, J., 109
defined, 183 Hadas, M., 120n3, 120n13
giving and acknowledging, 184, 189 Hall, C.M., 241n21
in EP regime, 176 Hall, M., 195n55, 195n58, 195n65
nature’s, 183 Hallie, P., 169n75, 170n112
negative, 189 Hamnett, C., 244n121
as possessions, 182–3 Hanson, D.W., 40n85
rules about, 192 Harris, H., 120n2, 120n6
social distance and, 184–6 Harris, P.L., 194n23
Ginsburg, D., 218n1 Hart, H.L.A., 106
global city Hartman, G., 219n2
governmentality in, 224, 237–9 Hastings, J., 142n38
guests of, 236 Hawke, L., 121n19
hospitality practices in, 223–4, 231–5 Hayden, P., 123n68
London as, 224–7 Hayllar, B., 241n21
see also London Haynes, J., 168n46, 168n55, 168n56,
globalisation, 69, 113, 145, 149, 224 168n57
glory seekers, 8, 22, 31 Hayward, J., 143n66, 143n70, 143n73
Godolphin, S., 21–2, 35–6 Heckel, M., 90n18
250 Index

Heffter, A.W. in global city, 222–4, 231–7, 239. see

as distinguished public jurist, 85–7 also London
Held, D., 17n16, 122n65, 123n70 Hobbes’ on, 29
Heller-Roazen, D., 142n40 Hereward the Wake, example, 133
Hepple, J., 141n12 Mobility, 211
Herbert, J., 244n116, 245n137 outlaw guests, treatment, 137–40
Herman, G., 16n9 in RD regime, 186
Hetherington, M.J., 144n91 right of hospitality, 49, 52, 124–9
Heyman, P.B., 143n75 subject position, 6
Hill, A., 245n125 would-be, 206–7
Hill, K., 217 Hovay, M.R., 181–2
Hilton, R.H., 142n57 Hovil, L., 143n81, 144n86
Hindess, B., 67n113 Huang, B., 167n30, 169n87
Hinsley, F.H., 67n111 Hughes, M., 63n1, 219n4
Hirschfeld, L.A., 193n22, 194n23 Hugo, V., 145, 147–8, 152, 154–5, 157–8,
Hobbes, T. 160, 165
on civility and hospitality, 22, 27 human being
conception of power, 8 classical understanding of, 25, 27
cosmopolitan law and, 100–4, 118,
on concepts of reason, 202
contractarian theory, 112
in CS regime, 184
on education, 24
dangerousness of, 8, 22
on equality, 29
domain classification and, 178, 180
hospitality perception, 8–9, 28
ethical treatment of, 99
idea of sovereign authority, 85, 112
foundational beliefs, religions, 155–6
on international relation, 32–4
God’s love and, 153
Kant’s adaption to, 200–2, 204
in Hobbes’ perception, 30–2, 35
Leviathan, 21–36
hospitality ethics and, 4
on natural dispositions, 52, 191
in Kantian view, 112, 115, 117, 201–2
on natural law of nations, 80, 84, 85, individual, 148–9, 177
112 inheritance right, 133
on subjects, 29–31 instincts and, 232
Pufendorf’s on, 52, 54 in Las Casas’ view, 107
society of states school and, 72–5 natural dispositions, 190, 203
Holmes, B., 243n84 Roman Stoics, about, 108–9
Homer, 2 in Victor Hugo’s, Les Miserables novel,
Honig, B., 219n4 145, 146
Hope, C., 244n18 in Vitoria’s laws of hospitality, 110
hospitality human rights
characteristics of, 126 cosmopolitan form of, 69, 75
Greco-Roman idea, 100–4 during European colonialism, 85
School of Salamanca on, 105–11 international law and, 11, 42, 147, 154
transitional global justice and, 118–20 Kantian view of, 56
see also cosmopolitan law for secular organisations, 162
host universal concept of, 146, 148–9
code of conduct, 190 Vitoria’s view on, 108
community, 2, 12, 49, 55 Hume, D., 83
contagion, infectious disease, 211–12 Hüning, D., 89–90n12, 90n17
in double law, 174 Hunter, I., 43, 58, 60, 73, 88
faithful hospitality, 157–8, 160 Hurley, R., 220n37, 220n40
Index 251

Hurtado, M., 217–18 Jackson, S., 243n83

Huxley, M., 234 Janis, M.W., 93n70
Hyndman, J., 240n6 Jeffrey, R., 39n62, 169n66
Jenkins, J., 142n41, 142n52
idealism, 4–5 Jephcott, E., 195n47
identity, 4–7, 12, 42, 125, 128–9, 146–7, Johnson, B., 242n32, 242n44, 243n72,
149, 157, 160–1, 216, 223 243n86
immigrants, 124, 162, 225, 235–6, 238 Johnson, L., 40n85
immunity, 15, 34, 198, 212, 218 Johnson, M., 190n40
imperialist school, 10, 70, 71, 81–2, 86, Johnson, M.A., 168n46
88 Jones, P., 93n63
indigenous Jones, T.S., 142n57
peoples, 1, 7, 199, 211, 214, 215, 216, Jönnson, C., 188
218 Jouannet, E., 90n19
rights, 217 Judaism
self-isolating societies, 198, 213, 215 faithful hospitality in, 153–7, 160
self-quarantining, 211, 215, 218 Juergensmeyer, M., 169n66, 169n67
societies, 198, 207, 211, 213 Jung, K., 168n46, 168n58
individual rights, 32, 146 Justenhoven, Heinz-Gerhard, 89n9
Inglis, F., 225
inhabitants, 46, 48, 55–6, 76, 109, 133, Kaldor, M., 123n67
157, 206, 208, 213, 227, 228, 230 Kamuf, P., 193n10
inhospitality, 1–4, 6, 8, 15, 45, 47, 50–1, Kang, D.C. 105n44
53, 55, 60, 62, 81–3, 207–9, 215 Kant, I.
Inner London, 228–9, 232, 238 adaption to Hobbes, 200–2, 204
international politics, 33, 36, 44, 124, on biopower, 208–11
135, 145–65 on citizens, 54, 56, 58, 202, 204–6,
international relations 209–10
classical authors on, 9–10 concept of hospitality, 127
Derrida’s law of hospitality and, 3 conception of alien, 127
ethics in, 4–5 on contemporary biopolitical effect,
Hobbes’ conception, 32–5 inhospitality, 208–11
hospitality and, 44 Derrida’s criticism on, 58
mainstream theory, 62 hospitality versus philanthropy,
outlaws in, 124–5 199–208
RD regimes and, 14, 192 on hospitality ethics, 173–4
Regulations, 85–6 on host duty, 200–9
social distance in, 9–10, 188, 190 on human beings, 112, 115, 117,
social theories on, 8 201–2
unequal relationship between state on human rights, 56
and individual, 149 idea of cosmopolitan law, 111–17
international society, 3, 9, 74–5, 118, on native societies or foreign groups,
177, 188–9 self isolation, 208–11
intersubjectivity, international relations, on natural rights, 112
4–7 on politics of finite, 127
Isin, E.F., 242n61 reservations versus biomedical
Islam intervention, 213–18
faithful hospitality in, 157, 159–60 on subjects, 41, 48, 200–1
religious identity in, 161 on universalism, 200
theological foundation, 153–7 on world politics, 44, 63
252 Index

Kaplan, H., 217 universal obligation and, 76, 102

Karadzic, R., 143n78 Wolff’s argument on, 75
Keal, P., 90n20 Lawrence, J., 120n1, 121n25, 121n26,
Keen, M.H., 142n58, 142n60, 143n71 121n31
Keene, 89n10 Lea, T., 218
Keens-Soper, H.M.A., 195n52 Lemonnier, P., 221n55
Keller, T., 153 Leslie, A.M., 178, 180
Kelly, C., 63n4 Lever, W. F., 241n16
Kelly, S.E., 141n6 Leviathan, 21–36
Kelsen, H., 192 charity in, 24–6
Kelsey, F.W., 89n11 children of, 21–36
Kelton, P., 221n50 friendship in, 24–6
Kennan, 40n83 hospitality in, 26–32
Kennett, B., 65n62 power in, 24–6
Khan, Ajaz Ahmed, 169n88 see also Hobbes, T.
King, C.A., 141n11, 141n12, Leviathan’s children, 21–36
141n14 see also Hobbes, T.
Kiple, K.F., 220n44, 220n46 Levin, B., 181
Kipps, M., 141n12 Levinas, E., 1, 4–5, 7, 147, 152–3
Kirmani, N., 169n88 Levy, H.L., 16n6
Kissinger, 40n83 Lisle, D., 240
Klausen, J.C., 7, 14–16, 197–218 Livingstone, K., 225–6
Kleingeld, P., 56 Llosa, M.V., 165n5, 167n38, 167n40
Knellwolf, C., 93n63 Lomo, Z., 143n81, 144n86, 144n87
Knox, D., 241n21 London
Koselleck, R., 69 competing, hosts, 224–7, 231–40
Koskenniemi, M., 66n66, 66n86, counter-conduct, 238–9
89–90n13, 90n18, 91n37 diversity aspects, 225–6, 237
Krausz, M., 167n30 foreigners in, 222, 236–7, 239
Kremer, M., 92n39, 94n92 as global city, 222–40
guesting in, 231–40
Laertius, D., 100 hospitality governance in, 227–40
Lakoff, G., 194n40 host power, 222–5, 231–40
Lancaster, J., 217 infrastructure, 224, 229
Lashley, C., 140n2 Londoners in, 226, 230, 239
law of hospitality, 41–3, 50, 54, 56, 61–2, Olympics, 224–5
109, 129, 174, 191 openness of, 223, 225, 227, 234–5,
law of nations (1750–1850), 69–88 238–9
Kant on, 117 tourism in, 224–5, 227, 235. see also
legal internationalists on, 111 Tourism Action Plan
universal, 110 urban regeneration, 224–5, 228, 230,
Vitoria on, 108 234
law of nature Long, A., 120n9, 120n15
fundamental, 29 Lorenzen, T., 168n46
hospitality and, 41–61 Lutz-Bachmann, M., 89n6
law of nations and, 33–4, 73, 75 Lynch, P., 140n2
ninth, 28 Lynnerup, N., 142n39
Pufendorf’s identification of, 75
second, 26, 29 MacEoin, G., 165n1
sovereign state and, 33 Macleod, M.J., 221n50
Index 253

Macpherson, C.B., 36n1 native societies, 209, 213

Maitland, R., 241n20 natural disposition, language, impact on,
Mandel, K.v., 94n90 178–80, 182
Maple, D., 122n61 natural rights, 35
Marchetti, R., 123n69 Grotius’ revised theories on, 72
Marcuse, P., 240n13 Kant on, 112, 118
von Martens, F., 83, 86 Las Casas’ perception, 107
Martens, G., 83–4, 86–8 of world citizens, 35
Marx, K., 40n93 rejection of, 42
Mason, J.H., 68n132, 92n42, 92n43 Second Scholastic theories, 106,
Massey, D., 225, 236, 242n31, 242n40, 108
244n111 Vitoria’s theory on, 71, 110–11
Matthews, G., 244n115 Navari, C., 40n83
Mattingly, G., 187 Nawyn, S.J., 161–2, 164
Mauss, M., 175, 185–6 Network Cities of Asylum, 124
May, J., 244n116, 245n137 Neumann, I., 40n83
Mayer, J.F., 167n22, 167n24, 167n31, Newman, M.T., 220n42
167n35 Newman, P., 241n20
McCalman, I., 93n63 Nicolson, H., 187
McIlwaine, C., 244n116, 245n137 Niebhur, 40n83
McNeill, W.H., 211–12 Niesen, P., 55–6, 58
McNevin, A., 165n2, 166n17 Nietzsche, 17n17, 40n93
Meltzoff, A.N., 194n23 Nikitina, T., 194n31
Mertus, J., 166n19 Nikolopoulou, K., 142n50
Metselaar, S., 140n3 Nisbet, H.B., 16n2, 66n90, 67n94,
migrants, 124–5, 151, 160, 162, 237 219n11
Miller, J.H., 219n2, 243n97 non-hostility, 14–15, 199, 202–5
Miller, P., 243n97 Nussbaum, A., 93n61
Mills, C., 121n32 Nussbaum, M., 64n10
Mladic, R., 143n78, 143n79
Molz, J.G., 140n2, 240n2 O’Brien, K., 93n63
morality, 23, 29, 73–4, 77, 81, 83, 102, Ochola, 144n88
112, 118, 200–3, 205–7, 218 Ohlgren, T.H., 142n57, 142n65,
morbidity, 198, 216–17 143n66
Moreno-Ocampo, L., 143n80 Oldfather, C.H., 90n19
Morgenthau, 40n83 Oldfather, W.A., 90n19
Morrison, A.J., 140n2 Onuf, N.G., 3, 13–14, 173–92
mortality, 198, 213, 217 Onuf, P., 193n14
Mulholland, H., 242n32 Osborne, 234
Muthu, S., 67n106, 92n42, 92n45, Osgood, 40n83
92n46, 92n47, 92n48, 93n60, 219n3 Outer London, 228–9
Naas, M., 141n27 defined, 125
Nafziger, J.A.R., 87 Hereward the Wake, example,
Nancy, Jean-Luc, 232 133–4
Nardin, T., 122n61 medieval origins of, 125
Nass, M., 16n3, 63n1, 193n7 practices of, 129–33
nationalism, 4, 7, 10, 34, 42, 69, 190 as wanderers, 135–7
nation states, 85, 158, 173, 198–9, as wolves, 135–8
209–11, 213–16 Owens, E.C., 167n44
254 Index

Padgen, A., 89n7, 120n1, 121n25, quality of life, 224, 230

121n26, 121n31 Quinn, J.R., 144n89
Page, S., 241n21
Palladini, F., 89–90n12 Ramenofsky, A., 220n44
Pangle, T., 40n81, 40n83 Rayner, G., 244n119
Patapan, H., 8, 21–36 Reff, D.T., 221n51, 221n52
Pateman, C., 121n32 refugees
Peck, J., 241n26 compassionate and just treatment,
Peters, A., 91n35 12
Peterson, C., 90n13, 167n30, 169n87 contagious treatment, 198
Pin-Fat, V., 245n141 domestic population towards, 149
Pinker, S., 182–3 European home and, 223
Plant, W.G., 124 global response, 12
Plato, 23, 25 international response to, 147–8
Plutarch, 101 in Islam, 152–3
Pogge, T., 123n66 Jewish, 148
Pohl, C.D., 153, 160 justice and, 154
Pohl, C.P., 140n2 national politics, role in, 124
political thought, 15, 27, 28, 59 religious responses, 150–1, 160–2
Post, R., 88n2, 123n74, 240n4 state responses to, 148, 160
in 21st century, 145
Povinelli, E.A., 216
in Victor Hugo’s, Les Miserables novel,
Powell, J., 120n12
145, 158
Premack, A., 193n21
Reiss, H.S., 16n2, 66n90, 67n94, 122n38,
Premack, D., 193n21, 194n23
122n40, 192n1, 219n11
Prokhovnik, R., 156
relative strangers
public health, 215–18
laws of hospitality and, 173–8
Pufendorf, S.
place in RD regime, 179, 184
on civil philosophy, 73
social distance and, 184–5, 187–90,
on communication to property rights, 192
9, 41, 50–4, 60–1 religious actors
on immigration, 78 faithful hospitality, 160–5
on imperial forms of inhospitality, 8 forced migration and, 12–13, 147–8,
on incipient positivism, 84 151–2
as international legal theorists, 72, 86 hospitality of, 160
on law of nation, 77 idea of sanctuary, 12–13, 147–8
on legal positivism, 10, 84, 87 level of power, 154
on moral obligation, 74–5, 81 religious responses, asylum seekers,
on natural law of nations, 80, 105, 111 150–1, 160–2
on natural law of philosophy, 73–5, legal assistance, 163–4
76, 80, 85–6, 105, 111 sanctuary provisions, 162–3
rejection, inhospitality in imperial Rengger, N., 66n169
forms, 8 respect and donation (RD) regime, 13–4,
from society of states school, 75, 77, 174–7, 179, 184–92
81–2 gifts, role in, 175–7, 184
Pugh, R.B., 142n56, 142n60, 142n62 natural disposition in, 176–7, 179–80,
Pulsiano, P., 142n37 184–5, 190–2
Pütter, J.S. Reuter, Hans-Richard, 92n39,
on imperfect duties to strangers, 77–8, 94n92
81–2, 87 Reynolds, T.E., 153
Index 255

Rhodes, P.J., 141n36 Slomp, G., 39n71

Rieu, E.V., 16n3 Slovic, P., 139
right of immigration, 10, 69–88 Smith, A., 83
see also law of nations (1750–1850) Smith, M., 40n83
Roberts, D., 221n50 social distance, 13, 176–7, 184–5,
Robinson, M., 241n21 187–90, 192
Roche, M., 241n17 gift giving and, 184
Roelofsen, C.G., 65n37 in international relations, 9–10,188,
Rorty, A.O., 93n55 190
Rose, N., 234 social relations, 175, 177, 184–6,
Rosello, M., 223, 238 190
Rosenbaum, A., 122n49 Socrates, 37n21, 37n22
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 77, 79 Sokhi-Bulley, B., 240
Ruhs, M., 244n115 sovereign states, 34, 73, 75, 78, 83, 85,
Rumble, W.E., 93n71 112, 148, 187, 188, 223
Russell, L.M., 153 Spence, L., 244n114
Russell, S., 141n34 Spirou, C., 241n21
Springborg, P.
Sachedina, A., 168n58 Ssenyonjo, M.
Salomon, F., 221n50 St Augustine, 27
Salter, J., 66n68, 66n73, 77n83 stateless people, 13, 124–5
Sassen, S., 235–6 protection issues, state, 148–50
Saunders, D., 66n65 rights of, 165
Schieffelin, E.L., 221n55 Steiger, H., 93–4n74, 94n89
Schiffer, W., 91n25 Stein, A., 220n37
Schmidt, J., 93n55 Stewart, S., 141n35, 142n57, 142n59,
Schneewind, J.B., 90n19 142n61
Schröder, J., 84 Stiegler, B., 240n5
Schuster, L., 166n18, 167n34 Still, J., 243n81
Schwartz, S.B., 221n50 Stolleis, M., 90n13
Schweiker, W., 168n46, 168n58 strangers
Schweizer, K.W., 195n52 unknown, 124–5
Scott, J.B., 94n96, 121n28 vulnerable, 12, 160, 165
Scott, J.C., 209 see also relative strangers
Searle, J.R., 196n75 Strauss, L., 39n60, 39n71
Sedley, D., 120n9, 120n15 subjects
Seele, P., 88–9n5 in cosmopolitan law, 103
Selbie, J.A., 142n38 Hobbes’ view, 23, 28–35
Selby, M., 241n21 in Kantian view, 41, 48, 200–1
self-isolating peoples, 14, 16, 198, London governance and, 15
209–11, 213–16 in native societies, 213
Sellars, J., 120n10, 121n16 in Portuguese state, 6, 23, 28–35
Shandy, D.J., 167n23, 167n30, in sovereign society, 52, 73, 84
167n33 Sutherland, A., 169n77
Sharp, P., 195n57 Swanton, M., 143n66, 143n69, 143n74
Sheller, M., 241n18
Sikkenga, J., 39n62 Tarahumara case study
Silverthorne, M., 90n19, 219n9 on contact-contagion environment,
Simons, P., 90n16 214
Slaughter, Anne-Marie, 135 Tarn, W.W., 120n8
256 Index

Taylor, P.J., 240n13 Verlag, K., 93–4n74

Telfer, E., 140n2 Vincent, M., 170n115
von Teutschenbrunn, J.H., 91n34 de Vitoria, F.
Thomson, J., 141n12 as Catholic ambassadors of Christ,
Thrift, N., 233, 238 70–1, 76
Tierney, B., 64n8, 64n23, 64n24, on cosmopolitan legal theory, 99, 106,
89n8 108–13, 116
Tinnevelt, R., 123n72 on host duties, 199
Tooke, A., 66n65 Kant contrasting with, 113–14
Tourism Action Plan, 227, 231, on natural law tradition, 9, 41–3, 53,
235 61, 115
Transitional Global Justice, 99–120 on right of communication, 54
see also cosmopolitan law on Spanish hospitality rights, 52
Tuck, R., 71
on unstable hospitality, 44–50
Tully, J., 89–90n12, 90n19,
Second Scholastic school and,
Turok, I., 241n16
Tyler, D., 241n21
Waldron, J., 208
universalism Walker, R.B.J., 67n113
Diogenes view, 101 Walz, 40n83
Hobbes’ view, 35 Ward, R., 82–4
Kantian view, 200 Wedberg, A., 196n74
rights-based, 8, 23 Wee, Lian-Hee, 194n31
Urry, J., 241n18 Welch, M., 166n18, 167n34
Uyechi, L.A., 194n31 Wellman, H.M., 194n23
Wendt, A., 17n14
Van Dev, S., 140n3 Westmoreland, M.W., 141n25
van Holk, L.E., 65n37 Wheaton, H.
van Ittersum, M.J., 71 on international legal theory,
van Kempen, R., 240n13 84–7
de Vattel, E. Wiesel, E., 145, 153
on cosmopolitan right, 62, 111 Wight, M., 40n84
idea of universal commonwealth, 83
Williams, G.L., 89n11
on imperfect duties, 81
Williams, H., 40n83, 40n84
misleading, international theory, 10,
Williams, R., 121n23
Willis, J., 245n136
on right of property, 41
Wills, J., 244n116, 245n122
on unstable hospitality, 44–50
as Wolff’s disciple, 78, 80 Wilson, E.K., 12–13, 145–65
Vaughan-Williams, N., 240n8, 243n85 Wiseman, G., 195n57
verbs Wokler, R., 68n132, 92n42, 92n43
alternative forms of, 181–2 Wolf, K., 142n37
dative, 177, 181–3 Wolff, C.
give type, 182–4 from cosmopolitan school, 75, 81,
intransitive, 181 88
throw type, 182 on dualist concept of law, 70
transitive, 181 on hospitality, 70
Verchraegen, G., 123n72 Martini’s criticism on, 80
Verlag, F.M., 93–4n74 on obligatory law of nature, 75–7
Index 257

world politics xenophobia, 2

hospitality and, 1–16, 223 Xenophon, 37n22
identity in, 4–7, 12
individual rights and, 146, 150 Yagdiran, O., 167n30
intersubjectivity in, 4–7
in Kantian view, 44, 63 Zeno of Citium, 101
outlaws and, 125 Ziegler, Karl-Heinz, 92n39,
Worth, H., 140n4, 140n5, 141n9 93n66
Wright, J.K., 93n63 Zolberg, A., 167n28, 167n29