Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The term perpetual peace is associated with the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) and his 1795 essay titled “To(wards) Eternal Peace: A Philosophical Sketch” (“Zum ewigen Frieden. Ein philosophischer Entwurf'). The term perpetual peace refers to both (a) a type of enduring peace and legal state that Kant thought should and could be attained among existing European states, and potentially spread across the globe, and (b) a process or logic by which that lasting peace might be attained. Kant's conception of perpetual peace has been remarkably influential: within academia as the basis of contemporary democratic peace theory, and outside academia as a constant reference point for projects of international institution building, such as the League of Nations, the United Nations (UN), and the European Union (EU). Though Kant's conception has attracted the most interest, he was not the first to use the term perpetual peace, and his essay should be ...