Peace as War

Polat N.

ALTERNATIVES, vol.35, no.4, pp.317-345, 2010 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/030437541003500401
  • Title of Journal : ALTERNATIVES
  • Page Numbers: pp.317-345
  • Keywords: peace, war, agonistic politics, Hobbes, Spinoza, Foucault


This article seeks to reimagine peace against the backdrop of a Foucauldian understanding of politics. Most conventional accounts are based. on a sharp distinction between war and peace and alternate between two broad positions; namely, peace as absence, the absence of war, and peace as presence, as an essential condition. These two visions of peace are often assumed to have found their classical statements in, respectively, Hobbes and Spinoza. The article resists such a binary treatment, bringing Hobbes and Spinoza close together through Spinoza's view of peace as potentia and Hobbes's view of war as process. The result is one that seems to vindicate Foucault: peace is war.