Philip Bobbit: Law, Strategy and the Transformation of the State

Conversations with History - Philip Bobbitt

Philip Bobbit; Wechsler Professor of Law, Columbia University

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Philip Bobbitt for a discussion of his book, The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History. Bobbitt explores the dynamic relationship between constitution and strategy and its consequences for the transformation of the state. In modern history, epochal wars are fought and then settlements reached that legitimate changes in the structure and form of the state, changes that emerged in the course of the conflict. Focusing on the case of twentieth century conflicts, Bobbitt explains how in this epoch--which lasted from the First World War to the collapse of the Soviet Union-- fascism, communism and liberal democracy competed, with liberal democracy emerging triumphant at the end of the century. After comparing the essential features of the nation state with the market state, Bobbitt focuses on the intervention in Libya and the response to Iran's nuclear programs highlighting the dilemmas they pose for the Obama administration caught in the transition from nation state to market state.

Key Words: Law, Strategy, International Relations, State, International Law
Philip Bobbit
Publication date: 
June 8, 2011
Publication type: 
Conversations with History