Domestic analogy

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Domestic analogy is an international affairs term coined by Professor Hedley Bull.[1] Domestic analogy is the idea that states are like a "society of individuals". The analogy makes the presumption that relations between individuals and relations between states are the same.[2] The domestic analogy is used when aggression is explained as the international equivalent of armed robbery or murder. A person can look at international affairs like a society of people, except there is no police, and every conflict threatens the structure as a whole with collapse.[3]

In his famous book Just and Unjust Wars, Michael Walzer uses the term to explain what is a just and unjust war.[3]


  1. ^ "Society and Anarchy in international Relations" and "The Grotian Conception of International Society" in Butterfield, Herbert; Martin Wright (1968). Diplomatic Investigations: Essays in the Theory of International Politics. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-21001-8.
  2. ^ "Political Realism". The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 2006-09-05.
  3. ^ a b Walzer, Michael (1977). Just and Unjust Wars. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-03705-4. p. 58-59

Further reading[edit]

  • Suganami, Hidemi (1989). The Domestic Analogy and World Order Proposals. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-34341-0.
  • Rolf, Jan Niklas (2014). The State of Nature Analogy in International Relations Theory. International Relations 28(2): 159-192.