Friendship among nations

History of a concept

By Evgeny Roshchin

Friendship among nations


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1646-8
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £22.50
  • Published Date: September 2020
  • BIC Category: International Relations, International relations, HISTORY / Civilization, POLITICAL SCIENCE / General, HISTORY / Europe / General, HISTORY / Ancient / General, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General, PSYCHOLOGY / Interpersonal Relations, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy, History: Earliest Times To Present Day, Humanities / Social & cultural history, Ancient History: To C 500 CE, Humanities / European history, Society & social sciences / Politics & government, Society & social sciences / Sociology & anthropology, Sociology: Family & Relationships, Society & social sciences / Geopolitics, Society & social sciences / Diplomacy, Society & social sciences / International relations


This is the first book-length study of the role that friendship plays in diplomacy and international politics. Through an examination of a vast amount of sources ranging from diplomatic letters and bilateral treaties, to poems and philosophical treatises, it analyses how friendship has been talked about and practised in pre-modern political orders and modern systems of international relations.

The study highlights how instrumental friendship was for describing and legitimising a range of political and legal engagements with foreign countries and nations. It emphasises contractual and political aspects in diplomatic friendship based on the idea of utility. It is these functions of the concept that help the world stick together when collective institutions are either embryonic or no more.


1 The ambivalence of ancient friendship
2 Early modern friendship - politics and law
3 The ethics of friendship in early European diplomacy
4 Turning friendship into a moral prescription: conceptual change in modernity
5 The unknown friendship of modern international orders


Evgeny Roshchin is Dean at the Department of Comparative Political Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), St Petersburg

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