ABSTRACT

The Romans, the Greeks, the Catalans, Friezians, Saxons, the Flemish, and many others, of course, had earlier practiced international relations in Europe. The Phoenicians, Israelites, Palestinians, Assyrians and the Persians were of course nations engaged in relations with their neighbors too. In Asia, the Han of China, Mongols, Manchurians, Tibetans, Pathan, Japanese, Koreans, Hmong, Shan, and numerous other nations engaged in the practice of international relations for thousands of years. In Africa, the Nubians, Egyptians, Massai, Zulu, Gambians, Zimbabwaians, Ghanaians, Berber — among the many hundreds of nations — engaged in complex relations between themselves and neighboring nations for thousands of years before the 13th century as well. In other parts of the world unknown to the Europeans before the 16th century, systematic relations between nations had become well developed over several thousand years. In the Americas the Mixtec, Haida, Cree, Hopi, Mapuché, Wampanoaug, Maya, Haudenosaunee, Quechua and scores of other nations conducted economic, social, political and cultural relations with their neighbors. Between the many hundreds of nations in Melanesia, and between island nations in the oceans, vast distances were no obstacle to the conduct of international relations. The point I believe I am making, is that rules of conduct between nations have been evolving as a consequence of contacts between nations for millennia, and, virtually all nations in the world share in experience and in responsibility for the art of international relations. Despite this global character of international practices, in the modern era we have become wholly dependent on one very limited conception of international relations (big power hegemonic control), and those ideas were born from the experience of nations in Europe largely in the 17th century.