In Hobbes, Realism and the Tradition of International Law, Charles Covell examines the political thought of Hobbes from the standpoint of the agenda in international studies. The intention here is to challenge the reading of Hobbes as the representative of the realist tradition in international relations, and to do this through the situating of Hobbes within the tradition of international law in its modern form. The book begins with an exposition of the principles of law, state and government that are central to Hobbes's civil philosophy. It then proceeds to discuss how Hobbes saw what he identified as the fundamental laws of nature as comprising the substance of the law of nations which applied in the international sphere. Finally, the relation of Hobbes to the tradition of international law is brought out through the explanation of the place that he occupies among the modern natural law thinkers, such as Grotius, Pufendorf, Wolff and Vattel, who played a decisive part in founding the modern system of international law.

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