Evgeny Roshchin, K.P.N.

E-mail: evroshch (a) jyu.fi

Member of and funded by the Centre of Excellence

Member of Concepta Advisory Board


The Use of Friendship in Molding International Politics

Evgeny Roshchin’s thesis explores the topic of international friendship. As opposed to approaches that seek to highlight the essential features of friendship or try to interpret international friendship as a bandwagoning strategy, Roshchin undertakes a study of the history of the concept of friendship. Namely, in his thesis Roshchin makes an attempt to investigate how governments, states and scholars reflecting on international politics came to possess and apply the modern concept of friendship to the field that is allegedly dominated by selfish, rational and power-driven motives that contradict our understanding of friendship. He tries to explicate the ways the concept is used and effects it may have on  modern international system.

The thesis mainly focuses on international treaties and political treatises on princely and state conduct that used the concept of friendship. The time span of this study covers the period from early modernity to the XIX century. It looks at the ways the concept was used in the English political theory and treaties, appropriated by the American government in the process of building the state and expanding its international influence, and then re-actualized in the British imperial policies. The thesis shows how the concept of friendship was introduced into modern political vocabulary (often bearing strong normative connotations) through various rhetorical strategies employed by early modern political and juridical theorists. It then continues by arguing that despite prevailing ethical perceptions of friendship many of its pre-modern and early modern quasi-juridical and political effects (including those maintaining international hierarchies and sovereignties) reveal themselves in different contemporary contexts and situations, which the author aims to identify and describe.