The existence and use of 'evil' in international politics

Anna Geis, Christopher Edward Hobson*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    There is an extensive literature on acts, events and people in international politics that may be described as 'evil', but much less work specifically focusing on how this idea operates and is used in an international context. This has begun to change recently, however, as a result of leading international figures-most notably George W. Bush-using the term prominently. This special issue seeks to further advance scholarship on these issues by moving beyond purely philosophical accounts on the nature of evil, and considering: how it has been used to frame the identities of actors in international relations (IR); whether it works to enable or preclude specific kinds of behaviour; and what role it plays as part of our moral and political vocabulary. This introduction provides a brief survey of the literature on evil in IR, and gives an overview of the contributions to the special issue.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)417-423
    Number of pages7
    JournalInternational Politics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Evil
    • George W. Bush
    • International relations theory
    • Theodicy
    • War on terror

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Political Science and International Relations


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