Commenting on Thomas’ sixth article I want to try to meet George Weigel’s call for a revival of “Catholic international relations theory.”2 Weigel worries that contemporary Catholic social thought has paid little attention to how it might contest the dominant utilitarian and Hobbesian models of international relations. The lack of Thomistic intellectual involvement on how power is used amongst nations makes for an acute problem, he argues.3 Realists argue that only an amoral approach to international affairs serves national interests whilst idealists (of various stripes) invoke human rights as a norm by which to judge the external and internal affairs of nations.4 Both of these approaches ill serve the protection of the innocent. The fi rst encourages a no-holds-barred approach that makes the Hobbesian state of nature an instrument of policy (PT, 9). The second serves the innocent as little as the fi rst.5 Carl Schmitt has made a telling Augustinian point against the second approach. International norms are used at the behest of humanitarianism to subvert
state sovereignty,6 he argues, a sovereignty that historically has reduced violence:7 a reduction in violence being, for Augustine, the best peace available to the world.