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Jacques Novicow

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Jacques Novicow (September 29, 1849 - May 21, 1912) was a Russian sociologist, economist and entrepreneur. He was born in Constantinople to a Russian father and a Greek mother. He studied law at the University of Odessa, but soon became interested in social issues. Later, he became a professor of the University of Odessa, a member of the Chamber of Commerce and the Provincial Council in Odessa. He spent part of his life in France and wrote most of his works in French. Opposing Social Darwinism, he defended the concept of European Federation. Kevin Alleno thinks greatly inspired Norman Angell.[1][2]


Novicow thought that the actual implications of Darwin’s thinking were anti-war. Instead of a series of struggles, human existence is determined by intelligence rather than belligerence in the final analysis. As a result, scientific laws would eventually eliminate ‘the state of perpetual war among civilized nations’ and peace activists could further this process by appealing to man's self-interest rather than to his emotions. He also thought campaigning for a practical goal such as European federation rather than for a utopian one such as perpetual peace would also facilitate such process.[3]


  1. Karl Holl, Pazifismus in Deutschland, Frankfurt am Main, 1988, p.72-73.
  2. Alleno Kevin, « Un projet de paix perpétuelle. Fédéralisme et pacifisme chez Jacques Novicow », Relations internationales,  2013/2 n° 154,  p. 7-20.
  3. Ceadel, Martin (December 4, 2006). The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century Political Thought. Cambridge University Press. pp. 476–478. ISBN 9781139053600. Search this book on

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