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NATIONALISM/COSMOPOLITANISM: (scroll down for the most recent posts)

  • Read Paul Starobin's cover story on The Rise of Nationalism in the National Journal.
  • Check out the Stanford Encyclopedia's philosophical introduction to nationalism.
  • Peruse the bibliography and resources on nationalism available through the Global Policy Forum.
  • The University of Wisconsin-Madison's Nationalism Project makes available a wide array of useful materials.
  • This is the place for book reviews related to the topic of nationalism.
  • In his comments on The Ethics of Secession Paul Treanor argues that "Secession is the only real method of new state formation, and a [general] prohibition of secession is equivalent to a veto on new states. There is no moral justification for such a veto. As a general principle every state-forming secession is legitimate, unless there are specific reasons to reject it." (10/2/04)
  • M. Michael Schifff's "Histories and Theories of Nationalism: A Semiotic Reproach, follows Julia Kristeva's Nations without Nationalism in suggesting a post-Freudian critique of ethnic group formations as, of course, fetishistic. (11/16/04)
  • Martha Nussbaum's 'Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism' suggests that "the life of the cosmopolitan, who puts right before country, and universal reason before the symbols of national belonging, need not be boring, flat, or lacking in love." (Posted 1/13/05)
  • "It is not uncommon to defend moderate forms of patriotism, but does such patriotism have positive moral significance? Igor Primoratz argues it does not, but he thinks we may sometimes have a moral duty to be patriots of a different sort: Ethical Patriots." Follow the link to read "A Different Kind of Patriotism," Res Publica, Volume 13, Number 1, 2004. (Posted 2/2/05, updated 9/3/10)
  • David Little of the U.S. Institute of Peace strives for balance and objectivity in "Belief, Ethnicity, and Nationalism," which explores the following questions: "...why does ethnic conflict and the struggle over national identity in so many places -- in Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tibet and China, Israel, India, Nigeria, Lebanon, Northern Ireland, etc. -- have such a conspicuous and enduring religious component? Even if religion is used or manipulated for ulterior purposes, why, exactly, is it religion that repeatedly gets used for ethnic and nationalist purposes?" (Posted 2/17/05)
  • In "Nationalism and Secession," Hans-Hermann Hoppe extols the benefits of secessionist movements. (Posted 3/31/05)
  • Aleksandar Pavkovic wonders whether the idea of nationalist secession promises more than it delivers. His working paper is available through the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics. (Posted 3/31/05)
  • Howard Zinn asks "Is not nationalism--that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder--one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred?" in "The Scourge of Nationalism", from the online pages of The Progressive. (Posted 5/17/05)
  • Scott L. Pratt's article, "Jane Addams: Patriotism in Time of War" (pdf) (Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Vol 28, Issue 1, pp. 102-118) is available for downloading coutesy of Blackwell-Synergy. (Posted 6/2/05)
  • Richard Koenigsberg sees an essential connection between warfare and nationalism in his essay 'As the Soldier Dies, So Does the Nation Come Alive: The Sacrificial Meaning of Warfare'. (Posted 7/9/05)
  • Thomas Hylland Eriksen's website contains a number of his works on ethnicity and nationalism, including 'Ethnic identity, national identity and intergroup conflict,' originally published in Social Identity, Intergroup Conflict, and Conflict Reduction, Ashmore, Jussim, Wilder (eds.), Oxford University Press, 2001. (Posted 7/18/05)
  • A. C. Grayling offers 'The Last Word on Nationalism' (Posted 7/26/05)
  • Shlomo Avineri's "Self-Determination and Realpolitik: Reflections on Kurds and Palestinians" is available from the online summer 2005 issue of Dissent Magazine. (Posted 8/1/05)
  • Classics: Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, was the most compelling voice of a form of early modern English nationalism which was simultaneously patriarchal, Christian, elitist, and stridently dissenting. Bolingbroke's thought serves as a reminder of the tremendous variety of forms that a sense of national attachment and rootedness can take. Enjoining his reader to embrace the role of the critically engaged patriot, he asks "To what higher station, to what greater glory can any mortal aspire, than to be, during the whole course of his life, the support of good, the control of bad government, and the guardian of public liberty?" Voltaire's classic treatment of "Patrie" in The Philosophical Dictionary was famous in its day and still remains funny and relevant. Johann Gottfried von Herder may have had it in mind when he wrote this passage of his Materials for the Philosophy of the History of Mankind, in which he retorts that "The inundated heart of the idle cosmopolitan is a home for no one." All three texts are available courtesy of Fordham University's Internet Modern History Sourcebook. (Posted 9/3/05)
  • Richard Koenigsberg offers a psychoanalytic acount of nationalism as a rapacious collective fantasy of immortality in "Awaking from the Nightmare of History: Psychological Interpretation of War and Genocide." (Posted 8/4/05)
  • In "Dead Souls: The Denationalization of the American Elite," Samuel Huntington offers a pat analysis of American political culture as divided between cosmopolitan elites and the patriotic masses. (Posted 9/3/05)
  • "Preparedness: The Road to Universal Slaughter" (Mother Earth, December 1915) is Emma Goldman's impassioned indictment of American nationalism: "The pathos of it all is that the America which is to be protected by a huge military force is not the America of the people, but that of the privileged class; the class which robs and exploits the masses, and controls their lives from the cradle to the grave..." Continued reflections in a similar vein are presented in Goldman's "Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty." Also relevant here, a recent useful analysis of the anarchist tradition's opposition to nationalism is presented by Lucien van der Walt, in "In This Struggle, Only The Workers And Peasants Will Go All The Way To The End: Towards a History of Anarchist Anti-Imperialism," from Against War and Terrorism: Anarchist Writings on the War, Dublin 2001. Thanks to Brett LeVesseur for submitting these links. (Posted 12/14/05)
  • In "Globalization: The Dangers and The Answers" (openDemocracy.net), David Held argues that "Washington-led neo-liberalism and unilateralism has failed the world," and he sets forth a new "social democratic model" of globalization that might better serve common human interests. Thomas N. Hale and Anne-Marie Slaughter respond in "A Covenant To Make Global Governance Work" by arguing that Held's model "needs a detailed mapping of the kind of policies and outcomes that would make cosmopolitan global governance work," and by suggesting that in order for this map to guide real policy in, say, Washington, it will need to be articulated in terms of "a language that connects cosmopolitan goals to [American] Christian values." Held responds to the criticisms of Hale and Slaughter in "Building Bridges." (Posted 1/1/06)
  • Kwame Anthony Appiah's "The Case for Contamination," an essay adapted for today's NY Times magazine from his forthcoming Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, argues that "A tenable global ethics has to temper a respect for difference with a respect for the freedom of actual human beings to make their own choices. That's why cosmopolitans don't insist that everyone become cosmopolitan." (Posted 1/1/06)
  • Follow this link to watch Kai Nielsen's video lecture on "Cosmopolitanism" at San Diego State University's Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs, November 18th, 2003. (Posted 1/7/06)
  • The first chapter of Bernard-Henri Levy's American Vertigo presents a French perspective on American patriotism which, along with other parts of the book, is sure to garner inflated public attention in the coming weeks. (Posted 2/4/06)
  • In "Cosmopolitanism is Not Enough: Why Nationalism and the Politics of Identity Still Matter," Craig Calhoun of the Social Science Research Council argues "(1) that cosmopolitan democracy is not as easy as much recent theory has suggested, (2) that it may be less a matter of global cultural uniformity than of local and regional mixtures that preserve some old differences and produce new ones, (3) that cosmopolitanism in itself is not basis enough for democracy or development and that people still need a sense and a reality of belonging to more particular social groups (including nations ..." (Posted 2/19/06)
  • Samuel Scheffler's "Conceptions of Cosmopolitanism" (pdf), originally published in Utilitas 11/3 (November 1999): 255-76, is now available online. I highly recommend this article in which Scheffler, a very careful, balanced and perceptive philosopher, critically engages with the views of Rawls, Nussbaum, and others. (Posted 2/19/06)
  • For an introductory historical overview, see Daniele Conversi's "Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism" from the Encyclopaedia of Nationalism, Athena Leoussi (ed.), Oxford: Transaction Books, 2000, pp. 34-39. (Posted 2/19/06)
  • Logos: A Journal of Modern Society and Culture, volume 1, issue 3, summer 2002, is available online in its entirety. It includes David Held's "Cosmopolitanism and Globalization," Ian Lustick's "Nationalism in the Middle East," and more. Read on... (Posted 2/19/06)
  • Michael Berube offers an account of post-9/11 "leftist" politics in "Nation and Narration," Context 10, 2002. (Posted 2/24/06, updated 6/18/11)
  • Takeshi Nakano offers "A Critique of [David] Held's Cosmopolitan Democracy" (pdf), in Contemporary Political Theory, Vol 5, 2006. (Posted 3/25/06)
  • In "Nationalism and Rationality," Journal of World-Systems Research 6(2), summer/fall 2000, Michael Hechter defends the thesis that "the preponderance of nationalist violence seems to have strategic roots, and therefore can be regarded as the outcome of individually rational action. This means that certain kinds of social institutions can provide incentives that should contain nationalist violence." (Posted 4/11/06)
  • Follow this link to listen to Charles Taylor's lectures on "The Sources of Violence, Perennial and Modern." In this lecture Taylor offers a series of historical reflections illustrating the role of "mimetic rivalry" (a la Rene Girard), "reversals of fear," and "purification rituals" in the production of extreme forms of political violence. This and more audio lectures are available courtesy of The Institute for Human Sciences at the University of Vienna. (Posted 4/20/06)
  • Eric Kaufmann's "The Rise of Cosmopolitanism in the Twentieth Century West: A Comparative-Historical Perspective on the United States and European Union," Global Society, Vol. 17, no. 4 (2003), pp.359-83, is an illuminating study of divergent developments in political and cultural cosmopolitanism. (Posted 4/22/06)
  • Check out "Realism vs. Cosmopolitanism," a debate between Barry Buzan and David Held, conducted by Anthony McGrew. (5/1/06)
  • In his "Notes on Nationalism" George Orwell distinguished between a number of different forms of nationalism of particular importance in the context of 1945 Great Britain. He also drew an important distinction between nationalism and patriotism: "By 'nationalism' I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled 'good' or 'bad'. But secondly -- and this is much more important -- I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests. Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism. Both words are normally used in so vague a way that any definition is liable to be challenged, but one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved. By 'patriotism' I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality." (Posted 5/9/06)
  • Follow this link to find a free online copy of Louis Pojman's "Kant's Perpetual Peace and Cosmopolitanism," Journal of Social Philosophy, Vol. 36, Issue 1, Spring 2005. (Posted 5/21/06)
  • Debjani Ganguly examines contrasting visions of post-colonial transformation in India and across the globe in "Convergent Cosmopolitics in the Age of Empire: Gandhi and Ambedkar in World History," Borderlands, Volume 4, Number 3, 2005. (Posted 5/29/06)
  • In the video installment of UC Berkeley's Conversations with History embedded below, Harry Kreisler prompts Sayla Benhabib to discuss the life experiences, historical observations and philosophical reflections that have shaped her cosmopolitan thinking about "the political" and "the right to rights." (Posted 6/8/06)
  • Richard J. Arneson asks, "Do Patriotic Ties Limit Global Justice Duties?," and critically examines three standards arguments for the "patriotic priority thesis." (7/11/06)
  • In "An American Foreign Policy That Both Realists and Idealists Should Fall in Love With," NY Times July 16, 2006, Robert Wright provides an outline of "progressive realism" that attempts to strike a liberal balance between cosmopolitan and nationalist concerns. (Posted 7/19/06)
  • In "Globalisation and Capitalist Property Relations: A Critical Assessment of Held's Cosmopolitan Theory," forthcoming in Historical Materialism, Tony Smith argues that "without a radical break from the social forms of global capitalism the dreams of cosmopolitan democratic theorists are doomed to disappointment." (Posted 9/1/06)
  • Both Daniele Conversi's "Demo-skepticism and Genocide," and Roger Eatwell's "Explaining Fascism and Ethnic Cleansing: The Three Dimensions of Charisma and the Four Dark Sides of Nationalism," Political Studies Review, Volume 4, 2006, critically engage with Michael Mann's recent work on fascism. (Posted 12/13/06)
  • In "Global Justice, Reciprocity, and the State," Philosophy & Public Affairs, volume 35, number 1, 2007, Andrea Sangiovanni argues that global justice requires, not a sense of cosmopolitan citizenship, but an "internationalism" in which citizens of separate nation states accept that they have special obligations towards their compatriots. (Posted 3/21/07)
  • In "Reclaiming Universalism: Negotiating Republican Self-Determination and Cosmopolitan Norms," Tanner Lectures on Human Values, March 15-19, 2004, Seyla Benhabib argues that "since the UN Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 we have entered a phase in the evolution of global civil society that is characterized by a transition from international to cosmopolitan norms of justice." (Posted 5/8/07)
  • In this draft of Love, Idolatry, and Patriotism," Social Theory and Practice, Volume 32, Number 4, 2006, Eamonn Callan argues that although one is under no obligation to love one's country, it is a bad mistake to repudiate patriotism outright. Check back soon for a free copy of the published version courtesy of the The IPT Beacon here. (Posted 6/20/07)
  • In "The Borders of Just War Theory," British International Studies Association 2006 conference, John Williams questions assumptions about the centrality of nation states, borders and territoriality in the work of Jean Bethke Elshtain and others in the field of JWT. (Posted 8/7/07)
  • "The Return of Patriotism," Phlip R. Abbott's introduction to the essays collected in The Many Faces of Patriotism (Rowman and Littlefield, 2006), presents a useful overview of theoretical discussions of patriotism from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the aftermath of 9/11. (Posted 9/10/07)
  • In "Unlearning American Patriotism," Theory and Research in Education, Volume 5, 2007, pp. 7-21, Richard Miller argues that "moral sensitivity to the wrongs of American foreign policy" should lead teachers in the U.S. to educate in ways that undermine the civic project of instilling patriotic attitudes in students. (Posted 1/4/09)
  • In "Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism: "Irreconcilable Differences or Possible Bedfellows?," National Identities, Vol. 5, No. 3, 2003, Brett Bowden argues that the nationalism/cosmopolitanism dichotomy is "derived from competing conceptions of human nature" and that its "resolution" is to be sought within "the individual mind-set or psyche." Thanks to Dan Hocking for the link. (Posted 1/30/09)
  • In Nationalist Criticisms of Cosmopolitan Justice, Public Reason, Volume 1, Number 1, 2009, Andras Miklos critically examines three kinds of argument for nationalism and against "stringent international requirements of justice." He considers, first, Michael Walzer's argument from the "social meanings of goods," and second, arguments from the instrumental and intrinsic value of national partiality. (Posted 12/15/09)
  • Igor Primoratz examines the conceptual, normative and political issues surrounding "Patriotism" in his entry on the topic for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (Posted 9/3/10)
  • In "Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism: Irreconcilable Differences or Possible Bedfellows", National Identities, Volume 5, No. 3, 2003, Brent Bowden argues that "both nationalism and cosmopolitanism entail important complementary aspects that are essential in bringing about a more stable and innocuous synthesis of the two projects". (Posted 9/17/11)
  • In "Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism ", Nations and Nationalism, 2008, Craig Calhoun suggests that "we need to achieve a certain disciplinary cosmopolitanism, which, I would suggest, does not require us to give up nationalist attachments to our disciplines but does require us to reach beyond them and sometimes look critically at them". (Posted 9/17/11)
  • In "Human Security and Liberal Peace", Public Reason, Volume 1, No. 1, 2009, authors Endre Begby and Peter Burgess address the "recent wave of criticisms of liberal peacebuilding operations" and argue that "the development of the notion of human security marks a dawning awareness within liberal internationalism of the kinds of problems that the critics point to, however difficult it may still be to embody these ideas in practice". (Posted 9/17/11)
  • In "Cosmopolitan Liberty in the Age of Terrorism," International and Comparative Criminal Justice and Urban Governance, A. Crawford, ed., pp. 413-438, Cambridge University Press, 2011, Clive Walker argues that "focus through the prism of cosmopolitanism on the liberty of individuals suspected of terrorism potentially involves consideration of three internal-facing modalities of restriction: police detention following arrest; administrative restrictions on liberty; and detention pending deportation. Then there is the outward-facing incarceration of the enemies of the state." (Posted 12/28/11)
  • Martha Nussbaum examines Kant's cosmopolitanism in light of ancient Stoic thought in "Kant and Cosmopolitanism," Perpetual Peace: Essays on Kant's Cosmopolitan Ideal, James Bohman and Matthias Lutz-Bachmann (eds.), MIT Press, 1997. (Posted 1/3/12)


  • Tim Dunne's "Social Hierarchy in International Relations," International Relations 17(3), 2003, pp. 303-320, raises the questions of whether and in what ways the English School of IR theory is remains relevant post-9/11. (Posted 5/25/06)
  • Frank J. Garcia, "Globalization and the Theory of International Law," Boston College Law School Faculty Papers, No. 55, June 13, 2005, challenges the "society of states" model of the basis of international law in favor of a "global society" model. (Posted 5/25/06)
  • The Journal of World-Systems Research, Volume XI, Number 2, December 2005, is a special issue devoted to "Globalization from 'above' and 'below': The Future of World Society." Contents include the following: Christopher Chase-Dunn's "Social Evolution and the Future of World Society"; George Modelski's "Long-Term Trends in World Politics"; Joachim Karl Rennstich's "Chaos or ReOrder? The Future of Hegemony in a World-System in Upheaval"; Alberto Martinelli's "From World System to World Society?"; and more. (Posted 5/25/06)
  • "The Real World of Global Democracy," by Daniel M. Weinstock and other selected articles are now available online for a limited time (3 months) courtesy of the publishers and the International Political Theory Beacon. (Posted 5/25/06)
  • In "American Hegemony and the Future of East-West Relations," International Studies Perspectives Volume 7, 2006, pp. 23-30, David Lake argues that if recent trends continue China will rival the U.S. in terms of hard power. The U.S. might however constrain Chinese power by repairing and building its authority within the international legal order. This manuscript copy is online courtesy of the author. (Posted 5/27/06)
  • In "Good Governance at the Supranational Scale: Globalizing Administrative Law," Yale Law Journal, Vol. 115, 2006, pp. 1490-1562, Daniel C. Esty "examines the tension between the demonstrable need for structured international cooperation in a world of interdependence and the political strain that arises whenever policymaking authority is lodged in global institutions." (Posted 5/27/06)
  • In a well-known article entitled "Benevolent Empire" (Foreign Affairs, Summer 1998) Robert Kagen argues that "continued American dominance" is essential for "the preservation of a reasonable level of international security and prosperity." In a like-minded article, Kagen envisions the emergence of a "League of Dictators" (Washington Post 4/30/06) under the more or less independent protections of Russia and China. Accordingly, he sees the future of global politics as a complex struggle between American style Western "liberalism" and various brands of Eastern "autocracy." The Cold War didn't end, it merely became more confusing. Perhaps far more confusing than Kagen allows. To my mind, the rise of American autocracy threatens to strain this semi-Manichean understanding of contemporary geopolitics to the point of incoherence. (Posted 5/30/06)
  • In "A Political Constitution for the Pluralist World Society?," University of Chicago Political Theory Workshop, Fall 2005/2006, Jurgen Habermas explores the possibilities for and obstacles to fulfillment of the Kantian project of transforming international law into a constitutional framework for a truly cosmopolitan global polity. (Posted 6/23/06)
  • In "The Remaking of a Unipolar World," The Washington Quarterly 29:3, Summer 2006, pp. 7-19, Robert Jervis explains "why the United States is a revisionist hegemon seeking a new and better international system rather than a status quo power continuing the order in which it now wields significant power and exercises great influence." (Posted 7/19/06) Also available online is Jervis' "Understanding the Bush Doctrine", Political Science Quarterly, Volume 118, Number 3, 2003. (Posted 7/23/06)
  • In "Transnationalizing the Public Sphere," Republicart.net, March 2003, Nancy Fraser argues that, although problematic, the notion of a transnational public sphere "is indispensable, I think, to those of us who aim to reconstruct democratic theory in the current 'postnational constellation'." The task, as she sees it, is not to jettison the notion in light of its problems, but to reconstruct it along with our "conceptions of validity and communicative power." (Posted 7/19/06)
  • In a working paper presented last August as part of the Princeton Project on National Security, G. John Ikenberry explains Why Bush Grand Strategy Fails and recommends merging American hegemony with international law in an alternative world order of "liberal unipolarity." (7/23/06)
  • In "Human Rights in the Post-September 11th Era: Between Hegemony and Emancipation," Muslim World Journal of Human Rights Vol. 3, No. 1, 2006, Shadi Mokhtari shows how the customary contrast between a universalizing west and a relativizing east is no longer straightforwardly true. (Posted 8/16/06)
  • In "Gramsci and Globalisation: From Nation State to Transnational Hegemony," Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Volume 8, Number 4, December 2005, William I. Robinson argues that "An emergent global capitalist historical bloc, lead by a transnational capitalist class, rather than a particular nation?state, bloc of states, or region, is pursuing a hegemonic project." Registration required for free access. (Posted 8/16/06)
  • In "The Pitfalls of Universal Jurisdiction: Risking Judicial Tryanny," Foreign Affairs, July / August, 2001, Henry Kissinger argues against empowering institutions like the ICC on grounds that "historically, the dictatorship of the virtuous has often led to inquisitions and even witch-hunts." (Posted 8/27/06) In "The Case for Universal Jurisdiction," Foreign Affairs, September/October 2001, Kenneth Roth offers a rebuttal. (Posted 11/10/06)
  • In "Empires and International Relations Theory," Harriman Institute Lecture, 2/3/06, Daniel H. Nexon and Thomas Wright argue that "Empires have different structures than unipolar and hegemonic systems; they display significantly different dynamics than those stressed in balance-of-power and hegemonic-order theory. These differences have implications for the conduct of world politics, and for the question posed by 'American Empire'." (Posted 8/29/06)
  • In "Hierarchy in International Relations: Authority, Sovereignty, and the New Structure of World Politics," Harriman Institute Lecture, 2/3/06, David Lake argues that "hierarchy matters and subordination pays; states appear to trade some portion of their sovereignty for protection from external security threats." (Posted 8/29/06)
  • In "State Sovereignty, International Legality, and Moral Disagreement, APSA 9/2005, Brad R. Roth defends the customary Westphalian understanding of the principles of international sovereign equality and non-intervention against a swarm of critics, including liberal cosmopolitans, conservative realists, and neoconservative unilateralists. This piece also arguably belongs in the Humanitarian Intervention section (above), though you won't find it there. (Posted 8/30/06)
  • According to Immanuel Wallerstein's argument in "US Weakness and the Struggle for Hegemony," Monthly Review July/August 2003, American "imperial" aggression has less to do with its preeminent power than with the last 40 years of economic backsliding. (Posted 9/3/06)
  • In "The Transformational Perspective and the Rise of a Global Standard of Civilization," International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, volume 1, 2001, Mehdi Mozaffari argues that "a meaningful analysis of contemporary international politics needs to consider seriously questions related to the identities of actors and the quality of anarchy... [and] ... only a truly democratic culture is able to construct durable, peaceful and generative co-operation." (Posted 10/19/06)
  • Nadia Urbinati asks, "Can Cosmopolitical Democracy Be Democratic?" in Debating Cosmopolitics, Daniele Archibugi ed., Verso, 2003. The central problem is that the deliberative/participatory dimension of democratic political practice is in tension with the institutional/representative dimension, because the latter distances public legislative authority from local, grassroots tributaries of power. As a consequence, postnationalist global democratic politics can only embrace very weak centralized agencies of global legislative authority. (Posted 10/20/06)
  • The entire text of Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt's Empire, Harvard University Press, 2000, is available online for free, courtesy of neo-Marxism. (Posted 11/10/06)
  • In an excerpt from his latest book, Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic, Chalmers Johnson examines the fragility of American imperial overreach. If the shortcomings of simultaneous campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan reveal that our empire is already stretched too thin, what will happen if we continue to strive for even greater expansion of our foreign military commitments? Can such expansion effectively promote the global common good and/or the interests of American citizens? Johson is interviewed here. (Posted 2/19/07)
  • Although the debate cuts across several of the categories included on this webpage (counter-terrorism, Iraq, nationalism/cosmopolitanism, etc.), I post Michael Lind's response to critics of his conception of "The Future of U.S. Foreign Policy" in this section because much of the debate hinges upon questions about the current and likely future shape of geopolitics. (Posted 3/14/07)
  • In "For Global Federation," Concerned Philosophers for Peace Newsletter, Vol. 24, No. 1, Spring-Summer 2004, Thomas Magnell outlines a neo-Hobbesian approach to cooperative global security. WMD proliferation places nation states in conditions much like those envisioned in Hobbes's conception of the state of nature. Under such conditions we have strong prudential reasons for pursuing our realistic national security aims through cooperative federation with other states. (Posted 4/22/07)
  • In "Civil Society and the Problem of Global Democracy," Democratization 12(1), February 2005, pp. 1-21, Michael Goodhart "criticizes the increasingly popular idea that global civil society (GCS) represents an appealing model of or strategy for global democracy." (Posted 10/17/07)
  • Alex Bellamy's "Introduction: International Society and the English School," from International Society and its Critics, Bellamy (ed.), Oxford University Press, 2004, touches upon a number of pertinent issues for our understanding of hegemony and global society, canvasses recent challenges to the assumptions of so-called "political realism," and outlines some IR research that is highly relevant for purposes of thinking about the prospects for normative restraint in the transnational deployment of armed forces. (Posted 1/12/08)
  • In "What's at Stake in the American Empire Debate?," American Political Science Review, Vol. 101, No. 2, May 2007, Daniel H. Nexon and Thomas Wright distinguish between unipolarity, hegemony and empire, and conclude that the U.S. is less imperial now than it was during the Cold War. (Posted 7/20/08)
  • In "Benhabib on Democratic Iterations in a Global Order," Yossi Dahan & Yossi Yonah critique Benhabib's "Twilight of Sovereignty or the Emergence of Cosmopolitan Norms." (Posted 10/6/08).
  • In "Whose Sovereignty? Empire Versus International Law," Ethics & International Affairs, Vol. 18, no. 3, 2004, Jean Cohen argues against both Schmittian realism and post-national cosmopolitanism in championing the possibility of "a global rule of law" that safeguards both human rights and the idea (suitably revised) of state sovereignty. (Posted 12/26/08)
  • In "Just War Theory Requires a New Federation of Democratic Nations", Fordham International Law Journal, Volume 28, Issue 3, 2004, John Davenport writes this article with two objectives in mind: (1) to support Elshtain’s Augustinian argument in her lecture that there can be no true peace with tyrannical regimes, and (2) to critique the U.N. versus U.S. dichotomy that she employs in her most recent book, Just War Against Terror. (Posted 9/17/11)


  • In "'Hearing: Rise of the Drones: Unmanned Systems and the Future of War,' Written Testimony Submitted to Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, US House of Representatives", Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, US House of Representatives, Subcommittee Hearing, March 2010, Kenneth Anderson defends the "the lawfulness of the CIA campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan and beyond, arguing that they are lawful under doctrines of self defense, and that this legal justification protects this activity even outside of their use by regular military on conventional battlefields." He further argues "that whatever legal issues are unique to drone warfare, the most important issue facing the United States over their use at this time is not drone technology as such, but instead whether, and on what grounds, their use is lawful by the civilian clandestine service, the CIA. Drone technology in effect forces onto the table serious discussion of the lawful and proper role of the CIA." (Posted 12/28/11)
  • In "Post Human-Humanitarian Law: The Law of War in the Age of Robotic Warfare", Harvard Journal of National Security, Volume 2, 2011, Vivek Kanwar examines the "recent literature on the tensions between of autonomy and accountability in robotic warfare" and argues that "from the point of view of IHL the concern is not the introduction of robots into the battlefield, but the gradual removal of humans. In this way the issue of weapon autonomy marks a paradigmatic shift from the so-called “humanization” of IHL to possible post-human concerns." (Posted 12/28/11)
  • Daniel Brunstetter asks, "Can We Wage a Just Drone War?," in The Atlantic Monthly, July 19, 2012. His answer to this question is a highly qualified yes, though his critique of the actual strategy of the Obama Doctrine is largely negative. Brunstetter's article highlights the problematic nature of using anticipatory drone strikes to combat the ever-present threat of terrorism. Since terrorists "by their very existence" always already pose an "imminent" threat, the traditional just war principle of last resort has been watered down to the point where it offers no meaningful restraint. Moreover, it does not seem likely that the application of an unrestrained drone strike tactic can eliminate terrorists faster than it recruits them. (10/21/2012)

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