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Realising cosmopolitanism: the role of a world state

Ulaş, Luke (2013) Realising cosmopolitanism: the role of a world state. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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The central claim of this work is straightforward: if one endorses cosmopolitan principles of distributive justice, then one ought also to be a world statist. This is not the generally held view. Institutionally, cosmopolitans have tended to endorse – when they have endorsed any particular institutions at all – either modified and enhanced versions of today's domestic state system, or ‘intermediary’ institutional constructs that are conceptualised as sitting apart from both the domestic state system and a world state. I aim to demonstrate that, from a cosmopolitan perspective, these are inferior alternatives, and to make the case for a federal world state. The point of such a project is to confront cosmopolitan moral theory with its radical institutional implications, which its proponents have often ignored or resisted. In making this argument, after underlining conceptual and empirical difficulties for the idea of ‘cosmopolitan law’ without strong central government, I pay extended attention to what has been described as cosmopolitanism’s ‘solidarity problem’, which recognises that there is currently little appetite among the global population for distributing resources or otherwise changing behaviours and practices so as to realise cosmopolitan distributive principles. I consider three approaches to this problem: the possibility of the principled transformation of domestic states; the development of a sense of global community; and an emphasis upon the harnessing of self-interested motivations. In each case I demonstrate the importance of the transcendence of the domestic state system, and global political integration. Thereafter, I directly address various ‘intermediary’ institutional prescriptions, arguing that in many respects they are less clearly distinguishable from a world state than their authors believe, and that where they are distinguishable this represents a disadvantage with respect to the realisation of cosmopolitan ends when compared to a world state. Finally, I consider and reject a range of common critiques of the world state itself, while emphasising that many of these critiques in fact function as critiques of cosmopolitan distributive theory, rendering them unavailable to the cosmopolitan theorists who are my intended audience.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 Luke Ulaş
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JX International law
Sets: Departments > Government
Supervisor: Kukathas, Chandran

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