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Morality, Ethics, And Globalization: Lessons From Kant, Hegel, Rawls, And Habermas

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the separation of political theory from international theory and argues that it is essential if international relations (IR) scholars are to provide answers to the urgent moral and ethical questions facing world politics in an era of globalization. An examination of the political philosophies of Kant and Hegel demonstrates the importance of political theory for the analysis and practice of global politics today, while the tension between the universal and particular, emerging from Kantian morality and Hegelian ethics, is traced in the recent work of John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas. In Law of Peoples, Rawls uses a fictitious Muslim community, Kazanistan, to show how universal principles of foreign policy can be adopted by "decent", "well-ordered" societies while fully respecting their cultural particularities. Similarly, Habermas' struggles with the question of how to reconcile constitutionally regulated processes of national politics with the moral authority of supranational institutions and norms.

Keywords: globalization; Hegelian ethics; international relations (IR) scholars; Jürgen Habermas; John Rawls; Kantian morality; Muslim community



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