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Governing A Global Community Of Shared Risks

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers interpretations of the globalization process along a continuum ranging from "realist" emphasis upon sovereignty in the inter-state system to "idealist" projections of cosmopolitan citizenship and global government. The work of Jürgen Habermas is taken to be the most comprehensive via media between the "extreme" positions. In The Postnational Constellation, Habermas relates morality to ethics in explaining the potential for, but also the current limitations upon, cosmopolitan projects. The example of the European Union (EU) demonstrates the possibility for politics to "catch up" with globalizing markets. The distinction between morality and ethics refers us back to Kant and Hegel, to Kant's formulation of the categorical imperative as universal moral law, and to Hegel's reply that only ethical life in a historically formed community is concrete. The Kantian approach continues to sustain cosmopolitan visions of global community; the Hegelian approach emphasizes cultural specificity and respect for national sovereignty.

Keywords: European Union (EU); global community; globalization; Hegelian approach; Jürgen Habermas; Kantian approach; national sovereignty



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