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Three Images of “Global Community”: Theorizing Law and Community in a Multicultural World

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image of International Community Law Review

This article uncovers the normative commitments underlying discussions on compliance and institutional design in international law and international relations (IR) theory through an examination of the concept of “global community” in different disciplinary discourses. Three images of global community are conjured in these theoretical discussions: the pluralist, the solidarist, and the discursive. After outlining the first two and discussing the critiques waged against them, the article seeks to defend the third image, which offers an approach to global social integration that is both culturally attuned and ambitious in scope. Drawing on critical IR theory, political philosophy as well as discursive theories of law, the article argues that the proposed image of global community holds the potential to successfully resolve the inherent tension between order, justice and cultural diversity, and where international law may play a meaningful role.

Affiliations: 1: Ryerson University School of Management Toronto, ON, Canada


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