Political Structures

Simon Caney

in Justice Beyond Borders

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780198293507
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602337 | DOI:
 Political Structures

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Having argued in Chs 3 and 4 that there are cosmopolitan principles of civil and political justice and cosmopolitan principles of distributive justice, one is logically led to the question, ‘if one affirms cosmopolitan principles of justice, what kind of political framework (political structures) should one accept— a system of states, or of global political institutions, of autonomous nations (including even statehood)? This chapter seeks to answer these questions. It is arranged in 17 sections: Section I provides a conceptual analysis of some possible political frameworks; the following six sections (II–VI) consider cosmopolitan approaches to the question of how political power should be institutionalized (II), present three possible approaches—intrinsic, right-based, and instrumental (III–V), and examine the nature of the political framework offered by these three approaches (VI); Sections VII–XI analyse five challenges to the cosmopolitan political proposals, first, those voiced by statists (including both realists and those who affirm the ‘society of states’) (VIII–X) and, second, those voiced by those sympathetic to the idea of a global civil society (XI); Sections XII–XVI evaluate four nationalist claims that any defensible account of political institutions should grant autonomy to nations (provide national self-determination), and they aim to defend a cosmopolitan political programme—one in which there are democratic supra-state institutions charged with protecting people’s civil, political, and economic rights—and to rebut the challenges of statists and nationalists or to show that they can be accommodated by cosmopolitans. Section XVII summarizes and concludes that, overall, a cosmopolitan political order should grant a very heavily qualified role to national self-determination.

Keywords: arguments for institutional cosmopolitanism; challenges to institutional cosmopolitanism; cosmopolitan principles of justice; cosmopolitanism; global civil society; institutional cosmopolitanism; instrumental approaches; intrinsic approaches; justice; national self-determination; nationalism; political institutions; political power; political structures; realism; right-based approaches; society of states; statism; supra-state institutions

Chapter.  21420 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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