The Trans-civilizational, the Inter-civilizational, and the Human

Giles Gunn

in Legality and Legitimacy in Global Affairs

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199781577
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932887 | DOI:
The Trans-civilizational, the Inter-civilizational, and the Human

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This essay argues that legitimacy functions in an arbitrary manner, generally as deference to asymmetries of power, unless it is grounded on a discernable foundation provided by the delineation of ‘the human” in a global field. It proceeds to do so by developing a contrast between the spheres of the national, international, and transnational, which are all subject to the Westphalian system’s reliance on regimes of law within and between states to adjudicate and resolve humanitarian crises, and those larger collective frames of reference like the transcivilizatonal and the intercivilizational, which offer themselves as the only viable source of authority not marked by the iron rule of self-interest. But this, in turn requires a rethinking of the relationship between the human and the neighbor.

Keywords: human; transcivilizational; normative; legitimacy; neighbor

Chapter.  9328 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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