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The Oxford Handbook of the Theory of International Law edited by Orford, Anne; Hoffmann, Florian (2nd June 2016)

Part II Approaches, Ch.25 Kant, Cosmopolitanism, and International Law

Wouter Werner, Geoff Gordon

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Theory of International Law

Edited By: Anne Orford, Florian Hoffmann

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 14 October 2019

Subject(s):
Responsibility of international organizations — Customary international law — General principles of international law — Relationship of international law & host state law — Sources of international law

This chapter explores the way in which Kantian ideas have been adopted and transformed in contemporary international law and international theory, with the twofold aim of introducing some core topics on Kantian philosophy, cosmopolitanism, and international law, as well as demonstrating the importance of acknowledging different forms of cosmopolitanism at work in international law, thereby shedding new light on the ‘forgotten’ tradition of innate cosmopolitanism. The work of Kant not only occupies an important place in the history of ideas in international legal theory; his work also constitutes an enduring source of inspiration for widely diverging contemporary approaches to international law. On that note, the chapter references four core Kantian ideas incorporated in contemporary cosmopolitan thinking: the categorical imperative, the roughly contractual notion of a federation of free republics, the conception of a cosmopolitan right of hospitality, and the idea of an innate cosmopolitanism.

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