Beyond the Anarchical Society: Grotius, Colonialism, and Order in World Politics

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Abstract

Edward Keene argues that the popular idea of an ‘anarchical society’ of equal and independent sovereign states is an inadequate description of order in modern world politics. International political and legal order has always been dedicated to two distinct goals:it tries to promote the toleration of different ways of life, but at the same time it promotes one specific way of life that it labels ‘civilization’. The nineteenth-century solution to this contradictionwas to restrict the promotion of civilization to the world beyond Europe. That discriminatory way of thinking has now broken down, with the result that a single, global order is supposed to apply to everyone, but that has left us with an insoluble dilemma as to what the ultimate purpose of this global order should be, and how its political and legal structure should be organized.

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Authors

  • Anthony Pagden

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