Republican International Relations

Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):51-78 (2015)
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Contemporary proponents of republican political theory often focus on the concept of freedom as non-domination, and how best to promote it within a state. However, there is little attention paid to what the republican conception of freedom demands in the international realm. In this essay I examine what is required for an agent to enjoy freedom as non-domination, and argue that this might only be achieved for individuals if one of two possibilities is pursued internationally: either (1) all nations are made equally powerful, such that none may arbitrarily impose its will on another without penalty, or (2) all nations are joined under a global sovereign which guarantees that the weaker states are not subject to the whims of the stronger. I further argue that the first condition cannot suffice for achieving true non-domination, and as a result, republicanism must prescribe working toward the establishment of a global state. This paper provides an important contribution to the literature by addressing the international implications of the republican conception of freedom.

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Nathan Gabriel Wood
University of Ghent


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