Kant and the Theory and Practice of International Right

Georg Cavallar

Kant and the Theory and Practice of International Right

Georg Cavallar

Distributed for University of Wales Press

214 pages | 8-2/5 x 5-2/5
Cloth $49.95 ISBN: 9780708315095 Published May 1999 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only

This innovative study focuses on the Kantian theory of international relations, a subject which has frequently been either ignored or misunderstood. Kant was criticized by contemporaries who asserted that his political ideas were idealistic and impractical. He countered this accusation by evolving a political philosophy which formed a link between the theoretical doctrine of pure law and the actualities of the real world.


The author argues that Kant’s theory of international relations can be read as an attempt to bring reason and history together. Kant tries to apply the a priori principles of reason to history in general, and to the political conditions of the late eighteenth century in particular, and this volume examines the way in which he attempts to mediate between theory and practice.


In this stimulating and lucid work, Cavallar provides one of the first comprehensive examinations in English of Kant’s theory of international right.


Introduction: Mediating Between Pure Reason and Practice

1. The Contemporary Context: Kant’s Judgement on Frederick’s Enlightened Absolutism

2. Kantian International Right: Background and Paradigm Shift

3. Judging War

4. Does Republicanism Promote Peace?

5. Non-intervention, Humanitarian Intervention and Failed States

6. Conflicts in Kant’s Account of the Right to Go to War

7. The Unjust Enemy

8. Kant’s Society of Nations: Free Federation or World Republic?

9. Moving Beyond Nationalism: Constitutional Patriotism and Cosmopolitan Enthusiasm in Kant

Conclusion: A Theory for our Times

Review Quotes
Political Studies

“As such this is the most thorough account of Kant’s international political theory that I have read and helps to make sense of what is a notoriously problematic aspect of Kant’s practical philosophy.” –Political Studies

For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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