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Brock, Gillian, , . Contemporary Cosmopolitanism: Some Current Issues
2013, Philosophy Compass, 8 (8): 689-698.
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Abstract: In this article, we survey some current debates among cosmopolitans and their critics. We begin by surveying some distinctions typically drawn among kinds of cosmopolitanisms, before canvassing some of the diverse varieties of cosmopolitan justice, exploring positions on the content of cosmopolitan duties of justice, and a prominent debate between cosmopolitans and defenders of statist accounts of global justice. We then explore some common concerns about cosmopolitanism – such as whether cosmopolitan commitments are necessarily in tension with other affiliations people typically have and how we should deal with issues concerning a perceived lack of authority in the global domain – and whether these can be addressed. We also look briefly at how the concern with feasibility has led some to take up the challenge of devising public policy that is cosmopolitan in outlook, before offering some concluding remarks on future directions in these debates.

Comment: This text is a clear and concise introduction to the contemporary state of debates concerning global justice. It would make an excellent addition to an introductory course in political philosophy, justice, or global ethics.

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Brock, Gillian, , . Global Justice: A Cosmopolitan Account
2009, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Publisher: Gillian Brock develops a viable cosmopolitan model of global justice that takes seriously the equal moral worth of persons, yet leaves scope for defensible forms of nationalism and for other legitimate identifications and affiliations people have. Brock addresses two prominent kinds of skeptic about global justice: those who doubt its feasibility and those who believe that cosmopolitanism interferes illegitimately with the defensible scope of nationalism by undermining goods of national importance, such as authentic democracy or national self-determination. The model addresses concerns about implementation in the world, showing how we can move from theory to public policy that makes progress toward global justice. It also makes clear how legitimate forms of nationalism are compatible with commitments to global justice. Global Justice is divided into three central parts. In the first, Brock defends a cosmopolitan model of global justice. In the second, which is largely concerned with public policy issues, she argues that there is much we can and should do toward achieving global justice. She addresses several pressing problems, discussing both theoretical and public policy issues involved with each. These include tackling global poverty, taxation reform, protection of basic liberties, humanitarian intervention, immigration, and problems associated with global economic arrangements. In the third part, she shows how the discussion of public policy issues can usefully inform our theorizing; in particular, it assists our thinking about the place of nationalism and equality in an account of global justice.

Comment: This text is a comprehensive set of arguments concerning global economic justice, with application to areas such as taxation, immigration, and military-humanitarian intervention. It responds to a wide variety of literature, but takes as its starting point Rawls’ Law of Peoples. Individuals chapters could be taught in a lower-level undergraduate class, while entire sections could be taught in an upper-division undergraduate class.

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Chambers, Clare, , Phil Parvin. Teach Yourself Political Philosophy: A Complete Introduction
2012, Hodder & Stoughton.
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Publisher’s Note: Written by Phil Parvin and Clare Chambers, who are current political philosophy lecturers and leading researchers, Political Philosophy – The Essentials is designed to give you everything you need to succeed, all in one place. It covers the key areas that students are expected to be confident in, outlining the basics in clear jargon-free English, and then providing added-value features like summaries of key thinkers, and even lists of questions you might be asked in your seminar or exam. The book’s structure follows that of most university courses on political philosophy, by looking at the essential concepts within political philosophy (freedom, equality, power, democracy, rights, the state, political obligation), and then looking at the ways in which political philosophers have used these fundamental concepts in order to tackle a range of normative political questions such as whether the state has a responsibility to alleviate inequalities, and what interest liberal and democratic states should take in the cultural or religious beliefs of citizens.

Comment: ‘Phil Parvin and Clare Chambers have produced a state of the art textbook, which provides students with a comprehensive and bang up-to-date introduction to contemporary political philosophy. Topics are introduced in a clear and eminently readable fashion, using accessible real world examples whilst drawing on sophisticated scholarly literature. There is no comparable book which covers such a wide range of topics in such a student-friendly manner.’ (Dr Daniel Butt, Lecturer in Political Theory, University of Bristol.)‘A lively, accessible and engaging read. Comprehensive and well organized, it provides an updated account of key concepts in contemporary political philosophy, and highlights their relevance to political life in the 21st century. A valuable book for anyone taking their first steps in the world of political philosophy, or anyone who seeks to understand the normative challenges faced by our society today.’ (Dr Avia Pasternak, Lecturer in Political Theory, University of Essex.)‘Written in a clear and accessible style, it is an engaging introduction for those who are new to political philosophy and wish to think through some of its most important questions. In addition to offering outlines of key arguments, each chapter also contains a summary of main concepts, self-test questions, a wonderful selection of quotations and some attention-grabbing ‘nuggets” (Dr Zosia Stemplowska, University Lecturer in Political Theory, University of Oxford)

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Frowe, Helen, , . Non-Combatant Liability in War
2011, In Frowe, Helen and Gerald Lang. How We Fight: Ethics in War. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Publisher: How We Fight: Ethics in War contains ten groundbreaking essays by some of the leading philosophers of war. The essays offer new perspectives on key debates including pacifism, punitive justifications for war, the distribution of risk between combatants and non-combatants, the structure of ‘just war theory’, and bases of individual liability in war.

Comment: This text is best used in modules or classes introducing or investigating military ethics, war theory, and legal philosophy. This should be a primary text for such classes.

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Kleingeld, Pauline, , . Kant and Cosmopolitanism: The Philosophical Ideal of World Citizenship
2011, Cambridge University Press.
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Publisher’s Note: This is the first comprehensive account of Kant’s cosmopolitanism, highlighting its moral, political, legal, economic, cultural, and psychological aspects. Contrasting Kant’s views with those of his German contemporaries, and relating them to current debates, Pauline Kleingeld sheds new light on texts that have been hitherto neglected or underestimated. In clear and carefully argued discussions, she shows that Kant’s philosophical cosmopolitanism underwent a radical transformation in the mid 1790s and that the resulting theory is philosophically stronger than is usually thought. Using the work of figures such as Fichte, Cloots, Forster, Hegewisch, Wieland, and Novalis, Kleingeld analyzes Kant’s arguments regarding the relationship between cosmopolitanism and patriotism, the importance of states, the ideal of an international federation, cultural pluralism, race, global economic justice, and the psychological feasibility of the cosmopolitan ideal. In doing so, she reveals a broad spectrum of positions in cosmopolitan theory that are relevant to current discussions of cosmopolitanism.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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Lafont, Christina, , . Alternative Visions of a New Global Order: What Should Cosmopolitans Hope For?
2008, Ethics and Global Politics (1).
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Abstract: In this essay, I analyze the cosmopolitan project for a new international order that Habermas has articulated in recent publications. I argue that his presentation of the project oscillates between two models. The first is a very ambitious model for a future international order geared to fulfill the peace and human rights goals of the UN Charter. The second is a minimalist model, in which the obligation to protect human rights by the international community is circumscribed to the negative duty of preventing wars of aggression and massive human rights violations due to armed conflicts such as ethnic cleansing or genocide. According to this model, any more ambitious goals should be left to a global domestic politics, which would have to come about through negotiated compromises among domesticated major powers at the transnational level. I defend the ambitious model by arguing that there is no basis for drawing a normatively significant distinction between massive human rights violations due to armed conflicts and those due to regulations of the global economic order. I conclude that the cosmopolitan goals of the Habermasian project can only be achieved if the principles of transnational justice recognized by the international community are ambitious enough to cover economic justice.

Comment: This article addresses topics that may be covered by a wide variety of courses. Lafont addresses both a Rawlsian and a Habermasian theory of global justice and international law, making this a good text to supplement a course that covers institutional proposals for global justice and fulfilling other cosmopolitan obligations.

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