Democratic Peace beyond Westphalia: Kang and Kant

In: Comparative Political Theory
Daniel Hutton Ferris Henry Daysh Building 429, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, UK, ne1 7rx

Search for other papers by Daniel Hutton Ferris in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



This piece brings into dialogue two philosophically profound and hugely influential texts on the nature and requisites of international peace: Immanuel Kant’s “Towards Perpetual Peace” (zum Ewigen Frieden) and Kang Youwei’s 康有为 Book of Great Unity 大同书. Both texts articulate bold visions of a world without international war and embed concrete institutional plans for establishing peace within strongly progressivist philosophies of history. But Kang and Kant disagree in some crucial respects. Most significantly: whilst Kant imagines a liberal peace between sovereign states, Kang argues that enduring pacification would have to be enforced by a communitarian and deliberative democratic polity spanning the earth. Reading the Book of Great Unity alongside “Perpetual Peace” raises timely and challenging questions for contemporary Kantians and, more generally, for liberal internationalist political theorists and scholars of international relations.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 43 43 0
Full Text Views 54 54 17
PDF Views & Downloads 100 100 23