Thinking with Kant “beyond” Kant

Actualizing Sovereignty and Citizenship in the Transnational Sphere

in Danish Yearbook of Philosophy
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In the following essay, I attempt to reactualize some of Kant’s most fundamental conceptions of a state’s sovereignty and the legitimacy of the cosmopolitan order. To this end, I provide what appears as a viable solution to Kant’s “sovereignty dilemma”; that is, the reconciliation between state sovereignty and the international enforceability of laws. I consider that a key component of the overall Kantian cosmopolitan project is the role played by the transcendental notion of an “originally united will” in its validation of constituencies. I emphasize the view that for Kant state-citizens are also, as he says, “citizens of the world” (Weltbürger) or “citizens of the earth” (Erdbürger). I argue, furthermore, that a state’s sovereignty must comply with a number of different constitutional wholes. I then proceed by confronting the Kantian notion of a general united will with the Habermasian conception of “double sovereignty.” I conclude by suggesting a fusion/synthesis between the two views, one which would require endorsing the idea of cosmopolitan constitutionalism as a meta-framework for interpreting the legitimacy of member states’ compliance with policy indications of transnational constituencies.

Thinking with Kant “beyond” Kant

Actualizing Sovereignty and Citizenship in the Transnational Sphere

in Danish Yearbook of Philosophy

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