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Title: Constructing an international community : a developmental communitarian account of the politics and philosophy of international relations
Author: Sutch, P. D. E.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis critically explores contemporary liberal international relations theory. It argues that philosophical, empirical and epistemological challenges to the dominant liberal cosmopolitan position require a re-examination of a tradition of liberal thought that cultivates ideas drawn from the often obscured non-Kantian ancestry of liberal theory. This tradition is presented here as developmental communitarianism. This tradition is constructed to present the Hegelian-liberal theory of Mervyn Frost, the communitarian-liberal theory of Michael Walzer and the political liberalism of John Rawls as important alternatives to the current orthodoxy of Kantian cosmopolitanism. After an exploration of the current empirical and theoretical debates that explore the issues surrounding globalization, interdependence and the philosophical justification of international relations theory this thesis argues that constructivist reasoning provides the only secure grounding for a political theory of international relations. The requirements of constructivist reasoning, taken principally from the work of Onora O'Neill, are simply that acceptable international relations theory must be accessible to all relevant others. That is, it must not rely upon dubious or highly contestable pedicates. Cosmopolitanism, despite a rich and much called upon history and O'Neill's comprehensive development of its grounding principles, cannot and does not fulfil these requirements. The arguments it uses in defence of contemporary liberal claims that urge the creation of a greater human rights culture, or claim to have discovered the necessity of a greater ius-cosmopoliticum or to insist on the dissolution of sovereign boundaries, are shown to be wanting in many respects. In seeking to establish a genuinely constructivist liberal theory the principal claim of this thesis is that the developmental communitarian method of Frost, Walzer and Rawls and the reconstructed conceptions of liberal international ethics that they offer shows the way forward for a just liberal solution to the problems of contemporary international politics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available