IS THERE A GLOBAL RIGHT TO DEMOCRACY? A Philosophical Analysis of Peacekeeping and Nation Building

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This is an expansive study of what we call “The Global Right to Democracy.” The idea gestates from a late 20th century reading of Immanuel Kant. This book is the first comprehensive look at the intersection of neo-Kantian theory and democratization programs undertaken by international organizations and non-governmental bodies in post-conflict and fragile states. The features of this new, assumed right, seem to graft onto international law---and thus hand over to international agencies—methods of protecting and effecting ‘democracy’ in its broadest definition. The consequence seems to be an alteration of traditional notions of international behavior and a challenge to the primacy of state sovereignty.


“The first comprehensive look at the intersection of neo-Kantian theory and contemporary democracy promotion as practiced by the global community in post-conflict and fragile states. [The authors] bring together recent political theory with policy formation on the global stage. In doing so they admirably demonstrate how the definition of democracy, as constructed through practical actions in international fora and on the ground in nation-building efforts, has evolved through collective discourse.” – Dr. George Eisen, Nazareth College

Table of Contents




Chapter 1: The Evolution of the International Organization—Nation-State Relationship

Historic Roots

The Western Tradition
Kant and the Western Tradition
Post-Kant Geopolitics

20th Century Trials

The United Nations and the Cold War

A Globalized World

The Rise and Fall of State Sovereignty

21st Century International Organizations

The Critical Arrangement: Development, Democracy, and Human Rights

Modernization, Democratization, and Human Rights Intertwined

Democracy and Modernization as Elements of New Normative International Law

Chapter 2: The Philosophical Basis for International Organizations’ Promotion of Democracy: Kant, his Acolytes and Challengers


Twentieth Century Theories: The Liberal and Postmodern Century
The Doubters

Culture, Modernization, and International Relations

John Rawls and IR Theory


Chapter 3: Rights: Plural Definitions

The Ancients
The Greeks
The Romans
The Non-West
The Moderns

Post-World War II

Human Rights and Judicial Process

Chapter 4: International Organizations and the Promotion of Democracy

Defining the Norm

The UN’s Promotion of Democracy

European Union Democracy Promotion

The Broadening of Narrowly Focused Democracy Promotion: The Community of Democracies and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

Development Bank Democracy Promotion: The Case of the Asian Development Bank

Operationalizing Human Rights

Chapter 5: Challenges to the Realization of a Global Right to Democracy


Resistance to Imperialism in the Guise of Democracy Promotion


Soft and Hard Authoritarianism

The Sovereignty Argument

International Constitutionalism

Chapter 6: Citizenship and the Global Right to Democracy: Cosmopolitan Hope and Evolution




Transnationalism, Global Civil Society, and the Right to Democracy

The Cosmopolitan Right to Democracy


Documents, Speeches, and Reports
Articles and Books

Other Philosophy-Kant, Immanuel Books