Kant, State Sovereignty, and International Reform

  • Antonio Franceschet


For Kant, sovereignty is the key mechanism of political reform. It is the way in which politics can be domesticated to approximate the formal principles of morality. However, state sovereignty also presents Kant with a profound set of moral difficulties that ultimately threatens the realization of justice too. For, although sovereignly is a necessary cause of justice, it is also, paradoxically, a major cause of injustice both domestically and internationally. In this chapter I demonstrate that Kant’s advocacy of international reform is consistent with, and a crucial part of, his general attempt to articulate the conditions of justice as a means by which individuals are empowered to eliminate if not reduce the large discrepancy between morality and politics.


Sovereign State Definitive Article State Sovereignty Formal Principle International Theory 
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© Antonio Franceschet 2002

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  • Antonio Franceschet

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