Shifting Political Identities and Global Governance of the Justified Use of Force

  • Anna Leander


This is not a quote from a contemporary scholar discussing the impact of globalization on the way that the justified use of force is viewed. It is taken from Sheldon Wolin’s discussion of violence in Western political thought in the 1960s when the word globalization did not yet enjoy its current, seemingly irresistible, appeal. It nonetheless adequately describes a tension deepened since Wolin wrote his article: namely the tension between the inside/outside (state) boundaries that are used when thinking and reasoning about the justified use of force and the geographic boundaries and foreign commitments of society. This tension has increased as a result of two parallel developments in political identities. The first of these is the development of transnational political identities articulated in relation to issues that have boundaries different from those of the state. The interest of the community no longer coincides with the geographic boundaries of the state in Wolin’s wording. The second development is the parallel affirmation of the rights of individuals to resist oppressive states (and their use of force) that creates uncertainty about the foreign commitments of society to intervene in support of that right. These developments have opened up the questions that are the stuff of the global governance debate.


Civil Society Global Governance Political Identity Geographic Boundary International Politics 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Markus Lederer and Philipp S. Müller 2005

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  • Anna Leander

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