David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Westview Press (1998)
Why should sovereign states obey international law? What compels them to owe allegiance to a higher set of rules when each country is its own law of the land? What is the basis of their obligations to each other? Conventional wisdom suggests that countries are too different from one another culturally to follow laws out of mere loyalty to each other or a set of shared moral values. Surely, the prevailing view holds, countries act simply out of self-interest, and they eventually consent to norms of international law to regulate matters of common interest.In this groundbreaking book, Fernando Tesón goes against this prevailing thought by arguing, in the Kantian tradition, that a shared respect for individual human rights underpins not just the obligation countries feel to follow international law but also international laws themselves and even the very legitimacy of nations in the eyes of the international community. Tesón, both a lawyer and a philosopher, proposes that an overlapping respect for human rights has created a moral common ground among the countries of the world; and moreover, that such an outlook is the only one that is rationally defensible. It is this common set of values rather than self-interest that ultimately provides legitimacy to international law. Using the tools of moral philosophy, Tesón analyzes the concepts of sovereignty, intervention, and national interest; the contributions of social contact theory, game theory, and feminist theory; and the puzzles of self-determination and group rights.More than simply outlining his theory, Tesón goes on to give detailed examples of international laws, international institutions, and their human rights foundations, putting his ideas to work and addressing legal reforms called for by the theory. He suggests that treaties, for example, should be considered binding if, and only if, the consent to the treaty was given by a genuinely representative government, one that acts out of interest for the human rights of its citizens. Although the theoretical achievement of this book is to challenge received wisdom on the foundation of international law, the practical ambition is a call to reform the international legal system for the post–Cold War era, to substitute for the old order one that gives primacy to human dignity and freedom over state power.
|Keywords||International law Philosophy|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Buy the book||$9.95 used (84% off) $2000.00 new Amazon page|
|Call number||KZ1255.T47 1998|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Kjartan Mikalsen (2011). In Defense of Kant's League of States. Law and Philosophy 30 (3):291-317.
James Pattison (2007). Humanitarian Intervention and International Law: The Moral Importance of an Intervener's Legal Status. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 10 (3):301-319.
Fernando R. Tesón (2011). The Liberal Constitution and Foreign Affairs. Social Philosophy and Policy 28 (1):115-149.
Peter Sutch (2012). Normative IR Theory and the Legalization of International Politics: The Dictates of Humanity and of the Public Conscience as a Vehicle for Global Justice. Journal of International Political Theory 8 (1-2):1-24.
Similar books and articles
Mortimer N. S. Sellers (2009). The Republican Foundations of International Law. In Samantha Besson & José Luis Martí (eds.), Legal Republicanism: National and International Perspectives. Oup Oxford.
Jordy Rocheleau (2007). State Consent Vs. Human Rights as Foundations for International Law. Social Philosophy Today 23:117-132.
Larry May & Zachary Hoskins (eds.) (2010). International Criminal Law and Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
Samantha Besson & John Tasioulas (eds.) (2010). The Philosophy of International Law. Oxford University Press.
Nghia Hoang, International Human Rights Law and the Protection of the Individual's Rights in the Age of Terrorism: The Case of the United Kingdom.
Allen E. Buchanan (2004). Justice, Legitimacy, and Self-Determination: Moral Foundations for International Law. Oxford University Press.
Jack L. Goldsmith (2007). The Limits of International Law. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads49 ( #40,744 of 1,679,298 )
Recent downloads (6 months)29 ( #6,785 of 1,679,298 )
How can I increase my downloads?