Politics and Ethics Review 3 (1):57-72 (2007)

This paper provides an outline of Kant's ideas on international right showing how they derive from his general view of law and showing how they relate to his cosmopolitan ideal of hospitality, his views on colonialism and the vexed issue of intervention in the internal politics of other states. It can be shown – based on his ideal of hospitality and good state practice – that Kant is reluctant to recommend intervention by advanced states in the affairs of other states and societies even where those societies have not attained a settled, civil status. This is not to imply that we should be indifferent to the situation of other peoples, but rather that we should encourage them to find their own way to a more advanced condition. We can best encourage them by setting and abiding by rigorous standards of law both domestically and internationally that create the possibility of a wholly legally regulated international system.War should be regarded as neither a desirable nor, ultimately, a legitimate means of pursuing foreign policy
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DOI 10.3366/per.2007.3.1.57
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