Department of Political Science

Gorm Harste

Kant's Theory of European Integration: Kant's Toward Perpetual Peace and changing forms of separated powers in the evolution of military and politics

Research output: Working paperResearch

  • Department of Political Science
  Abstract:Immanuel Kant developed a rather wide range of concepts to describe the process of an "ever broader union" of European states. Kant's theory posed a dilemma with two aspects. On the one hand republican states were free, and on the other they were obliged to follow rules of a union of states, for instance regulations of non-intervention. Debates have focused this dilemma as if it was a real contradiction. The argument in the present paper is that there is no such contradiction. To the contrary, in his philosophy of reflective judgement, Kant describes the compelling duty as not to stick to private lust and interests but to communicate and deliberate in a public argumentation. No actor can sustain an interest in becoming isolated from others. Thus the coercive power of a federation is not the negative one to force a state or a sovereign people, for instance by intervention, but to let it cooperate with other states rather than to isolate it. Kant observes a guarantee that such a form of integration could emerge and succeed, because the military powers of Europe had to develop complexities of separated powers in their organisation of states. Underneath the unity of isolated "autonomous" states, strong convergence processes took place in those separated subsystems that were functional to well-organised states.
Original languageEnglish
Place of publicationJahrbuch für Recht und Ethik / Annual Review of Law and Ethics
PublisherDuncker & Humblot
Pages53 - 84
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Research areas

  • Kant, Kant, Rawls, sovereignty, military revolutions, realism, idealism, English school, Philosophy of History, State-building, German history

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