chapter  2
17 Pages

Cosmopolitanism and natural law: Kant and Hegel

I have suggested in the last chapter that the new cosmopolitanism has an affinity with natural law theory. This is indicated in its return to Kant and in particular its rediscovery and reconstruction of Kant’s political essays on ‘perpetual peace’ and the ‘cosmopolitan point of view’ written over a 12-year period around the time of the French revolution (Kant 1991).1 They are now widely regarded as the key philosophical origins of the new cosmopolitanism (Bohman and Lutz-Bachmann 1997). In this chapter I shall outline Kant’s approach to cosmopolitanism and the natural law framework within which it is posed. My interest is in pursuing the question of the transition from natural law theory to cosmopolitan social theory and I shall argue that a crucial link-person in this transition, despite his reputation as philosopher of the state, is Hegel.