Alternative Visions of a New Global Order: What Should Cosmopolitans Hope For?

Cristina Lafont*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


In a series of recent articles, Habermas outlined the basic features that a future international order ought to have. Although so far we only have the contours of the model, the combination of normative and realistic considerations that it contains clearly indicates that the project belongs to the genre of realistic utopias. However, since the model has not yet been fully developed, the exact tradeoffs between realist and utopian elements are not easy to assess. So far at least, the way in which Habermas has presented the model is ambiguous. It allows for a normatively robust reading that suggests a very ambitious model for a future international order, but it also oscillates towards a deflated, minimalist reading that may seem more realistic and thus easier to defend but not worth defending. This chapter defends its plausibility and desirability by analysing and criticizing some considerations and lines of argument that Habermas offers while explaining the model and which seem to lend support to the normatively deflated reading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLegal Republicanism
Subtitle of host publicationNational and International Perspectives
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191720956
ISBN (Print)9780199559169
StatePublished - May 1 2009


  • Cosmopolitanism
  • Habermas
  • International order
  • Minimalism
  • Republicanism
  • Utopia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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