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Kant and the problem of war

Objective

The project centres on Kant's theory of war. In particular, it intends to assess critically Kant's reduction of the problem of war to an internal problem, i.e. the constitutional setting of each nation. Notoriously, for Kant the main cause of war is the existence of despotic regimes, more war-prone than liberal democracies. Given the almost complete removal of war from the relations among democracies in the last two centuries, Kant's thesis has become a quasi dogma in international relations.

After a critical analysis of the dogma, the project asks how Kant envisions the overthrowing of despotic regimes for the sake of perpetual peace and whether he endorses a violent imposition of freedom on nations that do not live up to the liberal-democratic standard. In so doing, the project intersects the neo-realist critique that warns against the risk of waging a "democratic perpetual war" for the sake of perpetual peace. The project also intends to assess the contemporary non-realist critiques of Kant's theory. In this context, special attention will be devoted to the cosmopolitan democracy proposal (by David Held and Daniele Archibugi) and to the current attempt of leading European intellectuals (Jaques Derrida an d Juergen Habermas) to define the main principles of a specifically European foreign policy.

The objectives of the proposal will be achieved by a strongly interdisciplinary approach. Although the proposal's orientation is mainly philosophical and finds its natural home in the philosophy department of Philipps-Universitaet Margurg, it also profits from the cooperation with the Marburg Centre for Conflict Studies that hosts 45 researchers from 15 different disciplines.

Call for proposal

FP6-2004-MOBILITY-5
See other projects for this call

Coordinator

PHILIPPS-UNIVERSITAET MARBURG
Address
Biegenstrasse 10
Marburg
Germany