Global Limits: Immanuel Kant, International Relations, and by Mark F. N. Franke

By Mark F. N. Franke

Explores the boundaries of Kantian techniques to the research of overseas affairs.

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Additional info for Global Limits: Immanuel Kant, International Relations, and Critique of World Politics (Suny Series in Global Politics) (Suny Series in Global Politics (Paperback))

Example text

Hence, a re-invigorated 24 Introduction Kantian theory of international relations propounds global limits to ever thinking or acting appropriately within the limits of a globe. It must suggest that “the international” can never provide an adequate point of departure from which to understand and respond to politics experienced in the world. The struggles of international politics and debates within international relations theory ought, rather, always to be recognized as limiting representations of politics.

In the end, my conclusions might be taken more as a combined affront to the discipline of international relations than a helpful contribution to it. My purposes here are perhaps better understood, however, as an attempt to demonstrate, through the example of Kant, exceptional problems that underlie the work that is pursued in this field. And in this regard it is true that I seek to engage international relations theory in a constructive, as opposed to destructive, manner. With this in mind, it is worth noting that I do not strive in this book to necessarily provide the correct or the final reading of Kant in international relations.

And it is also in this regard that one may discover how little Kant has in common with the traditionally overt assumptions and aims of scholars within the discipline of international relations, regardless of perspective. In reading Kant’s so-called political writings back into what I see as their source in his Critical projects and additional works on anthropology, education, ethics, and religion, I determine that his basic thought is not only largely neglected throughout the discipline; Kant’s ideas work against traditionally received notions of what is to be achieved in the study of politics between nations.

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