Global Limits

Immanuel Kant, International Relations, and Critique of World Politics

By Mark F. N. Franke

Subjects: Political Science
Series: SUNY series in Global Politics
Paperback : 9780791449882, 265 pages, May 2001
Hardcover : 9780791449875, 265 pages, May 2001

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Table of contents


Introduction: Kant in International Relations
Politics of Theory Confronts the World Interests, Arguments, and Chapters

Chapter One: The Rendering of Kant in International Relations Theory
Readings of Perpetual Peace
Requirements of a 'Kantian' Paradox
Masking International Relations in Perpetual Peace
The Need for Philosophical Reflection

Chapter Two: Kant and the (Im)Possibility of International Relations Theory
Kant's Refusal of Traditional Debates
Kant's Challenge to Conventional Attitudes
Conditions for the Possibility of Theorizing International Relations
Enlightenment and the Impossibility of International Relations Theory

Chapter Three: Critique of World Politics
Judgment and the World
Kant's Geopolitics
Beauty and the Beast: Extending Leviathan to the World
Beginnings of a Critical Approach Toward World Politics

Chapter Four: From World Politics to Politics (in 'the World')
Enlightenment as a Limit Attitude
A Limit Attitude for the Study of World Politics
Imperatives of Responsibility
Doubting World Politics

Conclusion: Global Limits



SUNY series in Global Politics


Explores the limits of Kantian approaches to the study of international affairs.


Global Limits challenges both the current proliferation of Kantian readings of international affairs and the theoretical foundation Kant is presumed to provide the discipline. By thoroughly examining Kant's writings on politics, history, and ethics within the context of his larger philosophical project, Franke demonstrates that Kant's approach to international politics flatly contradicts many of the debates on which the modern discipline of International Relations rests. Paying specific attention to Kant's philosophy of judgment and the geopolitical vision one may draw from it, Franke concludes that scholars must give up the universal limits offered by concepts such as the international, world, or global, in favor of a far less certain and much more open interpretive framework emphasizing the political.

Mark F. N. Franke is Instructor of International Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia.


"Any scholar of international politics interested in Kant will want to reflect on what Franke has to say. " — American Political Science Review

"A very unique and provocative book that has much to offer both International Relations and Kantian scholars. Franke's use of Kantian primary sources is extensive and appropriate. " — Sharon Anderson-Gold, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute