Making sovereignty safer for human rights

I just finished a draft of a paper that begins the task of constructing a moral theory of state sovereignty meant to facilitate the protection of individual human rights. I try to do three things in this paper. First, I try to work out an account of thoroughly non-ideal, or realistic, moral theorizing. I then use this account to evaluate Allen Buchanan’s (2004) theory of recognitional legitimacy, concluding that the view isn’t realistic enough to provide practical political guidance. Finally, I provide a preliminary framework for realistic moral theorizing about state sovereignty, concluding that such theorizing is limited to proposing ways to reform the sovereignty institution that restructure political relationships so that the interests of political leaders become aligned with the protection of individuals’ human rights.

Here’s the paper. If you’ve got the time and/or inclination, any feedback would be much appreciated.

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3 Responses to Making sovereignty safer for human rights

  1. Shen-yi Liao says:

    hey dave. i thought the paper was actually really cool, and what you say all seem quite right to me. while i don’t have any critical comments at the moment, i do have a presentational suggestion: it would be helpful if you could summarize the four conditions in a sentence or two at the end of Sect 1 (in the same way you summarized Buchanan’s conditions) and use these summaries to remind the reader what they are before you criticize Buchanan in Sect 2.1.

  2. nate charlow says:

    well this is off topic, but that paper looks very nice.

    how did you get rid of the footnote “line”?

    i’ve been using fourier as well. the math looks very nice, on the whole, but the \nsubseteq symbol is just the computer modern one (and so doesn’t look anything like \subseteq), which i gotta say is pretty darn annoying.

  3. […] with an example I’m reworking some sections of my sovereignty paper and am stuck trying to think of a case that adequately illustrates a point I’m trying to […]

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