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.