Chicago Journal of International Law


Our core claim, then, is this: Habermas conceives the "Kantian project" to be one of securing global peace and upholding basic human rights through strengthening and expanding supranational and transnational institutions. In substance, he is offering a kind of Kantian world federalism as the way forward for the global community of states. We consider that approach fundamentally mistaken. In our view, democracy-promotion is clearly the better path. It recognizes the necessity and desirability of a plurality of independent nation states. It is more protective of both the freedom of individuals and the cultural identities of peoples. It is far more likely to yield a durable global peace. And it can form the basis of a foreign policy that serves the national security interests of the US and its leading allies. In Section I, we begin by outlining Immanuel Kant's views on war and peace. In Section II, we set forth and criticize Habermas' version of the "Kantian project." In Section III, we explain the democratic peace thesis more fully and argue that democracy-promotion will not only tend to promote global peace and respect for human rights, but will serve the national security interests of the world's leading democratic powers by doing so.