International Legitimacy and World Society by Ian Clark

By Ian Clark

The normal view of foreign society is that it truly is in simple terms in co-existence and order among states. This creates a puzzle. whilst the old list is tested, we find that foreign society has again and again signed as much as normative ideas that cross well past this objective. whilst it has performed so, it has outfitted new normative constraints into foreign legitimacy, and this can be so much conspicuously so while it has espoused largely humanitarian rules. this implies that the norms followed via overseas society may be inspired from the specific constituency of worldwide society. The publication lines a sequence of old case reviews which issued in foreign confirmation of such ideas: slave-trade abolition in 1815; the general public moral sense in 1899; social justice (but now not racial equality) in 1919; human rights in 1945; and democracy because the merely applicable kind of kingdom in 1990. In each one case, proof is gifted of world-society actors (transnational pursuits, advocacy networks, and INGOs) making the political working in help of a brand new precept, usually in alliance with a number one nation. whilst, global society has fastened a normative case, and this is often visible as a level of normative integration among overseas and global society. all the situations tells a desirable tale in its personal correct. jointly, they give a contribution to the turning out to be IR literature at the function of norms, and particularly that written from a extensively English tuition or constructivist point of view. The booklet thereby places a few actual historic flesh at the suggestion of worldwide society, whereas forcing us to re-evaluate conventional perspectives concerning the 'essential' nature of overseas society.

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Its concern is with the ‘putative change from an international society of states to a world society of individuals’ (Williams 2005: 19), and is reflected in the second-generation solidarists whose work is ‘intimately bound up in the transition from international to world society’ (Buzan 2004: 57). The present book rejects those foregoing perspectives. In their stead, it prefers a genealogy whereby world society, increasingly through the nineteenth century, has developed its own capacity to express a voice separate from that of international society.

For the majority, the interesting question is precisely the extent to which world politics is undergoing transformation in response International Legitimacy 29 to this encounter. Some speak of transnational advocacy groups that ‘contribute to restructuring world politics by altering the norm structure of global governance’ (Sikkink 2002: 302). Whatever the precise terminology, the shared thrust directs us into an investigation of the relationship between the state and non-state worlds, or to the relationship between international and world society.

For Aron, this transnational society was composed of the relations among individuals, and in distinction to the inter-state realm. He was in no doubt that this was a social reality: it ‘flourishes in proportion to the freedom of exchange, migration or communication, the strength of common beliefs, the number of non-national organizations, and the solemnity of collective ceremonies’ (Aron 1966: 105). Importantly, Aron believed that transnational society and the international system responded to their own separate logics, in what he considered ‘the relative autonomy of the inter-state order .

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