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The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 2, 2006

Social and Political Philosophy

Stéphane Courtois
Pages 111-118

Habermas's Cosmopolitan Perspective on Individual Rights and the Nation-State
A Critical Assessment

In this paper the author examines the main features of Jürgen Habermas's cosmopolitan view of the global political order. He specifically examines the importance Habermas accords respectively to individual rights and the nationstate in such an order. After demonstrating that a global political order founded on the defence of individual human rights rather than the nation-state is an assumption that should be taken seriously, the author maintains that it would be undesirable to attribute only a secondary role to the nation-sate. In the second part of the paper, he demonstrates that the nation-state has a positive role to play in the global era, and that those who predict its imminent demise will have to revisit their positions.

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