The emergence of alternative forms of governing in an increasingly interdependent world requires reframing the state’s potentially ethical role. I criticize arguments of global governance advocates, particularly Rosenau and Held, who defend the creation of parallel structures of authority, respectively based on the typography of spheres of authority (SOAS) and the idea of cosmopolitan democracy. At worst, they assign to the state a diminutively instrumental role in maintaining a formal and widespread international normativity, which reactively responds to the hyper-activity of international civil society. At best, they suppose an ethical role to the state in the formation of independent interlocutors who can function in this global community, but they fail to offer a comprehensive analysis of this role. I assert that, understood as a rationalized democratic entity that secures fair terms of cooperation within a system of rights, the state remains the primary ethical locus for citizens to learn to responsibly exercise their autonomy in a morally motivated way and to explore common abilities and values that nourish a global ethos. Nonetheless, this state’s specificity has to be understood together with a notion of structured openness that positively considers the inputs of an increasingly globalized environment.
|Keywords:||State, Global Governance, Normativity|
Research Associate, Centre de Rationalites Contemporaines, Universite Paris IV (Pavillon Sorbonne), Paris, France
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