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Kantian Theory, Nuclear Weapons, and Coercive Anti-Proliferation

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Authors
Franceschet, Antonio
Issue Date
2013-11
Publisher
The Institute for Peace and Unification Studies, Seoul National University
Citation
Asian Journal of Peacebuilding, Vol.1 No.2, pp. 139-155
Keywords
Kantnuclear weaponsproliferationcoercionjusticecosmopolitanism
Abstract
This article examines the issue of coercively preventing states from acquiring and possessing nuclear weapons. In questioning whether such coercion is morally legitimate, I argue that Immanuel Kant’s (1724-1804) political theory contains important resources compared with three rival perspectives: Realpolitik, the Just War Tradition, and Deontological Pacifism. I also argue that coercive anti-proliferation measures are conditionally legitimated by three distinctive Kantian concepts: First, his concept of International Justice allows for coercion against genuinely aggressive states engaged in nuclear aspiration. Second, given the imperfections of international justice institutions, his concept of a State of Peoples—an authorized global governance body—seems to provide a better guarantee of just forms of coercive nuclear anti-proliferation. Third, supplementing the first two concepts, Kant discusses a Cosmopolitan Right to share the earth’s surface. This concept justifies coercive anti-proliferation when a people’s right to existence as citizens of the earth is threatened by nuclear weapons.
ISSN
2288-2693 (print)
2288-2707 (online)
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/90855
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Researcher Institutes (연구소)Institute for Peace and Unification Studies (통일평화연구원)Asian Journal of PeacebuildingAsian Journal of Peacebuilding vol.01 no.01/02 (2013)
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