The Cosmopolitan v Communitarian Debate

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Essays on Human Rights , Law and International Relations

What is the cosmopolitan/communitarian debate? What are the implications of drawing boundaries around the community relevant to moral questions?
The universality of morality is a key feature of cosmopolitanism. Such a universal moral code is said to transcend national boundaries in its application to everyone regardless of racial and cultural differences, since ‘what defines us morally is our humanity. ( Baylis 2014, p. 199). To Communitarians relying on strands of realism and pluralism, however, the significance of drawing national boundaries around the community is the existence of ethical constraints that are particular to the cultural and historical context of a locality. The realists in emphasizing international anarchy and sovereignty posit that ‘the only viable ethics are those of self-interest and survival’ while the pluralists allude to a ‘mininimal core of standards for existence’ agreed upon by states. ( Baylis 2014, p. 199).
I argue that the cosmopolitan paradigm of valuing…

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