Anticipating a Cosmopolitan Future: the Case of Humanitarian Military Intervention

William Smith

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    27 Citations (Scopus)


    The past decade has witnessed the emergence of numerous 'cosmopolitan' theories of humanitarian military intervention. These theories anticipate a more cosmopolitan future, where interventions will be authorized by new cosmopolitan institutions and carried out by reformed cosmopolitan militaries. The contention of my article is that despite the merits of these approaches, it is often difficult to discern whether and how cosmopolitan theories can inform assessments of interventions that take place in our non-cosmopolitan present. Through taking Jürgen Habermas's judgements of two recent interventions as a 'case study', I reflect on the considerations that might come into play when cosmopolitans attempt to translate their future-orientated theories into practical engagements with the world as it is.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)72-89
    Number of pages18
    JournalInternational Politics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • Cosmopolitanism
    • Humanitarian military intervention
    • Judgement
    • Habermas, Jürgen
    • Kosovo
    • Iraq


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