This book articulates a systematic vision of an international legal system grounded in the commitment to justice for all persons. It provides a probing exploration of the moral issues involved in disputes about secession, ethno-national conflict, 'the right of self-determination of peoples,'
human rights, and the legitimacy of the international legal system itself. Buchanan advances vigorous criticisms of the central dogmas of international relations and international law, arguing that the international legal system should make justice, not simply peace, among states a primary goal, and
rejecting the view that it is permissible for a state to conduct its foreign policies exclusively according to what is in the 'the national interest'. He also shows that the only alternatives are not rigid adherence to existing international law or lawless chaos in which the world's one superpower
pursues its own interests without constraints. This book not only criticizes the existing international legal order, but also offers morally defensible and practicable principles for reforming it. Justice, Legitimacy, and Self-Determination will find a broad readership in political science,
international law, and political philosophy.
Oxford Political Theory presents the best new work in political theory. It is intended to be broad in scope, including original contributions to political philosophy and also work in applied political theory. The series contains works of
outstanding quality with no restrictions as to approach or subject matter.
Series Editors: Will Kymlicka, David Miller, and Alan Ryan
1. Introduction: The Idea of a Moral Theory of International Law
Part I: Justice
2. The Commitment to Justice
3. Human Rights
4. Distributive Justice
Part II: Legitimacy
5. Political Legitimacy
6. Recognitional Legitimacy
Legitimacy of the International Legal System
Part III: Self-Determination
8. Self-Determination and Secession
9. Intrastate Autonomy
Part IV: Reform
10. Principled Proposals for Reform
11. The Morality of International Legal Reform
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Allen Buchanan is a Professor of Public Policy and Philosophy, Duke University.