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Grounding Cosmopolitanism

From Kant to the Idea of a Cosmopolitan Constitution

Garrett Wallace Brown

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Explores Kant's cosmopolitanism and the normative requirements consistent with a Kantian based cosmopolitan constitution

Garrett Wallace Brown explores and defends topics such as cosmopolitan law, cosmopolitan right, the laws of hospitality, a Kantian federation of states, a cosmopolitan epistemology of culture and a possible normative basis for a Kantian form of global distributive justice. Contrary to many contemporary interpretations, Brown considers Kant's cosmopolitan thought as a form of international constitutional jurisprudence that requires minimal legal demands versus the extreme condition of establishing a world state. Viewing Kant's cosmopolitan theory as a minimal form of global jurisprudence allows it to satisfy communitarian, realist and pluralist concerns without surrendering cosmopolitan principles of human worth and cosmopolitan law. In this regard, it provides a more comprehensive understanding of Kantian cosmopolitanism and what normative implications this vision has for contemporary international political theory.

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A Note on the Texts and Kant Referencing
Part I: 1. Kant’s Cosmopolitanism
2. Kant’s Cosmopolitan Law and the Idea of a Cosmopolitan
Part II: 3. State Sovereignty, Federation and Kant’s Cosmopolitanism
4. Cultural Difference and Kant’s Cosmopolitan Law
5. Distributive Justice and the Capability for Effective Autonomy
6. Conclusion: Applied Theory and a Continued Cosmopolitan

About the Author

Garrett Wallace Brown is Professor of Political Theory and Global Health Policy in the School of Politics and International Studies at the University of Leeds. He co-leads the University’s Global Health cross faculty theme and has produced extensive research at the crossroads between global health and moral philosophy. His research interests also include cosmopolitan theory, Kant’s cosmopolitanism, the laws of hospitality, global constitutionalism and key issues in global justice.


In this excellent book Garrett Brown outlines and defends Kant's cosmopolitan political theory ... Strongly recommended for all those interested in Kant's political theory and in contemporary theories of global justice.

- John Charvet, London School of Economics and Political Sciences, Political Studies Review
An erudite and compelling analysis of Kant's cosmopolitan philosophy and the place of this work in cosmopolitan thinking today. A major contribution.
- David Held, Graham Wallas Professor of Political Science, LSE

Grounding Cosmopolitanism is both a penetrating exposition of the logic of Kant's cosmopolitan theory and an insightful extrapolation of cosmopolitan ideas to the present condition of world politics.  In doing so, this slim volume illuminates the moral foundations of human rights, humanitarian assistance and global governance -- no small accomplishment.

- Michael Doyle, Columbia University, author of Liberal Peace