[Paleopsych] New Left Review: Perry Anderson: Arms and Rights: Rawls, Habermas and Bobbio in an Age of War

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Perry Anderson: Arms and Rights: Rawls, Habermas and Bobbio in an Age of War
New Left Review 31, January-February 2005

In an era of serial war, Rawls, Habermas and Bobbio as theorists of a
perpetual peace. Jurisprudence and force in three parallel
philosophical constructions of the present international order, and
the unsettled afterthoughts--American, German, Italian--that
accompanied them.

    In the final decade of the century that has just ended, three of the
    most distinguished political philosophers of the time turned their
    attention to the international scene. In the early nineties, each had
    published what could be seen as a culminating statement of their
    reflections on the internal life of Western liberal democracies:
    Jürgen Habermas's Faktizität und Geltung (1992), John Rawls's
    Political Liberalism (1993), and Norberto Bobbio's Destra e Sinistra
    (1994). There followed, focusing now on external relations between
    states, Habermas's `Kant's Idea of Perpetual Peace: at Two Hundred
    Years' Historical Remove' (1995) and `The Postnational Constellation'
    (1998), and Rawls's Law of Peoples (1999). Bobbio, who had started
    thinking about international relations much earlier, and anticipated
    many of their concerns in `Democracy and the International System'
    (1989), produced more punctual interventions in these years, each
    arousing major intellectual debates. [1] The apparent alteration in
    attention of Rawls and Habermas, previously often reproached with lack
    of concern for global issues, was by contrast striking. In the
    background to a new set of preoccupations, on the part of all three
    thinkers, stretched the frieze of world history, as the end of the
    Cold War brought not pacification of relations between states, but
    military engagements of a frequency not seen since the sixties, in the
    Gulf, the Balkans, the Hindu Kush and Mesopotamia. Each philosopher
    sought to offer proposals appropriate to the time.

    Of the three, it was Rawls who offered the most systematic outline of
    a desirable international order. The Law of Peoples extends the
    modelling devices of A Theory of Justice from a national to a global
    plane. How is international justice to be realized? Rawls argues that
    we should imagine an `original position' for the various peoples of
    the earth parallel to that for individuals within a nation-state. In
    it, these collective actors choose the ideal conditions of justice
    from behind a veil of ignorance concealing their own size, resources
    or strength within the society of nations. The result, he argues,
    would be a `law of peoples' comparable to the contract between
    citizens in a modern constitutional state. But whereas the latter is
    specifically a design for liberal democracies, the scope of the former
    extends beyond them to societies that cannot be called liberal, yet
    are orderly and decent, if more hierarchical. The principles of global
    justice that should govern democratic and decent peoples alike
    correspond by and large to existing rules of international law, and
    the Charter of the United Nations, but with two critical corollaries.

    On the one hand, the Law of Peoples--so deduced from an original
    position--authorizes military intervention to protect human rights in
    states that are neither decent nor liberal, whose conduct brands them
    as outlaws within the society of nations. Regardless of clauses to the
    contrary in the un Charter, these may be attacked on the grounds of
    their domestic policies, even if they present no threat to the comity
    of democratic nations. On the other hand, the Law of Peoples involves
    no obligation to economic redistribution between states comparable to
    the requirements of a justice within democratic societies. The
    Difference Principle, Rawls explains, does not apply between peoples,
    since the disparities in their wealth are due not to inequality of
    resources, but principally to contrasts in culture. Each society is
    essentially responsible for its own economic fate. Better-off peoples
    have a duty of assistance to those that are historically more burdened
    by their culture, but this does not extend beyond helping them achieve
    the sufficiencies needed for a decent hierarchical order. A legal
    empyreum that conformed to these rules would have every chance of
    extending the peace that has reigned for more than a century between
    the world's democracies to all corners of the earth. The Law of
    Peoples, inspired by the long experience of this silence of arms among
    liberal societies, configures a `realistic utopia'.

    Rawls explains at the outset of The Law of Peoples that the basic
    intention of his work was to offer a contemporary version of Kant's
    For a Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch of 1795. Habermas,
    proceeding from the same inspiration, sought more explicitly to update
    Kant, reviewing the posthumous fortunes of his scheme on the occasion
    of its bicentenary and, where necessary, adjusting it to present
    conditions. War could be abolished, Kant had believed, by the gradual
    emergence of a federation of republics in Europe, whose peoples would
    have none of the deadly impulses that drove absolute monarchs
    continually into battle with each other at the expense of their
    subjects--the drive for glory or power. Rather, interwoven by trade
    and enlightened by the exercise of reason, they would naturally banish
    an activity so destructive of their own lives and happiness. For well
    over a century, Habermas observes, history rebuffed this prospect.
    Democratic peoples showed they could be just as bellicose as
    autocratic princes. Instead of peace-giving trade, there came
    industrial revolution and class struggle, splitting rather than
    uniting society. The public sphere became prey to distortion and
    manipulation with the arrival of modern media. Yet since the close of
    the Second World War, Kant's vision has come to life again, as his
    premises have been fulfilled in altered conditions. Statistical
    research confirms that democracies do not war with each other. Within
    the oecd, nations have become economically interdependent. The welfare
    state has pacified class antagonisms. ngos and global summits on
    population or the environment show that an international public sphere
    is taking shape.

    But if Kant's diagnostic has today been vindicated, his institutional
    scheme for a perpetual peace has proved wanting. For a mere foedus
    pacificum--conceived by Kant on the model of a treaty between states,
    from which the partners could voluntarily withdraw--was insufficiently
    binding. A truly cosmopolitan order required force of law, not mere
    diplomatic consent. The un Charter, in banning aggressive wars and
    authorizing measures of collective security to protect peace, and the
    un Declaration of Human Rights, laid some of the legal bases for one.
    But in continuing--inconsistently--to proclaim national sovereignty
    inviolable, the Charter had not advanced decisively beyond Kant's
    original conception. The transformative step still to be taken was for
    cosmopolitan law to bypass the nation-state and confer justiciable
    rights on individuals, to which they could appeal against the state.
    Such a legal order required force: an armed capacity to override,
    where necessary, the out-dated prerogatives of national sovereignty.
    The Security Council was an imperfect instrument of this imperative,
    since its composition was open to question and its actions were not
    always even-handed. It would be better if it were closer in model to
    the Council of Ministers in the European Union, but--in this unlike
    the latter--with a military force under its command. Nevertheless, the
    Gulf War was evidence that the un was moving in the right direction.
    The present age should be seen as one of transition between
    international law of a traditional kind, regulating relations between
    states, and a cosmopolitan law establishing individuals as the
    subjects of universally enforceable rights.

    Bobbio's starting-point, by contrast, lay in Hobbes. For theorists of
    natural law, the passage from a state of nature to a civil union
    required two distinct contracts: the first, an agreement between
    warring individuals to form an association; the second, to submit to
    the decisions of an authority in case of disputes among them; a pact
    of non-aggression, and a pact for pacific settlement of conflicts. For
    Hobbes, neither were possible in relations between states. For them,
    peace could never be more than a temporary suspension of war, the
    inescapable condition of competing sovereign powers. This was an
    accurate description, Bobbio agreed, of the classical system of
    international relations, down to the twentieth century. But with the
    advent of the League of Nations, and then of the United Nations, for
    the first time a pactum societatis started to take shape between
    sovereign states. Still lacking, however, was any pactum subiectionis
    for the resolution of conflicts and the enforcement of rights.
    Democratic ideals plainly informed the un's Declaration of Human
    Rights, and the representative equality of its General Assembly. But
    national sovereignty continued to frustrate the first, and the
    character of the Security Council to thwart the second. Transactions
    between the Great Powers still essentially determined the fate of the

    Yet now these coexisted with another and better framework. If it was
    wrong to idealize the un, scepticism about it was also misplaced. The
    new system of international relations it half-embodied had not done
    away with a much older one; but nor had the latter succeeded in
    dispatching this more recent version. The two rubbed against each
    other--one still effective but no longer legitimate, the other
    legitimate but not yet effective. [2] For what was still missing from
    the contemporary inter-state system was the juridical figure of the
    Third--Arbiter, Mediator or Judge--created by any pact of submission,
    of which Hobbes's Leviathan, governing those who had voluntarily made
    themselves its subjects, had offered a compelling, if autocratic,
    intra-state model. Today, the abstract outline of such a Third could
    acquire democratic form as a cosmopolitan sovereignty based on the
    consent of states, empowered to enforce universal peace and a
    catalogue of human rights. The first condition of such a desirable
    order had already been perceived by Kant. It was the principle of
    transparency, abolishing the arcana imperii that had always
    characterized the foreign policies of democracies and tyrannies alike,
    under the pretext that affairs of state were too complex and delicate
    to broadcast to the public, and too dangerous to reveal to the enemy.
    Such secrecy could not but erode democracy itself, as innumerable
    actions--at home as well as abroad--of the national security services
    of contemporary states testified. Here a vicious circle was at work.
    States could only become fully democratic once the international
    system became transparent, but the system could only become fully
    transparent once every state was democratic. Yet there were grounds
    for hope: the number of democracies was increasing, and a certain
    democratization of diplomacy was visible. As Kant had once seen in
    general enthusiasm for the French Revolution a `premonitory sign' of
    the moral progress of humanity, so today universal acceptance of human
    rights, formal as this still might be, could be read as a portent of a
    pacified future to come. [3]

    Maryland, Rhineland, Piedmont

    The similarity of these constructions, arrived at independently, is
    all the more notable for the differing profiles of their authors.
    Biographically, the formative experience of each lay in the Second
    World War, but these years were lived in sharply contrasting ways.
    Rawls (1921-2002), who came from a wealthy family in Maryland and
    originally intended to become a Protestant minister, fought as an
    infantryman in the New Guinea and Filipino theatres of the Pacific
    War. The moral crises of the battlefield seem to have affected him
    deeply, changing a religious into a philosophical vocation. Returning
    home to pursue an academic career, he became the most widely read
    political thinker of his time with the publication, in the early
    seventies, of A Theory of Justice. Although framed entirely
    abstractly, Rawls's work was at the same time consistently
    prescriptive, however ambiguous its practical implications might be.
    His intellectual horizon of reference could be described as quite
    narrow: principally, Anglo-American moral philosophy from the time of
    Victoria to the Cold War, and an animating inspiration from Kant.
    Politically, Rawls described himself as a left liberal, and no doubt
    voted Democrat. But one of the most striking features of a thinker
    often admiringly described by colleagues as unworldly, was a complete
    abstention from any commentary on contemporary public affairs,
    throughout his life.

    Eight years younger, Habermas grew up in a small Rhenish town under
    Hitler. His father joined the Nazi party in 1933, and Habermas himself
    briefly took part in defensive work with the Hitlerjugend at the end
    of the war. After discovering the realities of the Third Reich and
    breaking with Heidegger, who had been his first major influence,
    Habermas became the major philosophical descendant of the Frankfurt
    School, absorbing its distinctive transformations of Marx, and then in
    turn criticizing these in the light of American pragmatism and systems
    theory. Intellectually heir to the totalizing ambitions of German
    idealism, scarcely any major philosophical tradition has fallen
    outside the range of his interests, in which sociology--classical and
    contemporary--has also occupied a central place. As a political
    thinker, the pattern of Habermas's writing reverses that of Rawls,
    whom he has criticized for his inappropriately substantive intentions.
    His own political theory is purely procedural, abstaining from any
    programmatic proposals. On the other hand, Habermas has never
    hesitated to intervene politically on topical issues, adopting public
    positions on leading disputes of the day in Germany, as a citizen of
    the left. His Kleine politische Schriften now run to nine volumes,
    rivalling the number of Sartre's Situations. At the same time, he has
    never been involved in any political organization, keeping his
    distance from spd and Greens alike.

    A generation older, Bobbio (1907-2004) was born into a well-connected
    family in Turin which, like most of the Italian bourgeoisie, welcomed
    the March on Rome and Mussolini's dictatorship. After early work on
    Husserl, he turned to the philosophy of law. In his late twenties,
    friendship with intellectuals in the anti-fascist resistance led to
    brief arrest and release in 1935, after which he resumed a university
    career with a letter of submission to Mussolini, and intervention by
    an uncle acquainted with a leading hierarch of the regime. By the
    outbreak of the war he was a member of a clandestine liberal socialist
    circle, and in 1942 became one of the founders of the Partito
    d'Azione, the leading force of the independent Left in the Italian
    Resistance. Active in the Partito d'Azione until 1948, when it faded
    from the scene, Bobbio became the most eloquent critical interlocutor
    of Italian Communism during the high Cold War. In 1966, when the
    long-divided Italian Socialists united again, he joined the reunified
    party, playing a major role both in its internal discussions and in
    public debates at large--after 1978, in sharp opposition to Craxi's
    leadership of the psi. In 1984, on his retirement from the University
    of Turin, he was made a Senator for life, and in 1992 his name was
    canvassed as a candidate for President of the Republic.

    If Bobbio's career was thus a much more intensely political one than
    that of Habermas, let alone Rawls, as a theorist he was less
    systematic or original--limitations he was the first to emphasize.
    Steeped in the philosophy of law, which he taught for most of his
    life, and taking his primary inspiration from Kelsen's positivism,
    from the early seventies he occupied a chair of political science. In
    both fields he displayed a notably richer historical sense of his
    disciplines than either the American or the German thinker. The most
    influential of his voluminous writings were concerned with the
    origins, fate and future of democracy, and its relations with
    socialism. In these, he drew equally on Constant and Mill, on Weber
    and Pareto, to confront the legacy of Marx. They are texts that
    vividly reflect the energy and variety of Italian political culture in
    the post-war period, thrown into sharp relief against the monochrome
    landscape of the United States or the Federal Republic. To that
    extent, Bobbio's thought was the product of a national experience
    without equivalent elsewhere in the West. But in one critical respect
    he was also at an angle to his country. From the early sixties
    onwards, Bobbio was preoccupied with global problems of war and peace
    that had little, if any, resonance in Italy--a subordinate state
    within the American security system, with no post-war colonies, and
    hardly a foreign policy worth speaking of, whose political class and
    electorate, famously polarized by domestic conflicts, took
    correspondingly little interest in affairs beyond their borders.
    Acutely concerned by the dangers of thermonuclear war between East and
    West, Bobbio devoted a series of his finest essays to inter-state
    relations in the atomic age, first collected as Il problema della
    guerra e le vie della pace in 1979, long before either Rawls or
    Habermas had got around to considering the plane of international


    Service in America's war to regain the Pacific; a boyhood in Nazi
    Germany; underground resistance against fascism. It would be
    surprising if three such distinct experiences were without trace in
    the work of those who went through them. Rawls and Habermas offer the
    most clear-cut contrast. From the beginning, there were
    critics--nearly every one also an admirer--of A Theory of Justice who
    were puzzled by its tacit assumption, never argued through as such,
    that the only relevant unit for its imaginary `original position',
    from which a just social contract could be derived, was the
    nation-state. How could a Kantian constructivism, deducing its outcome
    from universal principles, issue into the design merely of a
    particular community? The categorical imperative had known no
    territorial boundaries. At the time, the restriction could appear
    anodyne, since Rawls's two principles of justice, and their lexical
    order--first, equal rights to political liberty; second, only those
    socio-economic inequalities of benefit to all--presupposed conditions
    common to the wealthy capitalist countries of the West, with which his
    commentators were also essentially concerned.

    With the publication of Political Liberalism, however, the extent to
    which Rawls's preoccupations centred on just one--highly
    atypical--nation-state, his own, became clear. The whole problematic
    of this sequel, still couched in general terms, but now referring with
    diminishing compunction to strictly American questions or obsessions,
    revolved around the permissible role of religion in political life: an
    issue of small relevance in any major advanced society other than the
    United States. In the background, standard patriotic landmarks--the
    Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the Supreme Court,
    Lincoln's Inaugurals, the New Deal--demarcate the space of reflection.
    Moving into less familiar terrain, The Law of Peoples unfolds the
    logic of such introversion. Given that in A Theory of Justice it is
    the rational choice of individuals that is modelled in the original
    position, why does the same procedure not obtain for the law of
    peoples? Rawls's most impressive pupil, Thomas Pogge, deploring the
    conservative drift of his later work, has sought to extend its radical
    starting-point in just the way Rawls refuses, offering a vision of
    `global justice' based on the application of the Difference Principle
    to all human beings, rather than simply the citizens of certain
    states. [4] The reason why Rawls declined this amplification goes to
    the unspoken core of his theory. For individuals in the original
    position to reach unanimous agreement on the two principles of
    justice, Rawls had to endow them with a range of information and a set
    of attitudes derived from the very liberal democracies that the
    original position was supposed to generate--its veil of ignorance
    screening the fortunes of each individual in the social order to be
    chosen, but not collective awareness of its typical institutions.

    In The Law of Peoples, this circular knowledge resurfaces as the
    `political culture' of a liberal society. But just because such a
    culture inevitably varies from nation to nation, the route to any
    simple universalization of the principles of justice is barred.
    States, not individuals, have to be contracting parties at a global
    level, since there is no commonality between the political cultures
    that inspire the citizens of each. More than this: it is precisely the
    differences between political cultures which explain the
    socio-economic inequality that divides them. `The causes of the wealth
    of a people and the forms it takes lie in their political culture and
    in the religious, philosophical and moral traditions that support the
    basic structure of their political institutions'. [5] Prosperous
    nations owe their success to the diligence fostered by industrious
    traditions; lacking the same, laggards have only themselves to blame
    if they are less prosperous. Thus Rawls, while insisting that there is
    a right to emigration from `burdened' societies, rejects any
    comparable right to immigration into liberal societies, since that
    would only reward the feckless, who cannot look after their own
    property. Such peoples `cannot make up for their irresponsibility in
    caring for their land and its natural resources', he argues, `by
    migrating into other people's territory without their consent'. [6]

    Decorating the cover of the work that contains these reflections is a
    blurred representation, swathed in a pale nimbus of gold, of a statue
    of Abraham Lincoln. The nationalist icon is appropriate. That the
    United States owes its own existence to the violent dispossession of
    native peoples on just the grounds--their inability to make
    `responsible' use of its land or resources--alleged by Rawls for
    refusal of redistribution of opportunity or wealth beyond its borders
    today, never seems to have occurred to him. The Founders who presided
    over these clearances, and those who followed, are accorded a
    customary reverence in his late writings. Lincoln, however, held a
    special position in his pantheon, as The Law of Peoples--where he is
    hailed as an exemplar of the `wisdom, strength and courage' of
    statesmen who, unlike Bismarck, `guide their people in turbulent and
    dangerous times'--makes clear, and colleagues have since testified.
    [7] The abolition of slavery clearly loomed large in Rawls's
    admiration for him. Maryland was one of the slave states that rallied
    to the North at the outbreak of the Civil War, and it would still have
    been highly segegrated in Rawls's youth. But Lincoln, of course, did
    not fight the Civil War to free slaves, whose emancipation was an
    instrumental by-blow of the struggle. He waged it to preserve the
    Union, a standard nationalist objective. The cost in lives of securing
    the territorial integrity of the nation--600,000 dead--was far higher
    than all Bismarck's wars combined. A generation later, emancipation
    was achieved in Brazil with scarcely any bloodshed. Official
    histories, rather than philosophers, exist to furnish mystiques of
    those who forged the nation. Rawls's style of patriotism sets him
    apart from Kant. The Law of Peoples, as he explained, is not a
    cosmopolitan view. [8]

    A transcendental union

    Habermas offers the antipodal case. In post-war Germany, reaction
    against the cult of the nation was stronger in his generation, which
    had personal memories of the Third Reich, than anywhere else in the
    West. Division of the country during the Cold War compounded it. Here
    there was little chance of taking the nation-state simply as an
    unspoken given of political reflection. For Habermas, the question was
    the opposite: what place could there be for the nation as a contingent
    community, whose frontiers were delimited by arms and accidents,
    within the necessary structure of liberal democracy? Since the
    Rechtsstaat embodies universal principles, how can it abide a
    particularistic core? Habermas offers two reasons, one theoretical and
    the other empirical. So far as the first is concerned, he observes
    that `there is a conceptual gap in the legal construction of the
    constitutional state, that it is tempting to fill with a naturalistic
    conception of the people'--for `one cannot explain in purely normative
    terms how the universe of those who come together to regulate their
    common life by means of positive law should be composed'. [9] As for
    the second, in historical practice the ideals of popular sovereignty
    and human rights were too abstract to arouse the energies needed to
    bring modern democracy into being. Ties of blood and language supplied
    the extra momentum for the mobilization required, in which the nation
    became an emotional driving force akin to religion, as `a remnant of
    transcendence in the constitutional state'. [10] Nationalism then bred
    imperialism far into the twentieth century, sublimating class
    conflicts into wars of overseas conquest and external expansion.

    Today, however, two broad forces are weakening the political grip of
    the nation-state. On the one hand, globalization of financial and
    commodity markets are undermining the capacity of the state to steer
    socio-economic life: neither tariff walls nor welfare arrangements are
    of much avail against their pressure. On the other, increasing
    immigration and the rise of multi-culturalism are dissolving the
    ethnic homogeneity of the nation. For Habermas, there are grave risks
    in this two-sided process, as traditional life-worlds, with their own
    ethical codes and social protections, face disintegration. To avert
    these dangers, he argued, a contemporary equivalent of the social
    response to classical laissez-faire that Polanyi had traced in The
    Great Transformation was needed--a second remedial `closure' of what
    had become a new, `liberally expanded', modernity. [11] The European
    Union offered the model of what such a post-national constellation
    might look like, in which the powers and protections of different
    nation-states were transmitted upwards to a supra-national sovereignty
    that no longer required any common ethnic or linguistic substratum,
    but derived its legitimacy solely from universalist political norms
    and the supply of social services. It is the combination of these that
    defines a set of European values, learnt from painful historical
    experience, which can offer a moral compass to the Union. [12]

    Such a European federation, marking as it would a historic advance
    beyond the narrow framework of the nation-state, should in turn assume
    its place within a worldwide community of shared risk. For `the great,
    historically momentous dynamic of abstraction from the local to
    dynastic, to national to democratic consciousness' can take one more
    step forward. [13] World government remains impossible, but a world
    domestic policy does not. Since political participation and the
    expression of popular will, as Habermas puts it, are today no longer
    the predominant bases of democratic legitimacy, there is no reason to
    demand a planetary suffrage or representative assembly. The `general
    accessibility of a deliberative process whose structure grounds an
    expectation of rational results' is now more significant and, in such
    forms as a role for ngos in international negotiations, may largely
    suffice for the necessary progress. For a cosmopolitan democracy
    cannot reproduce the civic solidarity or welfare-state policies of the
    European Union on a global scale. Its `entire normative framework'
    should consist simply of the protection of human rights--that is,
    `legal norms with an exclusively moral content'. [14]

    Beyond the obvious contrast in their valuations of the nation, a wider
    difference of outlook is noticeable in Rawls and Habermas here.
    Habermas's vision of the requirements of the time is more
    sociologically informed, offering a general account of objective
    changes in the contemporary world. Rawls, lacking such sociological
    imagination, appears--as Pogge notes--to have been blind to the
    implications of globalized capital markets for his account of the
    moral qualities that distinguish peoples in the tending of their
    natural assets. This is not a mistake Habermas could have made. On the
    other hand, unlike Rawls, here too he eschews any specific proposal
    for economic relations between rich and poor zones of the earth, even
    of the limitative sort advanced in The Law of Peoples. All that the
    community of shared risk involves is international enforcement of
    human rights. Here the two thinkers return to each other. For both,
    human rights are the global trampoline for vaulting over the barriers
    of national sovereignty, in the name of a better future.

    Consensus of religion

    How are these prerogatives derived in the two philosophies? In A
    Theory of Justice, they are an unproblematic deduction from the device
    of the original position, as rights that hypothetical individuals
    would rationally select, inter alia, behind the veil of ignorance.
    This was an elegant solution, that avoided determination of the status
    of rights claimed in the real world. By the time of Political
    Liberalism, concerned to construct an overlapping consensus from a
    variety of existing ideological standpoints--so inevitably requiring
    more empirical reference--it was no longer sufficient. To show that
    such a consensus would comprise his principles of justice, Rawls was
    now obliged to argue that all major religions contained moral codes
    compatible with them. In The Law of Peoples, the two lines of argument
    merge. Universal human rights are deducible from the choice that
    variant peoples, endowed as they are with differing faiths, would make
    if assembled together in an original position. Since they form a
    narrower set than the full range of liberal rights, decent as well as
    democratic societies will select them; symptomatically, Rawls's
    examples of the former are consistently Muslim.

    Lacking a counter-factual artifice to derive them, Habermas is
    compelled to express a clearer view of human rights as they are
    actually invoked in the political world. Noting `a certain
    philosophical embarrassment' surrounding them, he concedes that they
    cannot be taken as moral rights inherent in each human being, since
    they are `juridical by their very nature'--that is, can exist only as
    determinations of positive law. Yet they are also `suprapositive', for
    their justification--unlike that of other legal norms--can be
    exclusively moral, requiring no further arguments in support of them.
    [15] What then is the morality that legitimates them? Here Habermas
    directly rejoins Rawls. `Does the claim to universality that we
    connect with human rights merely conceal a particularly subtle and
    deceitful instrument of Western domination?', he asks, `or do the
    universal world religions converge on them in a core repertoire of
    moral intuitions?' There are no prizes for guessing the answer. `I am
    convinced Rawls is right, that the basic content of the moral
    principles embodied in international law is in harmony with the
    normative substance of the great world-historical prophetic doctrines
    and metaphysical world-views'. [16]

    Habermas's more sociological side, however, which remembers Weber,
    cannot let the matter rest there. After all, surely the doctrine of
    human rights is specifically Western in origin, rather than of
    pan-confessional inspiration? Adjusting his sights, Habermas meets
    this objection by explaining that `human rights stem less from the
    particular cultural background of Western civilization than from the
    attempt to answer specific challenges posed by a social modernity that
    has in the meantime covered the globe'. [17] How, in that case, is it
    that the social challenges of modernity happen to coincide with the
    moral intuitions of antiquity--the Atomic and Axial ages unexpectedly
    melting into each other in the eloquence of un prose? Habermas has a
    proviso ready to square this circle. The faiths that so harmoniously
    agree with each other, and with lay wisdom, are not `fundamentalist',
    but aware that their own `religious truths must be brought into
    conformity with publicly recognized secular knowledge', and so, `like
    Christianity since the Reformation', are `transformed into "reasonably
    comprehensive doctrines" under the reflexive pressure generated by
    modern life circumstances'. [18]

    With this gloss, the vacancy of the claim that human rights are
    validated by all world religions is laid bare. The slightest
    acquaintance with the Pentateuch, Revelations, the Koran or the
    Bhagavadgita--replete with every kind of injunction to persecution and
    massacre--is enough to show how absurd such an anachronistic notion
    must be. All that is really postulated by Rawls and Habermas is that,
    once religious beliefs are rendered indistinguishable from `public
    reason' or `secular knowledge', they can be enlisted like any other
    platitude as sponsors of whatever conventional wisdom requires. The
    fact that in the real world, transcendent faiths continue to represent
    contradictory ethical imperatives, waging ideological or literal war
    with each other, becomes an irrelevant residue: the domain of a
    `fundamentalism' that is no longer even quite religion, properly

    In Habermas's construction, something similar occurs to democracy.
    Once this is redefined as principally a matter of `communication' and
    `consciousness', political participation and popular will become
    residuals that can be bypassed in the design of a cosmopolitan legal
    order. Here too, the presiding concept ensures the desirable
    outcome--Habermas's discourse theory functioning, like Rawls's public
    reason, to neutralize democracy as once religion. For rather than a
    critique of the involution of classic democratic ideals in the
    dispersed and depoliticized representative systems of the West today,
    Habermas furnishes a metaphysical justification of it, in the name of
    the salutarily impersonal and decentred flux of communicative reason.
    The result is a political theory tailor-made for the further
    dissolution of popular sovereignty at a European level, and its
    vaporization altogether at a putative global level. To his credit,
    when writing on the actual European Union before his eyes, Habermas
    has sought to resist the logic of his own weakening of any idea of
    collective self-determination--calling, indeed, for more powers to the
    European parliament and the formation of European parties. But when,
    untempered by any comparable experience, he envisages a cosmopolitan
    order to come, the logic of his projection ends in a political wraith:
    democracy without democracy, shorn even of elections or voters.

    Hiroshima's minatory shadow

    The intellectual framework of Bobbio's prospectus stands apart from
    these two. The reason for that is its quite distinct historical
    starting-point. Rawls and Habermas were moved to reflections on the
    inter-state system only with the end of the Cold War. Their theories
    are plainly responses to the new world order announced in the wake of
    the Gulf War. By contrast Bobbio's concerns, predating theirs by three
    decades, were a product of the Cold War itself. The dangers of a
    nuclear exchange were all but completely absent from the analytics of
    either the American or the German. But it was these which determined
    the Italian's approach to the international scene. The lesson of Carlo
    Cattaneo in the time of the Risorgimento, and of his teacher Aldo
    Capitini in the Resistance, had been that the elimination of violence
    as a means of resolving conflicts, represented by the procedures of
    democracy within states, required a structural complement between
    states. Liberty and peace, whatever the empirical gaps or torsions
    between them, logically belonged together.

    In the late eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries, a considerable
    range of thinkers had believed that history was in the process of
    delivering their union. Kant or Mazzini were confident that the spread
    of republican governments would do away with war. Saint-Simon, Comte
    and Spencer thought that industrial society would make military
    conflict an anachronism. Cobden expected the growth of trade to ensure
    amity between nations. Bebel and Jaurès were sure socialism would
    bring lasting peace between peoples. All of these hopes, plausible as
    they seemed at the time, were dashed in the twentieth century. The
    barriers against mutual slaughter to which they had looked proved to
    be made of clay. Merchants did not replace warriors; peoples proved as
    truculent as princes; communist states attacked each other. [19] Yet
    now that nuclear annihilation threatened humanity, peace was a
    universal imperative as it had never been before. Bobbio had no time
    for Cold War orthodoxy. Deterrence theory was self-contradictory,
    purporting to prevent the risk of atomic war by the very weapons that
    created it. The balance of terror was inherently unstable, preordained
    to escalation rather than equilibrium. [20] Disarmament treaties were
    welcome if secured, but did not constitute either a radical or a
    reliable alternative.

    Moral solutions to the problem of war, however noble, were not more
    satisfactory than such instrumental ones, since they required an
    improbable transformation of humanity. The most credible path for
    putting an end to the nuclear arms race was institutional. If the
    roots of war lay in the system of states, logically two remedies were
    possible. If conflicts were generated by the structure of
    international relations, a juridical solution was indicated; if their
    causes lay in the internal character of the states making up the
    system, the solution would have to be social. In the first case, peace
    could be secured only by the creation of a super-state, endowed with a
    global monopoly of violence, capable of enforcing a uniform legal
    order across the world. In the second, it could come only by a
    transition to socialism, leading to a universal withering away of the
    state itself. A single Hobbesian sovereignty, or a Marxist Sprung in
    die Freiheit: such was the choice. [21] Without claiming that this
    meant the elimination of coercion, since by definition the state was
    always a concentration of violence, Bobbio held the sole realistic
    prospect for global peace to be Hobbesian. The menace of a nuclear
    conflagration could be laid to rest only by a universal state.
    Structurally, that could become a super-despotism, such as Kant had
    feared. [22] But, unlike Rawls or Habermas, Bobbio was prepared to
    contemplate this risk, because it was less than the danger of
    planetary destruction they ignored.

    Once the Cold War was over, Bobbio became more concerned to furnish
    his Hobbesian framework with a Lockean foundation, by stressing the
    need for a democratic, rather than authoritarian, incarnation of the
    Absent Third--one always preferable, but now that the Soviet bloc had
    collapsed, increasingly possible. Nevertheless, the world government
    he advocated remained a much more centralized structure than Rawls's
    law of peoples or Habermas's cosmopolitan consciousness, and involved
    less idealization of its conditions. Even adjusted to post-Cold War
    circumstances, the link of any such authority to democracy was
    logically weaker, since its primary legitimation was pacification of
    inter-state relations rather than a mimesis of intra-state norms--not
    devices like the original position or discourse theory replicated at
    international level, but a supervening logic at that level itself, in
    keeping with Bobbio's dictum, unthinkable for the other two, that `it
    cannot escape anyone who views history without illusions that
    relations between rulers and ruled are dominated by the primacy of
    foreign over domestic policies'. [23]

    Swords and paper

    So too human rights, though they eventually played a role in Bobbio's
    prescriptions for a peaceful international order very similar to their
    position in the agendas of Rawls and Habermas, were always seen in a
    quite different light. At no point does Bobbio suggest that they
    magically harmonize the moral intuitions of the world's great
    religions, or can be regarded as principles of natural law, or are
    general requirements of modernity. They were not less precious to him
    for that. But a realistic view of them is incompatible with their
    standard descriptions. There are no `fundamental' natural rights,
    since what seems basic is always determined by a given epoch or
    civilization. Since they were first proclaimed, the list of human
    rights has typically been ill-defined, variable and often
    contradictory. Such rights continually conflict with each other:
    private property with civic equality, freedom of choice with universal
    education, and more. Since ultimate values are antinomic, rights
    appealing to them are inevitably inconsistent. No historical synthesis
    between liberal and socialist conceptions has yet been realized. Thus
    human rights lack any philosophical foundation. Their only warrant is
    factual: today, all governments pay formal homage to the un
    Declaration of Human Rights. This empirical consensus gives them a
    contingent universality that is their real basis. [24]

    Bobbio's account of human rights is thus a far cry from the
    deontological versions of Rawls or Habermas. It is radically
    historical. For Hobbes, the only right was to life itself--the
    individual could refuse to lay it down for the state. Since Hobbes's
    time, the list of rights claimed by citizens has been progressively
    extended: at first comprising liberties from the state, then liberties
    in the state, and eventually liberties through the state. The right to
    national self-determination, vehemently rejected by Habermas, belonged
    to these conquests. There was no end in sight to the dynamic of an
    `Age of Rights'--today, rights to truthful information and to
    participation in economic power were on the agenda. But theoretical
    declamation was one thing; practical observance another. The new
    global ethos of human rights was resplendent only in solemn official
    declarations and learned commentaries. The reality was `their
    systematic violation in virtually all countries of the world (perhaps
    we could say all countries, without fear of error), in relations
    between the powerful and the weak, the rich and the poor, the knowing
    and the uninstructed'. [25]

    Law, in turn, could not be viewed in the starry-eyed fashion of
    Habermas or Rawls. Wars and revolution--the exercise of external and
    internal violence--were often the source of legal codes. Legitimacy
    was typically conferred by victory, not the other way around. Once in
    place, laws could be compared to a damming or canalization of the
    powers of existing social groups. When the dykes break, an
    extraordinary law-making power tumbles forth, creating a new
    legitimacy: ex facto oritur jus. `Law cannot dispense with the use of
    force and is always founded in the last instance on the right of those
    who are strongest, which only sometimes, and contingently, coincides
    with the right of those who are most just'. [26] We are a long way
    from the premises of a Habermasian jurisprudence. Bobbio, though his
    accents could alter, never wavered from a basic fidelity to Hobbes's
    maxim: auctoritas sed non veritas facit legem. The un should be vested
    with powers to enforce the human rights it proclaimed. But the gap
    between its promises and performance remained wide. It had not secured
    the peace or friendship between nations that its Charter had invoked.
    Its main achievement to date was never envisaged by its founders--the
    impetus given by the General Assembly in December 1960 to
    decolonization, the greatest single progress of political emancipation
    in the second half of the twentieth century. [27] Like Habermas,
    Bobbio proposed no determinate programme for reduction of social
    inequalities on a global scale. But the strength of his feeling about
    these set him apart too. The real problem of the time, which the
    nuclear arms race prevented any of the rich nations from addressing,
    was death by famine in the poor countries of the South. [28]

    War on outlaws

    If such were the principal differences of theoretical prospectus, what
    of the political responses of the three thinkers to the new landscape
    of violence after the Cold War? Rawls, coherent with the silence of a
    lifetime, made no comment on the guerres en chaîne of the nineties.
    But the logic of a sanction for them is written on every other page of
    The Law of Peoples. There the philosopher of justice not only offers a
    blank cheque for military interventions to protect human rights,
    without even specifying what authority, other than `democratic
    peoples' at large, is empowered to decide them. He even exceeds State
    Department jargon with his talk of `outlaw' states--a term inviting
    law-abiding nations to dispatch them still more swiftly than merely
    `rogue' ones.

    The political assumptions at work in such language can be found in
    such historical illustrations as the book offers. Although Rawls
    mentions no contemporary political events, he touches on enough past
    ones to reveal, in this area, a disconcertingly uncritical mind. The
    slaughter of the First World War was inevitable, because `no
    self-respecting liberal people' could have accepted German demands on
    France in 1914. [29] The fire-bombing of Hamburg was justified in the
    Second World War, if not that of Dresden. Though the destruction of
    Japanese cities, culminating in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was a great
    wrong, it represented simply a `failure of statesmanship' on the part
    of Truman, who otherwise--loyalty oaths and suborning of the un
    presumably to witness--was `in many ways a good, at times a very good
    president'. [30] An excellent guide to just wars is provided by a work
    explaining why Israel's pre-emptive strike of 1967 was one. [31]
    Outlaw societies at one time included Habsburg Spain and Bourbon or
    Napoleonic France--but not Hanoverian or Victorian England, let alone
    Gilded Age America. Such miscreants are `unsatisfied' powers. Nuclear
    weapons are essential to keep their modern counterparts in check. [32]
    Even Rawls's coinage of the notion of `decent', as distinct from
    democratic, peoples simply shadows the geography of the us security
    system. The imaginary Muslim society of `Kazanistan' that Rawls
    conjures up to illustrate the notion can be read as an idealized
    version of Kuwait or Saudi Arabia--reliable clients whose traditional,
    if less than liberal, political systems are to be respected, while
    outlaws in their neighbourhood are removed. Equipped with such
    credentials, Operation Desert Storm might well be described as the Law
    of Peoples in real time.

    Habermas was more explicit. The allied campaign to punish Iraq's
    brazen violation of international law in seizing Kuwait was an
    important step forward in the creation of a global public sphere.
    Although it was not fought under un command, and was unaccountable to
    the Security Council, it invoked the un and this was better than
    nothing: `for the first time the United States and its allies were
    offered the objective possibility of temporarily assuming the
    (presumably neutral) role of police force to the United Nations'.
    Admittedly, the result was a hybrid action, since power-political
    calculations were not absent from its execution; but it was now plain
    that `the enforcement of international law has to be carried out by an
    organized co-operation of the international community, not by some
    utopian (in the worst sense of the word) world government'. Moreover,
    and perhaps most importantly, the Gulf War was justified not merely by
    Iraq's annexation of Kuwait, but its menace to Israel, which posed
    `the nightmare scenario of an Israel encircled by the entire Arab
    world and threatened with the most horrific kinds of weapons'. [33]

    Since violations of international law had never hitherto troubled
    Habermas overmuch--when Turkey invaded Cyprus, Indonesia annexed East
    Timor, let alone Israel seized East Jerusalem and occupied the West
    Bank, there is no record of his being moved to comment on them--it
    seems clear that political feelings rather than legal arguments were
    the principal pressure behind Habermas's endorsement of Desert Storm.
    On the one hand, there was his self-declared, long-standing posture of
    loyalty to the West. For forty years he had held that Germany could
    only be purged of its malign past, and put all suspect notions of a
    Sonderweg behind it, by an `unconditional orientation' to the West.
    This had been Adenauer's great achievement, which as a young man he
    had failed to understand, and which must remain the pole-star of the
    Federal Republic. After 1945, it was this orientation that had given
    Germans `an upright posture'. [34] But there was also, after the Final
    Solution, and crucially, the special responsibility of Germany to
    Israel--a vulnerable democracy `still obliged to act as an outpost of
    the Western world' in the Middle East. Since the founding of the
    Federal Republic, Habermas notes approvingly, `solidarity with Israel
    has been an unwritten law of German foreign policy'; only anti-Semites
    could question it. [35] In the mixture of motivations for Habermas's
    support of the Gulf War, this was probably the most powerful.


    Not a few admirers of Habermas, in Germany and outside it, were taken
    aback by this philosophical theorization of a war fought, on the
    admission of the us administration, essentially over the control of
    oil-wells. Signs of an uneasy conscience could be detected in Habermas
    himself, who was quick to express reservations about the military
    tactics employed to win the war, and even to concede that the claim to
    un legitimacy for it `served largely as a pretext'. [36] But such
    qualifications, calculated to disarm critics, only underline the
    crudity of his subsequent conclusion, sweeping principles away in the
    name of deeds. Dismissing the objection that negotiations for a
    peaceful resolution of the conflict had scarcely been exhausted,
    Habermas declared in the spirit of a saloon-bar Realpolitik: `It is a
    little academic to subject an event of such brutality to a
    pedantically normative assessment after the fact.' [37]

    The rhetorical movement of Bobbio's response to the Gulf War was
    uncannily similar. Operation Desert Storm, Bobbio explained as it
    rolled into action, was a just war of legitimate defence against
    aggression. Saddam Hussein, bidding to become a future emperor of
    Islam, was a great international danger. A sanguinary dictator at
    home, and an expansionist warlord abroad, he would multiply
    aggressions to the end of his days, if he were not checked now. Like
    Hitler, he was bent on extending the theatre of conflict ever further,
    as his raining of rockets on Israel showed. [38] Bobbio's position
    caused more of an uproar than Habermas's, in part because there was
    still a much stronger Left in Italy than in Germany, but also because
    he himself had been such an eloquent voice against the bellicosity of
    the Cold War. Criticism from friends and pupils, shocked by his
    apparent volte-face, came thick and fast. In the face of this, Bobbio
    too, having approved the principle of the war, took his distance from
    the practice of it. `I readily acknowledge that in the course of the
    fighting the relationship between the international organism and the
    conduct of the war has become ever more evanescent, with the result
    that the present conflict more and more resembles a traditional war,
    except for the disproportion in strength between the two combatants.
    Has a great historical opportunity been lost?', he asked after five
    weeks of uninterrupted American bombing. Looking around him, he
    confessed `our conscience is disturbed'. The war was just, but--a
    separate question--was it obligatory? If so, did it have to be fought
    in this way? Bobbio's reply was taxative. Just as with Habermas, it
    served no purpose to scruple after the fact. `Any answer to such
    questions comes too late to change the course of events. Not only
    would it be irrelevant--"what is done, is done"--but it could appear
    downright naive, for no-one is in a position to say what would have
    happened if another path had been chosen to reach the same goal'. [39]
    The war might not have been necessary, or so bloody. But it was now an
    accomplished fact. What point was there in quarrelling with it?

    nato's moral order

    Eight years later, Habermas greeted Operation Allied Force with more
    emphatic applause. nato's attack on Yugoslavia was necessary to stop
    the crimes against humanity of the Milosevic´ regime--`300,000 persons
    subjected to murder, terror and expulsion', before their rescue by
    American air-strikes began. There was no basis for casting suspicion
    on the motives of this intervention, from which the United States
    stood to gain little. It was a humanitarian war that, even if it
    lacked a un mandate, had the `tacit authorization of the international
    community'. The participation of the Bundeswehr in the attack was the
    decision of a Red-Green coalition that was the first German government
    ever to be committed to a cosmopolitan legal order in the spirit of
    Kant and Kelsen. It expressed a public mood in the Federal Republic
    which was reassuringly similar to that in the rest of Western Europe.
    There might be some disagreements between the continental Europeans
    and the Anglo-Saxons on the importance of consulting the un
    Secretary-General or squaring Russia. But `after the failure of
    negotiations at Rambouillet', the us and member states of the eu
    proceeded from a common position. [40]

    It was true, of course, that since human rights were only weakly
    institutionalized at the international level, `the boundary between
    law and morality may blur, as in the present case'. Once authorization
    from the Security Council was denied, nato could `only appeal to the
    moral validity of international law'. But that did not mean Carl
    Schmitt's critique of the moralization of inter-state relations, as
    fatally radicalizing conflicts between them, applied. Rather,
    humanitarian interventions like the bombing of Yugoslavia were forced
    to anticipate the future cosmopolitan order they sought to create.
    Here there was a distinction between Washington and most European
    capitals. For the us, global enforcement of human rights supplied a
    moral compass for national goals. To that fruitful union of idealism
    and pragmatism, going back to Wilson and Roosevelt, Germans owed their
    own liberation, and it continued to be as vital as ever. `The us has
    assumed the tasks of keeping order that are incumbent on a superpower
    in a world of states that is only weakly regulated by the un'. But the
    moral imperatives it acted on needed to be institutionalized as legal
    norms with binding international force. Happily, the un was on the
    road to closing the gap between them, even if the transition between
    power politics and an emergent cosmopolitan order still involved a
    common learning process. [41]

    In the Balkans as in the Gulf, Habermas was careful to season his plea
    for war with provisos of conscience. On the one hand, collateral
    damage to the civilian population of Yugoslavia created a sense of
    disquiet: were the brutal military means used to rescue the Kosovars
    always proportionate to the compassionate end? There was reason to
    doubt it. On the other hand, what would happen if Operation Allied
    Force henceforth provided the model for humanitarian interventions at
    large? The West had been obliged to bypass the un in this case: but
    that should remain an exception. `nato's self-authorization cannot be
    permitted to become a matter of routine'. [42] With this,
    ironically--in an essay whose title is taken from Schmitt's lapidary
    dictum `humanity, bestiality', and is devoted to refuting it--Habermas
    ended by innocently illustrating the very theory of law he wished to
    refute. `Sovereign is he who decides the exception', runs the famous
    opening sentence of Political Theology. Not norms, but decisions,
    argued Schmitt, were the basis of any legal order. `The rule proves
    nothing, the exception proves everything. It confirms not only the
    rule but also its existence, which derives only from the exception'.
    [43] Kant or Kelsen, invoked by Habermas at the outset, offered no
    affidavits for America's war in the Balkans. To justify it, he
    unwittingly found himself driven to reproduce Schmitt. For sovereign,
    in effect, was the superpower that delivered the ultimatum of
    Rambouillet designed to furnish the occasion for war, and disseminated
    the myth of a hundred thousand dead to motivate it; and sovereign the
    philosopher who now explained that the exception anticipated the rule
    of the future.

    Unlike Habermas, Bobbio had admired and corresponded with Schmitt. But
    in justifying the Balkan War, he had a greater authority in mind.
    Milosevic´ was a tyrant like Saddam, who needed to be wiped off the
    face of the earth: nato's attack on him should be regarded as a police
    action rather than an international war, and its means be proportional
    to its ends. It made no sense to speak any longer of just or unjust
    wars: all that could be asked was whether a war was legal or not, and
    effective or not. But today another kind of warrant existed. For as a
    superpower the United States had acquired a kind of `absolute right
    that puts it completely outside the constituted international order'.
    In practice, America had no need of legal justification for its wars,
    for its record in defending democracy in the three decisive battles of
    the twentieth century--the First World War, the Second World War and
    the Cold War--gave its de facto pre-eminence an ethical legitimacy.
    Europeans owed their freedom to the United States, and with it an
    unconditional gratitude. Wilson, Roosevelt and Reagan had fought the
    good cause, defeating the Central Powers, Fascism and Communism, and
    so making possible the normal democratic world we now live in. Hegel's
    Philosophy of Right had understood such a role. In every period of
    history, one nation is dominant, and possesses an `absolute right as
    bearer of the present stage of the world spirit's development',
    leaving other nations without rights in face of it. [44]

    This far-reaching accolade was, once again, not without troubled
    after-thoughts; which were, once again, quieted with a further
    reassuring reflection. After seven weeks of bombing, Bobbio felt that
    Operation Allied Force had been incompetently executed, and produced a
    mess. Now expressing doubts that ethnic cleansing in Kosovo had
    started before the war, rather than being occasioned by it, he feared
    that a campaign to protect human rights was in the process of
    violating them. Yet this did not alter the war's general character, as
    an exercise of licit against illicit force. Habermas was right to
    maintain that international law was becoming--however
    imperfectly--institutionalized as a set of enforceable rules, in one
    of the most extraordinary and innovative developments of its history.
    Humanity was moving across the frontier from the moral to the
    juridical, as his German colleague had seen. [45]

    `Redeeming the irredeemable'

    By the time of the next Western military expedition, Bobbio had
    withdrawn from comment on public affairs. But in the Afghan war
    Habermas found vindication for his judgement of the trend of the time.
    Although the new Republican administration was deplorably
    unilateralist--even if European governments bore some responsibility
    for failing to sustain sager counsels in Washington--the coalition
    against terrorism put together by it was a clever one, and had acted
    with good reason to remove the Taliban regime. True, the staggering
    asymmetry in weaponry between the American armada in the skies and
    bearded tribesmen on the ground, in a country long victim of rival
    colonial ambitions, was a `morally obscene sight'. But now it was
    over, and there was no point in repining. For `in any case, the
    Taliban regime already belongs to history'. The un was still too weak
    to fulfill its duties, so the us had taken the initiative, as in the
    Balkans. But with the un-sponsored conference in Bonn to establish a
    new government in liberated Kabul, the outcome had been a happy step
    forward in the transition, which had begun with the establishment of
    no-fly zones over Iraq, from international to cosmopolitan law. [46]

    A year later, Habermas was less serene. The new National Security
    Strategy of the Republican administration was provocatively
    unilateralist. The United States should not invade Iraq without the
    authorization of the United Nations--although the German government
    was also wrong in refusing such an invasion in advance, rather than
    declaring its unreserved respect for whatever the Security Council
    might decide. There might have arisen something whose possibility
    Habermas had never imagined, `a systematically distorted communication
    between the United States and Europe', setting the liberal nationalism
    of the one against the cosmopolitanism of the other. [47] Once
    launched, Operation Iraqi Freedom confirmed these forebodings. On the
    one hand, the liberation of a brutalized population from a barbaric
    regime was `the greatest of all political goods'. On the other, in
    acting without a mandate from the United Nations, the us had violated
    international law, leaving its moral authority in ruins and setting a
    calamitous precedent for the future. For half a century, the United
    States had been the pacemaker of progress towards a cosmopolitan order
    vested with legal powers, overriding national sovereignty, to prevent
    aggression and protect human rights. Now, however, neo-conservative
    ideologues in Washington had broken with the reformism of un
    human-rights policies, in favour of a revolutionary programme for
    enforcing these rights across the world. Such hegemonic unilateralism
    risked not only stretching American resources and alienating allies,
    but also generating side-effects that `endangered the mission of
    improving the world according to the liberal vision'. Fortunately, the
    un had suffered no really significant damage from this episode. Its
    reputation would only be injured `were it to try, through compromises,
    to "redeem" the irredeemable'. [48]

    Such thoughts did not last long. Six months later, when the un
    Security Council unanimously passed a resolution endorsing the
    American occupation of Iraq and the client regime it had set up in
    Baghdad, Habermas offered no word of criticism. Though saddened by the
    change of political scene in America--`I would never have imagined
    that such an exemplary liberal country as the United States could be
    so indoctrinated by its government'--he now had no doubt that the
    Coalition Provisional Authority must be supported. `We have no other
    option but to hope that the United States is successful in Iraq'. [49]

    The response by the two philosophers to successive wars waged by the
    West after the collapse of the Soviet bloc thus exhibits a consistent
    pattern. First, military action by Washington and its allies is
    justified on normative grounds, invoking either international law (the
    Gulf), human rights (Kosovo, Afghanistan), or liberation from tyranny
    (Iraq). Then, qualms are expressed over the actual way that violence
    is unleashed by the righteous party (Gulf, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq),
    in a gesture of humanitarian punctilio. Finally, these in turn are
    casually minimized or forgotten in the name of the accomplished fact.
    The tell-tale formula `in any case', peremptorily ratifying the deed
    once done, says everything. The political complexion of such positions
    is clear enough. What is most striking about them, however, is their
    intellectual incoherence. No-one could suspect Bobbio or Habermas of
    an inadequate background in logic, or inability to reason with rigour.
    Yet here philosophy gives way to such a lame jumble of mutually
    inconsistent claims and excuses that it would seem only bad
    conscience, or bad faith, could explain them.

    The best of states?

    Behind the dance-steps of this occasionalism--swaying back and forth
    between impartial principle, tender scruple and brute fact--can be
    detected a simpler drive shaping the theoretical constructions of all
    three thinkers. Rawls describes his Law of Peoples as a `realistic
    utopia': that is, an ideal design that withal arises out of and
    reflects the way of the world. Habermas's cosmopolitan democracy, a
    global projection of his procedural theory of law, has the same
    structure. Even Bobbio, in the past resistant to any such confusion
    between facts and values, eventually succumbed to his own, with
    sightings of a new signum rememorativum of historical development as
    humanity's improvement. In each case, the underlying wish is a
    philosophical version of a banal everyday inclination: to have one's
    cake and eat it. Against criticisms pointing to the disgraced reality
    of inter-state relations, the ideal can be upheld as a normative
    standard untainted by such empirical shortcomings. Against charges
    that it is an empty utopia, the course of the world can be represented
    as an increasingly hopeful pilgrimage towards it. In this va-et-vient
    between ostensible justifications by universal morality and
    surreptitious appeals to a providential history, the upshot is never
    in doubt: a licence for the American empire as placeholder for human

    That this was not the original impulse of any of these thinkers is
    also clear, and there is something tragic in the descent that brought
    them to this pass. How is it to be explained? Part of the answer must
    lie in a déphasage of thinkers whose outlook was shaped by the Second
    World War, and its sequels, in the new landscape of power after the
    end of the Cold War. Old age mitigates judgement of the final
    conceptions of Rawls or Bobbio. When he published The Law of Peoples,
    Rawls was already the victim of a stroke, and writing against time.
    When he pronounced on the Balkan War, Bobbio was over ninety; and no
    contemporary has written so movingly of the infirmities of such
    advanced years, in one of the finest of all his texts, De Senectute.

    But certainly, there was also long-standing blindness towards the
    global hegemon. In Rawls's case, veneration of totems like Washington
    and Lincoln ruled out any clear-eyed view of his country's role,
    either in North America itself or in the world at large. Regretting
    the us role in overthrowing Allende, Arbenz and Mossadegh--`and, some
    would add, the Sandanistas [sic] in Nicaragua': here, presumably, he
    was unable to form his own opinion--the best explanation Rawls could
    muster for it was that while `democratic peoples are not
    expansionist', they will `defend their security interest', and in
    doing so can be misled by governments. [50] So much for the Mexican or
    Spanish-American Wars, innumerable interventions in the Caribbean,
    repeated conflicts in the Far East, and contemporary military bases in
    120 countries. `A number of European nations engaged in
    empire-building in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries', but--so
    it would seem--happily America never joined them. [51]

    Habermas's vision of the United States is scarcely less roseate.
    Although undoubtedly culpable of lapses in such lands as Vietnam or
    Panama, Washington's overall record as a champion of liberty and law
    has been matchless--for half a century blazing the trail towards a
    disinterested cosmopolitan order. No exhortation recurs with such
    insistence in Habermas's political writing as his call to his
    compatriots to show unconditional loyalty to the West. The fact that
    Germany itself has usually been thought to belong to the West
    indicates the more specialized, tacit identification in Habermas's
    mind: intended are the Anglophone Allies who were the architects of
    the Federal Republic. If the United States looms so much larger than
    the United Kingdom in the ledger of gratitude and allegiance, this is
    not simply a reflection of the disproportion in power between the two.
    For Habermas, America is also a land of intellectual awakening in a
    way that Britain has never been. To the political debt owed General
    Clay and Commissioner McCloy was added the philosophical education
    received from Peirce and Dewey, and the sociological light of Mead and
    Parsons. This was the West that had allowed Germans of Habermas's
    generation to stand erect again.

    Against such a background, endorsement of American military
    interventions in the Gulf, the Balkans and Afghanistan came naturally.
    At the invasion of Iraq, however, Habermas baulked. The reason he gave
    for doing so is revealing: in marching to Baghdad, the United States
    acted without the authorization of the Security Council. But, of
    course, exactly the same was true of its attack on Belgrade. Since
    violation of human rights was, by common consent, far worse in Iraq
    than in Yugoslavia, why was a punitive expedition against the latter
    fully justified, but not the former? The difference, Habermas
    explains, is that the Balkan War was legitimated `after the fact', not
    only by the need to stop ethnic cleansing and supply emergency aid,
    but above all by `the undisputed democratic and rule-of-law character
    of all the members of the acting military coalition'--even if the us
    and uk had approached the necessary task in a less pure spirit than
    Germany, France, Italy or other European members of nato. Over Iraq,
    however, a once-united `international community' had split. The
    phrase, standard euphemism of every mendacious official broadcast and
    communiqué from Atlantic chancelleries, speaks for itself. The
    political confines of the community that stands in for the world are
    never in doubt: `today, normative dissent has divided the West
    itself'. [52]

    Yet since, in Habermas's own words, there can be no greater good than
    liberating a people from a brutal tyranny, why should prevention of
    ethnic cleansing or provision of aid--presumably lesser
    objectives--supply General Clark with philosophical credentials denied
    to General Franks? It is plain that the crucial distinguo lies
    elsewhere: in European responses to American initiatives. So long as
    both sides of the Atlantic concur, the `international community'
    remains whole, and the un can be ignored. But if Europe demurs, the un
    is sacrosanct. So naively self-serving an assumption invites, in one
    sense, only a smile. What it points to, however, is the disintegration
    of a larger one. The West upheld in Habermas's credo was always an
    ideological figure, an unexamined topos of the Cold War, whose
    assumption was that America and Europe could for all practical
    purposes be treated as a single democratic ecumene, under benevolent
    us leadership. The unwillingness of Berlin and Paris to rally behind
    Washington in the attack on Iraq undid that long-held construction,
    rendering an unconditional orientation to the West meaningless. In
    this emergency, Habermas fell back on European values, now distinct
    from somewhat less commendable American ones, as a substitute
    lode-star in international affairs. But, setting aside the work of
    lustration required to yield an uplifting common ethos out of Europe's
    bloody past, or even its self-satisfied present, the new construct is
    as incoherent as the old. Not only does Europe, as currently
    understood by Habermas, have to exclude Britain, for undue similarity
    of outlook to the United States, but it cannot even encompass the
    continental states of the eu itself, a majority of whose members
    supported rather than opposed the liberties taken by the us with the
    un Charter. So in a further geopolitical contraction, Habermas has
    been driven to advocate a Franco-German `core' as the final refuge out
    of which a future and better eu, more conscious of its social and
    international responsibilities, may one day emerge, harbinger of a
    wider cosmopolitan order. [53]

    But this is a reculer pour mieux sauter without self-criticism.
    Habermas still appears to believe, heedless of well-advertised
    findings to the contrary, that nato's attack on Yugoslavia--for him, a
    last precious moment of Euro-American unity--was warranted by
    Belgrade's refusal to treat, and determination to exterminate. That
    the Rambouillet ultimatum was as deliberately framed to be
    unacceptable, furnishing a pretext for war, as the Austrian note to
    Serbia in 1914; that Operation Horseshoe, the plan for mass ethnic
    cleansing of Kosovo invoked by his Foreign Minister to justify the
    war, has been exposed as a forgery of the Bulgarian secret services;
    and that the number of Albanians in the region killed by Serb forces
    was closer to five than to the hundreds of thousands claimed by
    Western spokesmen--details like these can be swept under the ethical
    carpet as casually as before. For now Yugoslavia too, like the
    Taliban, `already belongs to history'. Even in Iraq, Habermas--in this
    like most of his fellow-citizens in Germany or France--objects only to
    the American invasion, not occupation of the country. The deed once
    consummated, it becomes another accomplished fact, which he wishes
    well, even if he hopes it will not be repeated.

    Leviathan on the Potomac

    Bobbio's embrace of American hegemony was quite distinct in origin.
    Unlike Habermas, he never showed any special attachment to the United
    States after 1945, or even much interest in it. Did he ever so much as
    visit it? No reference of any intellectual significance for him seems
    to have been American. His post-war sympathies went to Britain, where
    he inspected the Labour experiment and wrote warmly, if not
    uncritically, about it. During the high Cold War, he sought
    energetically to resist polarization between East and West, and when
    he became active in the peace movements of the seventies and eighties,
    he never put the United States on a higher moral or political plane
    than the ussr as a nuclear power, holding them equally responsible for
    the dangers of an arms race threatening all humanity. America,
    however, was `the more powerful of the two masters of our life and of
    our death', and it was therefore all the more discouraging to hear
    maxims from Reagan that could only be compared to the motto Louis xiv
    had inscribed on his cannon: Extrema ratio regis. [54]

    But when the unexpected happened, and Gorbachev lowered the Soviet
    flag, ending the Cold War with a complete American victory, there was
    in Bobbio's outlook one tenacious idea that allowed him to make a
    radical adjustment to the new world order. He had always maintained
    that the most viable solution to the problem of endemic violence
    between states was the creation of a super-state with a monopoly of
    coercion over all others, as guarantor of universal peace. During the
    Cold War he envisaged this hitherto Absent Third ultimately
    materializing in the shape of a world government, representing a de
    jure union based on a multiplicity of states. But when, instead, one
    existing state achieved a de facto paramountcy over all others of a
    kind never seen before, Bobbio could--without inconsistency--adapt to
    it as the unpredictable way history had realized his vision. America
    had become the planetary Leviathan for which he had called. So be it.
    The Hobbesian realism that had always distinguished him from Rawls or
    Habermas made him, who had been far more critical of the international
    order as long as the Cold War persisted, ironically capable of a much
    more coherent apology for the us empire once the Cold War was over.
    Hobbes could explain, as they could not, why the pax Americana now so
    often required resort to arms, if a juridical order protected by a
    global monopoly of force was finally to be created. `The law without a
    sword is but paper'.

    Bobbio's realism, what can be seen as the conservative strand in his
    thinking, had always coexisted, however, with liberal and socialist
    strands for which he is better known, and that held his primary moral
    allegiance. The balance between them was never quite stable, synthesis
    lying beyond reach. But in extreme old age, he could no longer control
    their tensions. So it was that, instead of simply registering, or
    welcoming, the Hobbesian facts of American imperial power, he also
    tried to embellish them as the realization of democratic values, in a
    way that--perhaps for the first time in his career--rang false and was
    inconsistent with everything he had written before. The triptych of
    liberation invoked as world-historical justification for the Balkan
    War is so strained as virtually to refute itself. The victory of one
    set of imperialist powers over another in 1918, with the American
    contribution to mutual massacre tipping the balance: a glorious
    chapter in the history of liberty? The D-Day landings of 1944,
    engaging less than a sixth of Hitler's armies, already shattered in
    the East: `totally responsible for the salvation of Europe'? [55] An
    apotheosis of Reagan for his triumph in the Cold War: who would have
    imagined it from the descriptions of Il terzo assente? There was
    something desperate in this last-minute refrain, as if Bobbio were
    trying to silence his own intelligence.

    Sparks of defiance

    It would be a mistake to deduce the late conclusions of all three
    thinkers in any simple way from the major body of their writing. That
    this is so can be seen from the chagrin of pupils and followers,
    steadfast in admiration for each man, but also loyal to what they felt
    was the original inspiration of a great oeuvre. Pogge's disappointment
    with The Law of Peoples, Matustík's discomfort with Between Facts and
    Norms and dismay at plaudits for the Balkan War, the reproaches of
    Bobbio's students to the claims of Una guerra giusta?, form a family
    of similar reactions among cohorts less disoriented in the new
    international conjuncture. [56] Nor would it be right to think that
    involution was ever complete in these philosophical minds themselves.
    To the end, flashes of a more radical temper can be found in them,
    like recollections of a past self. For all his apparent acceptance of
    capital as an unappealable condition of modernity, ratified by the
    irresponsible experiment of communism, Habermas could yet write, less
    reassuringly for its rulers, of a system breeding unemployment,
    homelessness and inequality: `still written in the stars is the date
    that--one day--may mark the shipwreck of another regime, exercised
    anonymously through the world market'. [57] Bobbio, despite his
    approval of the Gulf and Balkan Wars, could in the interval between
    them denounce the `odious bombardments of Baghdad' ordered by Clinton,
    and the `vile and servile' connivance of other Western governments
    with them, as `morally iniquitous'. Few intellectuals then spoke so
    strongly. [58] Rawls offers perhaps the most striking, and strangest
    case of all. In the last year of his life, when he could no longer
    work on them, he published lectures he had given over a decade
    earlier, under the title Justice as Fairness. Beneath the familiar,
    uninspiring pleonasm lay a series of propositions at arresting
    variance with the tenor of Political Liberalism, let alone The Law of

    It had been an error of A Theory of Justice, he explained, to suggest
    that a capitalist welfare state could be a just social order. The
    Difference Principle was compatible with only two general models of
    society: a property-owning democracy or liberal socialism. Neither of
    them included a right to private ownership of the means of production
    (as distinct from personal property). Both had to be conceived as `an
    alternative to capitalism'. Of the two, a property-owning
    democracy--Rawls hinted that this would be the more congenial form in
    America, and liberal socialism in Europe--was open to Marx's criticism
    that it would re-create unacceptable inequalities over time, and do
    little for democracy in the workplace. Whether his objections could be
    met, or liberal socialism yield better results, only experience could
    tell. On the resolution of these questions, nothing less than `the
    long-run prospects of a just constitutional regime may depend'. [59]
    Such thoughts are foreign to Political Liberalism. They outline, of
    course, only the range of ideal shapes that a just society might
    assume. What of actually existing ones? Rawls's answer is startling.
    After observing that favourable material circumstances are not enough
    to assure the existence of a constitutional regime, which requires a
    political will to maintain it, he suddenly--in utter contrast to
    anything he had ever written before--remarks: `Germany between 1870
    and 1945 is an example of a country where reasonably favourable
    conditions existed--economic, technological and no lack of resources,
    an educated citizenry and more--but where the political will for a
    democratic regime was altogether lacking. One might say the same of
    the United States today, if one decides our constitutional regime is
    largely democratic in form only'. [60] The strained conditional--as if
    the nature of the American political system was a matter for decision,
    rather than of truth--barely hides the bitterness of the judgement.
    This is the society Rawls once intimated was nearly just, and whose
    institutions he could describe as the `pride of a democratic people'.
    In one terse footnote, the entire bland universe of an overlapping
    consensus capsizes.

    Reason and rage

    It is unlikely such flashes of candour were mere passing moments of
    disaffection. What they suggest is rather an acute tension buried
    under the serene surface of Rawls's theory of justice. Perhaps the
    most telling evidence for this is to be found in the unexpected entry
    of Hegel into his last published writings. Lectures on the History of
    Moral Philosophy concludes with a respectful, indeed admiring portrait
    of Hegel as a liberal philosopher of freedom. What drew Rawls, against
    apparent temperamental probability, to the philosopher of Absolute
    Spirit? His reconstruction of The Philosophy of Right pays tribute to
    Hegel's institutional insight that `the basic structure of society',
    rather than the singular individual, is `the first subject of
    justice', and sets out Hegel's theory of civil society and the state
    with historical sympathy. [61] Here too a sharp aside says more than
    all the glozing pages of Political Liberalism. Hegel's constitutional
    scheme, Rawls remarks, may well strike us, with its three estates and
    lack of universal suffrage, as a quaint anachronism. `But does a
    modern constitutional society do any better? Certainly not the United
    States, where the purchase of legislation by "special interests" is an
    everyday thing'. [62] Clinton's America as no improvement on Frederick
    William iii's Prussia: a more damning verdict is difficult to imagine.

    The principal interest of Hegel, however, lay elsewhere. For Rawls his
    most important contribution to political thinking, flagged at the
    outset of the relevant Lectures, and reiterated in Justice as
    Fairness, was his claim that the task of philosophy was to reconcile
    us to our social world. Rawls emphasizes that reconciliation is not
    resignation. Rather, Hegel saw Versöhnung as the way in which we come
    to accept our political and social institutions positively, as a
    rational outcome of their development over time. [63] The idea of
    justice as fairness belongs to this conception of political philosophy
    as reconciliation, he explained. For `situated as we may be in a
    corrupt society', in the light of its public reason we may still
    reflect that `the world is not in itself inhospitable to political
    justice and good. Our social world might have been different and there
    is hope for those in another time and place'. [64]

    In these touchingly incoherent sentences, Rawls's philosophy breaks
    down. Our society may be corrupt, but the world itself is not. What
    world? Not ours, which we can only wish might have been different, but
    another that is still invisible, generations and perhaps continents
    away. The wistful note is a far cry from Hegel. What the theme of
    reconciliation in Rawls expresses is something else: not the
    revelation that the real is rational, but the need for a bridge across
    the yawning gulf between the two, the ideal of a just society and the
    reality of a--not marginally, but radically--unjust one. That Rawls
    himself could not always bear the distance between them can be sensed
    from a single sentence. In accomplishing its task of reconciliation,
    `political philosophy may try to calm our frustration and rage against
    our society and its history'. [65] Rage: who would have guessed Rawls
    capable of it--against his society or its history? But why should it
    be calmed?

    Rawls resorted to Hegel in his internal reflections on a
    constitutional state. On the plane of inter-state relations, Kant
    remained his philosopher of reference, as the theorist of conditions
    for a perpetual peace. So too for Habermas. But since Kant failed to
    envisage the necessary legal framework for a cosmopolitan order, as it
    started to take shape through the permanent institutions of the United
    Nations, Habermas, when he came to review the progress made since
    1945, also looked towards the philosopher of objective idealism.
    Measured against the sombre background of the disasters of the first
    half of the twentieth century, he decided, `the World Spirit, as Hegel
    would have put it, has lurched forward'. [66] As we have seen, Bobbio
    was responsible for the most pointed appeal to Hegel of all. In one
    sense, he was more entitled to make it. Welcoming Hegel's idea of
    reconciliation as akin to his own enterprise of public reason, Rawls
    drew the line at his vision of the international realm as a domain of
    violence and anarchy, in which contention between sovereign states was
    bound to be regulated by war. Habermas's gesture enlisted Hegel, on
    the contrary, as a patron of cosmopolitan peace. The first could not
    square his Law of Peoples with the lawlessness of Hegel's states, the
    second could only enroll Hegel for pacific progress by turning him
    philosophically inside out. Bobbio, by contrast, could take the
    measure of Hegel's conception of world history, as a ruthless march of
    great powers in which successive might founds over-arching right, and
    invoke it in all logic to justify his approval of American imperial
    violence. Law was born of force, and the maxim of the conqueror--prior
    in tempore, potior in jure--still held. `However difficult it is for
    me to share the Hegelian principle that "what is real is rational", it
    cannot be denied that sometimes history has vindicated Hegel'. [67] At
    the end of the twentieth century, reason had once again proved to be
    the rose in the cross of the present.

    Yet three less Hegelian thinkers than these could hardly be imagined.
    The guiding light of all their hopes of international affairs remained
    Kant. In reaching out at the end for his antithesis, each in their
    different way engaged in a paradox destructive of their own
    conceptions of what a just order might be. Bobbio, who had most claim
    on Hegel, was aware of this, and tried to correct himself--he had
    intended not to justify, but only to interpret the course of the world
    in the register of the Rechtsphilosophie. There are coherent Hegelian
    constructions of the time, but they come from minds with whom these
    thinkers have little in common. Perhaps they would better have avoided
    wishful thinking by looking again at Kant himself, more realistic than
    his posterity in imagining a universal history for a race of devils.

    [1] Bobbio's essay first appeared in the revised third edition of Il
    problema della guerra e le vie della pace, Bologna 1989, and in
    English in Daniele Archibugi and David Held, eds, Cosmopolitan
    Democracy, Cambridge 1995, pp. 17-41. Habermas's essays appeared in,
    respectively, Die Einbeziehung des Anderen, Frankfurt 1996, pp.
    192-236, and Die postnationale Konstellation, Frankfurt 1998, pp.
    91-169; and in English in The Inclusion of the Other, Cambridge, ma
    1998, pp. 165-202, and The Postnational Constellation, Cambridge 2001,
    pp. 58-112.

    [2] `Democracy and the International System', pp. 22-31.

    [3] Il terzo assente, Milan 1989, p. 115 ff.

    [4] See Realizing Rawls, Ithaca 1989, pp. 9-12; `Priorities of Global
    Justice', in Pogge, ed., Global Justice, Oxford 2001, pp. 6-23.

    [5] The Law of Peoples, Cambridge, ma 1999, p. 108; henceforward lp.

    [6] lp, p. 39.

    [7] lp, p. 97. For Rawls's cult of Lincoln, see inter alia Thomas
    Nagel, `Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue', New Republic, 13 January

    [8] lp, pp. 119-20.

    [9] Die Einbeziehung des Anderen, pp. 139-40; The Inclusion of the
    Other, p. 115; henceforward ea and io.

    [10] Die Normalität einer Berliner Republik, Frankfurt 1995, pp.
    177-9; A Berlin Republic: Writings on Germany, Lincoln, ne 1997, pp.
    170-2; henceforward nbr and br.

    [11] Die Postnationale Konstellation, pp. 122-35; The Postnational
    Constellation, pp. 80-8; henceforward pk and pc.

    [12] pk, pp. 155-6; pc, p. 103.

    [13] pk, p. 89; pc, p. 56.

    [14] pk, pp. 162-6; pc, 108-11.

    [15] ea, pp. 221-4; io, pp. 189-91.

    [16] Vergangenheit als Zukunft, Zurich 1991, p. 30; The Past as
    Future, Lincoln, ne 1994, pp. 20-1; henceforward vz and pf. Rawls had
    explained that all major world religions were `reasonable' doctrines
    capable of accepting his principles of justice: Political Justice, New
    York 1993, p. 170.

    [17] pk, p. 181; pc, p. 121.

    [18] pk, pp. 191-2; pc, p. 128. Here too the reference--of `reasonably
    comprehensive doctrines'--is explicitly to Rawls.

    [19] Il problema della guerra e le vie della pace, Bologna 1984, pp.
    113-4, 143-6; henceforward pgvp;Il terzo assente, pp. 34-8;
    henceforward ta.

    [20] pgvp, pp. 50-5; ta, pp. 60-8.

    [21] pgvp, pp. 83-6.

    [22] pgvp, p. 116; ta, pp. 49-50.

    [23] ta, p. 94.

    [24] pgvp (first edition), Bologna 1970, pp. 119-57.

    [25] Autobiografia, Bari 1999, p. 261.

    [26] pgvp, p. 111; ta, p. 135.

    [27] ta, pp. 108-9.

    [28] ta, p. 181.

    [29] lp, p. 48.

    [30] lp, pp. 99-102; Collected Papers, Cambridge, ma 1999, p. 572.

    [31] `I follow here Michael Walzer's Just and Unjust Wars. This is an
    impressive work, and what I say does not, I think, depart from it in
    any significant respect': lp, p. 95.

    [32] lp, pp. 48-9.

    [33] vz, pp. 19, 18, 23; pf, pp. 12, 11, 15.

    [34] vz, p. 64; pf p. 48; nbr, pp. 93-4, 108; br, pp. 88-9, 102.

    [35] vz, p. 28; pf, p. 18; `Letter to America', The Nation, 16
    December 2002.

    [36] vz, p. 20; pf, p. 12.

    [37] vz, p. 22; pf, p. 14.

    [38] Una guerra giusta?, Venice 1991, pp. 39, 22, 48, 60; henceforward

    [39] gg, pp. 23, 90.

    [40] `Bestialität und Humanität: ein Krieg an der Grenze zwischen
    Recht und Moral', Die Zeit, 29 April 1999; in English as `Bestiality
    and Humanity: a War on the Border between Law and Morality', in
    William Buckley, ed., Kosovo. Contending Voices on the Balkan
    Intervention, Grand Rapids, mi 2000, pp. 307-8, 312.

    [41] `Bestiality and Humanity', pp. 313-6.

    [42] `Bestiality and Humanity', pp. 309, 316.

    [43] Carl Schmitt, Politische Theologie, Munich and Leipzig 1922, p.

    [44] `Perché questa guerra ricorda una crociata', L'Unità, 25 April

    [45] `La guerra dei diritti umani sta fallendo', L'Unità, 16 May 1999.

    [46] `Fundamentalism and Terror', in Giovanna Borradori, Philosophy in
    a Time of Terror. Dialogues with Jürgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida,
    Chicago 2003, pp. 27-8.

    [47] `Letter to America', The Nation, 16 December 2002.

    [48] `Verschliessen wir nicht die Augen vor der Revolution der
    Weltordnung: Die normative Autorität Amerikas liegt in Trümmern',
    Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 17 April 2003; in English as
    `Interpreting the Fall of a Monument', Constellations, vol. 10, no. 3,
    2003, pp. 364-70.

    [49] `Ojalá Estados Unidos tenga éxito en Iraq', La Vanguardia, 4
    November 2003.

    [50] lp, p. 53.

    [51] lp, pp. 53-4.

    [52] `Interpreting the Fall of a Monument', p. 366.

    [53] `Unsere Erneuerung--Nach dem Krieg: Die Wiedergeburt Europas'
    (with Jacques Derrida), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 31 May 2003;
    in English as `February 15, or What Binds Europeans Together: A Plea
    for a Common Foreign Policy, Beginning in the Core of Europe',
    Constellations, September 2003, pp. 291-7.

    [54] ta, p. 208; written on 28 August 1983.

    [55] `Perché questa guerra ricorda una crociata'.

    [56] See Thomas Pogge, Global Justice, pp. 15-7; Martin Beck Matustík,
    Jürgen Habermas. A Philosophical-Political Profile, Lanham, md 2001,
    pp. 247-51, 269-74; Eleonora Missana, Massimo Novarino, Enrico
    Passini, Stefano Roggero, Daniela Steila, Maria Grazia Terzi, Stefania
    Terzi, `Guerra giusta, guerra ingiusta. Un gruppo di studenti torinesi
    risponde a Norberto Bobbio', Il Manifesto, 29 January 1991.

    [57] nbr, p. 17; br, pp. 12-13.

    [58] `Questa volta dico no', La Stampa, 1 July 1993.

    [59] Justice as Fairness, Cambridge, ma 2001, pp. 178-9; henceforward

    [60] jf, p. 101.

    [61] Lectures on the History of Moral Philosophy, Cambridge, ma 2000,
    p. 366; henceforward lhmp.

    [62] lhmp, p. 357.

    [63] lhmp, pp. 331-2.

    [64] jf, pp. 37-8.

    [65] jf, p. 3.

    [66] ea, p. 207; io, p. 178.

    [67] `Perché questa guerra ricorda una crociata'.

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