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A silhouette of utopia: English School and constructivist conceptions of a world society

Abstract

This article makes a comparative assessment of English School and constructivist world society conceptions. It argues neither provides a clear conception, only its theoretical relief in the analytical abstract. The argument contains five points. First, the English School often refers to the political world beyond the society of states as a world society without sufficient conceptual reasoning or evidence to justify the usage. Second, both literatures betray a limited grasp of the profundity of social transformations a world society entails. Third, this suggests the evidence of a world society is a novel cosmopolitan culture. Fourth, idealism in these literatures is undercut by identifying conflict and instability as a contributing cause of a world society’s potential emergence. Fifth, the contemporary emergence of a world society via human rights is found to be unconvincing. A final gesture of a possible ‘overlapping consensus’ on human rights is made towards a future world society.

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McKeil, A. A silhouette of utopia: English School and constructivist conceptions of a world society. Int Polit 55, 41–56 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-017-0067-3

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Keywords

  • World society
  • English School
  • Constructivism