Morphogenesis and Human Flourishing

Part of the series Social Morphogenesis pp 261-276


The Will to Be: Human Flourishing and the Good International Society

  • Colin WightAffiliated withDepartment of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney Email author 

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Terms such as the ‘good society’, and human flourishing do not figure prominently in the discipline of International Relations. There may be pockets of the ‘good society’ across the international system, but it is not yet a notion that can be globalised. Moreover, what pockets of the good society that there are tend to be concentrated in the affluent parts of the Western world. Under global capitalism, the good society is defined in terms of dollars. At the international level, the ‘good society’ is expensive, life, it seems, is cheap! That said, I think there is much that could be said about the possibility of the ‘good international society’. This this chapter explores this idea and attempts to answer questions such as: What would such a society look like? What are the conditions of possibility for such a society? How might the international system be reformed in ways that enable human flourishing rather than human suffering? How exactly would the ‘good international society’ be structured? This chapter will proceed to unpack these issues and engage in some explicit utopian theorising about what the good international society might be.


Human flourishing Good society Moral realism Morphogenic society Risk society War