Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-ns2hh Total loading time: 0.233 Render date: 2022-10-04T00:09:34.999Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

3 - The Law of Peoples, distributive justice, and migrations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 September 2012

Seyla Benhabib
Affiliation:
Yale University, Connecticut
Get access

Summary

When at the end of the eighteenth century Kant penned his reflections on cosmopolitan right, the expansion of western imperialist ventures into the Americas had been underway for several centuries, since the late 1400s, while in the same period the Dutch, the Portuguese, the Spanish, and the British imperial navies had been vying with each other for dominance in the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, and the Far East. The right to hospitality was articulated against the background of such western colonial and expansionist ambitions. Kant's extensive references to the opening of Japan and China to western travelers and merchants in the “Perpetual Peace” essay give us a very lively sense of this historical context (Kant [1795] 1923, 444–446; see also Wischke 2002, 227).

Arendt's reflections on statelessness emerge against a different historical background: the collapse of the multinational and multiethnic empires in Europe in the period between two world wars. The extensive use of denaturalization – that is, revocation of citizenship rights – to deal with unwanted minorities and refugees on the part of the European nation-states emerges in this context. A most brilliant, even if not fully explored, insight on Arendt's part is that the experiences gained by western powers during the colonization of Africa inform and even historically inspire the treatment of minorities in continental Europe. Overseas imperialism and continental imperialism are related. Despite these observations, missing from Kant's as well as Arendt's considerations is an explicit recognition of the economic interdependence of peoples in a world society.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Rights of Others
Aliens, Residents, and Citizens
, pp. 71 - 128
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2004

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)
1
Cited by

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×