Chris Brown is a prominent international political theorist who has contributed to debates on pluralism, justice and human rights. This book draws together seventeen of his most important and influential articles from the last twenty years.
These essays include influential statements on the role of normative theory and international ethics, the so-called ‘cosmopolitan-communitarian debate’ and anti-foundationalist thought in international relations, as well as important contributions to Rawlsian and Post-Rawlsian theories of international and global justice. The most recent papers address subjects such as the notion of global civil society, and controversies over the ethics of pre-emptive warfare, and the inevitably selective nature of humanitarian interventions.
The book includes a framing introduction written for this volume, in which Brown discusses his own influences, and the evolution of his thinking throughout his career. Although this evolution has involved a progressively less critical viewpoint towards liberal thought and liberal internationalism, and a greater commitment to universal values, some things have remained constant – in particular a focus on the importance of political judgement and scepticism directed towards the idea that there are simple solutions to complex problems. The collection ends fittingly with a critique of the popular cosmopolitanism of figures such as Bono and Bob Geldof.
This collection will be essential reading for all scholars and graduates with an interest in international political theory.