Global Justice and Social Conflict offers a ground-breaking historical and theoretical reappraisal of the ideas that underpin and sustain the global liberal order, international law and neoliberal rationality.
Across the 20th and 21st centuries liberalism, and increasingly neoliberalism, have dominated the construction and shape of the global political order, the global economy, and international law. For some this development has been directed by a vision of ‘global justice’. Yet, for many the world has been marked by a history and continued experience of injustice, inequality, indignity, insecurity, poverty, and war – a reality in which attempts to realise an idea of justice cannot be detached from acts of violence and widespread social conflict. In this book Tarik Kochi argues that to think seriously about global justice we need to understand how both liberalism and neoliberalism have pushed aside rival ideas of social and economic justice in the name of private property, individualistic rights, state security and capitalist ‘free’ markets. Ranging from ancient concepts of natural law and republican constitutionalism, to early modern ideas of natural rights and political economy, and to contemporary discourses of human rights, humanitarian war, and global constitutionalism, Kochi shows how the key foundational elements of a now globalised political, economic and juridical tradition are constituted and continually beset by struggles over what counts as justice and over how to realise it. Engaging with a wide range of thinkers and reaching provocatively across a breadth of subject areas, Kochi investigates the roots of many globalised struggles over justice, human rights, democracy and equality, and offers an alternative constitutional understanding of the future of emancipatory politics and international law.
Global Justice and Social Conflict will be essential reading for scholars and students with an interest in international law, international relations, international political economy, intellectual history, and critical and political theory.
In his new book, Tarik Kochi makes a profoundly important contribution to the critique of liberal international law and order. Holding firm to the view that any account of global justice must by definition be an account of social conflict, Kochi shows the extent to which struggle is at the heart of global relations, and that recognizing this struggle must transform our understanding of liberalism and its law. Against liberalism’s violence, Kochi develops an account of constitutional antagonism via an engagement with a diverse set of thinkers, ancient and modern. The outcome is a provocative and compelling argument for an egalitarian and democratic global constitutional order, one that draws upon the radical heritage of struggles for social liberation.
-Mark Neocleous, Professor of the Critique of Political Economy, Brunel University London.
In Global Justice and Social Conflict Kochi has achieved an exceptional clarity of critical thought in exploring and explaining the relationship between the claims of global justice, the liberal orderings of international law, and the power and violence of capital accumulation. At the centre of both our modern liberal inheritance, and the contemporary neo-liberal political settlement, argues Kochi, is a longstanding agonism between ethic of sociality and the utility of unsocial private property and commerce. This book charts some of the many responses to this concern. Alongside his reading of the liberal tradition, Kochi also draws out a reading of the Marxist tradition of the quest for justice. He provides an outstanding account of the contest between political public sociality and private gain, along with a clear-eyed understanding of the lure of the claims of any egalitarian and democratic global constitutional order and the relationship of those claims to political economic structures, and violence. By showing the depth of the contest between social ethics and private property Kochi does not so much open new worlds as make our present one intellectually visible.
- Sundhya Pahuja, Director, Institute for International Law and the Humanities, University of Melbourne
Introduction: Justice, Liberal Order and International Law
1 The ‘Failures’ of the Global Liberal Legal Order
International Law in Crisis?
Liberal Pragmatism and Moral Humanitarianism
Global Liberal Order, Global Security, Globalised Terror
Contained Prosperity, Global Inequality
Transnational Power, Transnational State Apparatuses, Transnational Law
2 Natural Law, Natural Rights and Property
Between Human Fellowship and Unsocial Sociability
Aristotle, the Stoics and Property
Cicero, Private Property and Belligerent International Law
From Natural Law to Natural Rights – Gratian, Aquinas, Ockham
Hugo Grotius and Contradictory International Law
Kant, Unsocial Sociability and Illegitimate Colonial Property
3 Liberalism, Violence and Inequality
A Paradox of Property
John Locke and the Right to Accumulate
Gerrard Winstanley, Illegitimate Property and Common Preservation
Rousseau, Virtue and Inequality
Adam Smith, Opulence and the Liberal Justification of Economic Inequality
The Pin Factory and the War Factory
War and Violence within Liberal Political Economy
4 Justice and Constitutional Antagonism
Aristotle and Class Conflict
Polybius, Livy, Cicero and Constitutional Conflict
Machiavelli, Neo-Greek and Neo-Roman Republicanism
From Liberty to Liberalism – David Hume and James Madison
Hegel, Struggles for Recognition and the Ethical State
Marx and the ‘Republic of Labour’
Social Reproduction as Struggle – Benjamin, Gramsci, Poulantzas
Critical Theory and Social Antagonism
5 A Global Constitutional Question
Questions of Democracy and Legitimacy
Overlapping Global Constitutional Projects
The Danger of (Neo)Liberal Cosmopolitan Global Constitutionalism
The Public Role of International Law