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Sovereign Equality and Moral Disagreement$
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Brad R. Roth

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195342666

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342666.001.0001

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Global Pluralism and Conflicting Political Moralities

Global Pluralism and Conflicting Political Moralities

4 Global Pluralism and Conflicting Political Moralities
Sovereign Equality and Moral Disagreement

Brad R. Roth

Oxford University Press

This chapter articulates a defense of the sovereign equality regime's pluralism on the basis of the need for a global order to accommodate endemic moral disagreement. It argues that the pursuit of peace is, on the whole, well served by an international legal framework that, rather than embracing a particular vision of a just public order, embodies a respectful accommodation among conflicting visions. That accommodation includes elements of overlapping moral consensus, but that consensus should not be overestimated. The affirmation of the legitimacy of moral diversity in the international arena is not, as some would charge, a surrender to moral skepticism or relativism. It is, rather, a sound application of the most essential liberal premises about morality, in light of a sober recognition of the limitations of moral absolutes in international politics.

Keywords:   sovereign equality framework, pluralism, moral disagreement, global order, public order

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