Is the Rule of Law Cosmopolitan?

Robin L. West

Georgetown University Law Center


Quinnipiac Law Review, Vol. 19, p. 259, 2000
Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 11-104

In a short and artful essay that evoked a blaze of criticism, Martha Nussbaum urged us a few years ago to heed the ancient call for a virtuous and humane cosmopolitanism: if we are sincere in our societal commitment to justice, and genuine in our individual quest to lead a just and good life, then we must acknowledge the moral equality - the equal worth and equal dignity - of each and all of the world's inhabitants. This claim, if true and if seriously regarded, would have profound consequences. Individual, national and communal choices and actions, Nussbaum and her classical authorities say, must, to be just, be undertaken in full and equal regard for the consequences they impose upon all - not just upon our community, our tribe, our nation, our neighbors, or friends, those we see or hear from on a daily basis, or those to whom we have ties forged of blood, genes, geography, affection, common boundaries or shared traditions - but upon us all.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

Keywords: Martha Nussbaum, Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism, ethical cosmopolitanism, rule of law, legal justice, equal justice

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K39

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Date posted: August 1, 2011  

Suggested Citation

West, Robin L., Is the Rule of Law Cosmopolitan? (2000). Quinnipiac Law Review, Vol. 19, p. 259, 2000; Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 11-104. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1900461

Contact Information

Robin L. West (Contact Author)
Georgetown University Law Center ( email )
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
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