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Preface This book began in earnest on a particularly gray Edinburgh morning with a single question: Why does Kant persistently employ the term providence in his IR-­related works? Two passages in particular attracted my attention: Kant’s declaration in Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Aim that “a justification of nature—­ or better, of providence—­ is no unimportant motive for choosing a particular viewpoint for considering the world,” and a similar pro­ nounce­ ment in Toward Perpetual Peace in which the persistence of the concept of right throughout unremittingly violent human history leads Kant to the conclusion that “[p]rovidence is thus justified in the course of the world.”1 These statements raised my curiosity as the central significance that Kant attributed to providence in Toward Perpetual Peace had not garnered much, if any, attention in the various texts of the cosmopolitan and democratic peace literature I had read prior to my sustained engagement with his work. Digging deeper into the Kantian corpus revealed that these passages were by no means anomalous, e.g., Kant contends in On the Common Saying: That May Be Correct in Theory that “it can be considered an expression not unbefitting the moral wishes and hopes of people (once aware of their inability) to expect the circumstances required for [peace among states] from providence, which will provide an outcome for the end of humanity as a whole species, to reach its final destination by the free use of its powers as far as they extend, to which end, the ends of human beings, considered separately, are directly opposed.”2 This passage is particularly important in that it juxtaposes humanity and human beings, with the former closely associated with peace and providence and the latter with the pursuit of inclinations (“from which evil arises”) and conflict. x    preface The research took a somewhat meandering route from this initial identification of the key role played by belief in providence in Kant’s political essays: from the moral philosophy of The Groundwork and the Critique of Practical Reason, to the importance of reflective judgment, aesthetics, and teleology in the Critique of the Power of Judgment, to Kant’s work on anthropology and theology , and finally to the text that underpins them all, the Critique of Pure Reason . In each case I found providence or other theological principles at the core of Kant’s efforts. As I struggled through this difficult material it gradually became clear that political theology would be the axis around which my interpretation of Kant would turn: the question that remained to be answered was how best to accomplish this task? An interdisciplinary approach incorporating methods and concepts familiar and unfamiliar to me was necessary in order to negotiate the various requirements of the book. I have attempted to incorporate as seamlessly as possible a critical-­historical investigation of Kant’s work within an exegesis of those texts that made possible the articulation of the argument made in Toward Perpetual Peace. As part of the process of getting to grips with Kant I have had to become au fait with “Kantian” IR and political theory, traverse at least some of the galaxies of philosophical literature that Kant has inspired , and explore the fascinating terrain of political theology. I can only hope that the interpretation contained herein is sufficiently compelling and coherently presented to retain the interest of the reader and perhaps to spark further inquiries into the ambiguities and ambivalences of Kant and his complex legacy among those interested in the normative dimensions of Kant’s theorization of human political interaction at the international and cosmopolitan levels. In light of this legacy I have also attempted to draw out the implications of this recovery of the broader and deeper dimensions of Kant’s thought for the theorization of international politics, an endeavor in which Kant is often cited but rarely engaged with beyond opportunistic appropriation of isolated concepts or cursory claims of exalted ancestry. In this regard the value of the book lies in my discovery that Kant cannot be reduced to the status of occasionally useful philosophical buttress or rendered as an obsolete prototype cosmopolitan theorist, whose occasionally embarrassing observations on metaphysics and theology can be dismissed as unfortunate and unimportant ephemera that can safely be disregarded in our postmetaphysical, more intellectually advanced era. On the contrary, the very centrality of the metaphysical and theological concepts within Kant’s remarkably complete theorization of the international preface    xi political environment poses a...


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