Tuesday, July 26, 2011
International relations must not be influenced longer by the approach to a world of “homo homini lupus est,” as Hobbes proposed. International security cannot be achieved in the long run by terror, but by starting cooperation. An important step that can be taken this way is the idea of “Weltrepublic” as introduced by Kant. The hiatus left by nation states can be filled by a network of agreements. This suggests a world of the surrogate of “civitas gentium.” Final solutions can be found from time to time, provided that parties can rely on the Kantian platform of “foedus pacificum,” already created (e.g., in terms of human rights charters). In a more open world, the right should be given to the enterprises engaged in international business to bargain both with each other and the public authorities of the state where they are active at a particular moment. They may conduct themselves like “peregrini” in the ancient world. That is, even if they are not fully-fledged citizens of a particular state for several reasons, they can benefit from the equal (economic) treatment before the law in a host state that would be generous enough to extend to them a number of rights. As a kind of compensation, multinationals and the professionals who support them are also expected to behave themselves on the basis of corporate social responsibility. Managers should act like the Good Samaritan who is free from the ties of obsolete laws, and who makes use of this freedom in order to contribute to a world of sympathy and solidarity.