Cosmopolitan law

Pavlos Eleftheriadis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The European Union need not choose between the two options of a federalist constitution or a loose intergovernmental association of states. There is a third possibility. This is described by Kant as an order of perpetual peace, whereby states undertake to one another to be good republics, to join in a federation of peace, and to respect the rights of each other’s citizens. For Kant this corresponds to a combination of principles of constitutional law, international law and, a new category, ‘cosmopolitan law’. If we adopt Kant’s concepts we can see, first, that the international law of human rights has become some kind of cosmopolitan law of the international community and that, second, parts of European Community law can also be seen as cosmopolitan law for its member states. The features of cosmopolitan law are that it does not follow a conventional theory of sources of law, it does not respect traditional state sovereignty and does not require a hierarchy of institutions for its interpretation and application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-263
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Law Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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