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The Global Covenant: Human Conduct in a World of States. By Robert Jackson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. 464p. $29.25.


Robert Jackson's recent book The Global Covenant is a work in the tradition of the international society school that extends the perspective of that school to today's world events and theoretical debates. Jackson's argument has several important components: that we live in a society of states that operates according to particular norms having significant ethical implications for the conduct of world politics; that this society of states can be distinguished from both the amoral perspective of the (neo)realists and the universalism of cosmopolitans; that this world must be examined primarily through the words and actions of statespeople, its primary articulators; that this world is distinguished by values of antipaternalism, normative pluralism, and the observance of sovereign rights of nonintervention and self-determination; and that recent crises (e.g., the Persian Gulf War, Bosnia, Kosovo, etc.) demonstrate more the continued durability of this world (which has existed roughly since Westphalia) than its decline or demise.

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