The Moral Basis of State Independence

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The chapter takes as its starting point the central claim in Arthur Ripstein’s defense of a Kantian approach to war, namely that each state has a right to be independent from the determining choice of other states. The state’s right to independence is the basis for its permission to use force in national defense, and also for in bello restrictions that limit the permissible means of waging war to those necessary to stop aggression. But what morally justifies the state’s right to independence? And can this right be accounted for on Kantian grounds? Specifically, Stilz focuses on whether the Kantian view, as Ripstein reconstructs it, provides a philosophically satisfying basis for attributing a right to political independence to the state. In the final section, she outlines an alternative reading of Kant that may provide a more compelling moral foundation for this right.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Public Uses of Coercion and Force
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Constitutionalism to War
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780197519103
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


  • Colonialism
  • Force
  • Independence
  • Kant
  • Self-determination
  • Sovereignty
  • Territory


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