The Crisis in Global Ethics and the Future of Global Governance
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The Crisis in Global Ethics and the Future of Global Governance

Fulfilling the Promise of the Earth Charter

Edited by Peter Burdon, Klaus Bosselmann and Kirsten Engel

This thought-provoking book stimulates dialogue and action on the role of global ethics in the governance of individual societies and the international order. Such inquiry is imperative given the extraordinary challenges that face the world today. Leading figures in environmental ethics, philosophy and law approach questions surrounding global ethics and governance from a range of cultural and philosophical perspectives.
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Chapter 3: Towards a world constitutional order

Klaus Bosselmann


Over the last decade or so, numerous initiatives for a global constitution have emerged and many international lawyers have embraced the concept of global constitutionalism. These developments have been described as a new way of thinking or ‘mindset’ in response to our globalized world. Back in 1987, the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development stated: ‘The Earth is one, but the world is not.’ This may still be true today, but people are becoming more united as they face similar experiences and challenges regardless of where they happen to live. Kant’s dream of a cosmopolitan constitution seems a real prospect. Humanity certainly needs a code of common values, rights and responsibilities. This chapter explores some of the Earth Charter’s covenantal qualities in search of a (true) world constitutional order that we as humanity can identify with.

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