None of the great challenges facing us today – the protection of the environment, the rational use of energy sources, the health of our species and, indeed, of all living things – can now be addressed by a single country, no matter how powerful it may be. Awareness of this fact entails the need to think about something that had previously seemed an utter utopia: the prospect of a planetary government stretching well beyond the borders of nation-states, even when the latter tend to take on the form of empires. At the same time, we increasingly encounter expressions such as “international justice”, “supra-territoriality” and “transnational government”, despite the horrors of the war of aggression occurring at Europe’s doorstep. We are growing accustomed to the idea of a global civil society, something like an authentic planetary civilisation. This lucid, realistic and visionary book, written by a major historian, projects readers into an imaginable future – not only for the West, but for an entire world finally at peace with itself.
Anthony Pagden teaches History and Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
World English and Spanish rights sold.