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Keywords:

  • global democracy;
  • motivation;
  • nation-state

Abstract: Debates about the possibility of global democracy and justice are plagued by a fallacious assumption made by all parties. That assumption is that there is a “naturalness” to relations among fellow nationals to which a global demos could never aspire. In fact, nation builders employed a great many tools that mobilized the psychological and moral susceptibilities of individuals in order to create a sense of solidarity out of initially heterogeneous elements. Two such tools are described and then applied to the global sphere: first, appeals to prudence through the sometimes artificial engineering of Hobbesian situations, and second, uses of philosophically inferior but motivationally optimal moral argument. The applicability of these strategies to the global sphere suggests that cosmopolitans would be well advised to examine further the nation builder's toolbox for other devices through which a global demos might be motivated.