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Christian Volk (2017), The Law of the Nations as the Civil Law of the World: On Montesquieu's Political Cosmopolitalism, in: System, Order, and International Law: The Early History of International Legal Thought from Machiavelli to Hegel, ed. Stefan Kadelbach, Thomas Kleinlein, and David Roth-Isigkeit, Oxford University Press, pp. 240-262.
This chapter points out that Montesquieu argues in favour of a specific kind of political cosmopolitanism. For him, the law of nations appears as the civil law of the whole world. Essentially, it can be said that Montesquieu conceives of a law of nations that attempts to avert both the exploitation of other communities and also slavery. At the same time, however, he is not concerned with equating the law of nations with global ethics, or with establishing morally substantial yet politically ineffective obligatory requirements. Montesquieu tries to remain a political thinker who assumes the reality of individual state interests, but who wishes to integrate these in an international legal order that represents more than the consensus between states.