Martin Wight and the problem of difference

Jacinta O'Hagan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    In the 'Disunity of Mankind', Martin Wight addresses a recurrent dilemma in Western thought: how do we reconcile conceptions of human community with those of human diversity? The ways in which diversity is understood and the meanings attached to difference has significant implications for political orders and human interaction. The deployment of difference can generate both sites of contest, and the permissive conditions for particular forms of political action. Wight's dilemma remains highly salient today. We continue to struggle intellectually, ethically and politically to reconcile claims of a universal human community with the plurality of human societies. Whilst we ostensibly value diversity, we still persistently constitute difference through producing dichotomies that generate both moral and political hierarchies and boundaries, which in turn form significant features in the landscape of contemporary world politics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)137-140
    JournalMillennium: Journal of International Studies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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