Article Title

Principal and Practical Foundations of a Global Constitutional Order

Publication Title

Washington University Global Studies Law Review


Experts of human behavior tell us that people first band together for the basic essentials of life: food and protection from the elements through clothing and shelter; and then, the vital need for security of the person. Thus, the security of the group grows out of, and in theory exists for, the security of each of its members.

Constitutional systems, therefore, do not arise in a vacuum, rather they are the product of a number of specific preexisting characteristics and exist for specific reasons. Look to the preamble of the basic documents of any political society and you will find these objectives most affirmatively proclaimed. Peace, security, happiness—these are their objectives. To achieve them, political societies or polities promulgate constitutions. Sadly, some populations include additional condemnable objectives, defiling Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative of unconditional and universal binding moral obligations. It is in this manner that the troubles begin among our subsisting nation-states. Let us then inspect Kant’s proposition—this alleged “command of reason”—in the context of past and continuing challenges to our global society.