In order to introduce the thought of O’Neill, Frost, Walzer and Rawls and in particular those elements of their work that are fundamental to the discourse that this study sets out to examine, I intend to situate each thinker in the intellectual context of the cosmopolitan/communitarian distinction as outlined in the previous chapter. The important development here is that there is a narrowing of focus. This study is not concerned with the cosmopolitan/communitarian debate as a whole but with that area of thought that can be described as secular, or constructivist, liberalism. This focus is particularly interesting because while the distinctions between Kantian or Marxist cosmopolitanism and the communitarianism of Hegel or Rousseau are particularly clear and well charted by Brown, the dispute between contemporary liberal cosmopolitanism and liberal communitarianism is neither clear nor frequently charted. This shortcoming perpetuates the dominance of cosmopolitanism and obscures the potentially more fruitful tradition of developmental communitarianism. While cosmopolitan thinkers claim that their liberalism is the only viable way in which to model the development of the normative map of international relations, I intend to show that this commonplace assumption is far from secure. This challenge to current theory stems from a necessary re-examination of the limits of liberal principles of justice generated by the ‘restricted’ justifications available to the modern liberal. This examination is here conducted in terms of a debate between constructivist and developmental communitarians and constructivist cosmopolitans. To reiterate some points made earlier: The focus on normative discourse within the constructivist liberal tradition does not assume any particular conclusion to the debates concerning philosophical foundationalism, modernity and postmodernity. Rather it is intended to highlight an aspect of the liberal tradition that O’Neill, Frost, Walzer and Rawls can be seen to represent. The fascinating aspect of this tradition is that claims to have modified their philosophical predicates (in the light of criticisms of enlightenment metaphysics or empirical inaccuracy) have not led to a substantial shift in the normative and political principles generated by the ethical theories of these constructivist liberals. Walzer claims that the most ‘liberal’ principle we can expect in international relations theory is expressed in the ‘moral minimum’ yet both O’Neill and Frost (albeit for different reasons) claim that a substantive theory of human rights can, and must,

be built into any understanding of contemporary international relations. It is this distinction (and similar contrasts) that requires of us that we treat the discourse between these thinkers as a special aspect of the cosmopolitan/communitarian debate.