I set up this blog in the hope of creating a research network on the idea of cosmopolitanism. For the moment there is not much content since I am still developing the general structure of this site. I intend to develop on other researchers’ themes and findings, provide reviews of the most notable literature in the field, and cast my own ideas and findings. This includes primarily cosmopolitanism on an epistemological and ontological level, but also coincidentally nationalism and patriotism, and through this empirical research more theoretical considerations on method in the history of ideas. I also add a page on cosmopolitan experiences, mainly a reflection on my own experience in relation to other people and events around the world.
My own research using Foucault’s archaeology as a tool to study the idea of cosmopolitanism led me to envisage it as a located discourse in Western political thought, and as such it is dependent on the dominant discourse since the nineteenth century, i.e. nationalism. As such, much of what we understand as cosmopolitanism has been developed in what Ulrich Beck calls methodological nationalism. If ideas are the product of wars, then surely, cosmopolitanism as a minority idea is the product of the dominant one — nationalism. This is why I call this a national-cosmopolitanism.
However, recent trends in political theory have led to different conceptions of cosmopolitanism, mainly under the influence of Jürgen Habermas’ turn to communication instead of reason. In the second age of modernity, cosmopolitanism appears less feasible as a universal ideal. If “worlds too are imagined”, then cosmopolitanism is also located in a particular discourse. As such, it can only be, in its universal aspiration, the imposition of this particular discourse onto other ones.
There is thus a double difficulty with cosmopolitanism: ontological and epistemological. If we want to build cosmopolitanism we need to understand its past. But in order to do so, we must know what it is. Both activities are thus related. Philosophers and historians should gather around this peculiar philosophy, and this is what this blog wants to provide: a platform for exchanges, communications on cosmopolitanism. In the end it is hoping to contribute to the formation of a cosmopolitan cosmopolitanism.
Everyone is free to participate by writing comments.