‘Rooted Cosmopolitanism' or ‘Politics of Becoming'; A Thick Convergence?

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 4:30 PM
Room: F202
Oral Presentation
Claudia TAZREITER , School of Social Svirnvrd, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
This paper proceeds from a grounded understanding of cosmopolitan values as ‘rooted’ in particular experiences and ways of life, yet assumes those same values to be generalisable – as human rights. ‘Rooted cosmopolitanism’ speaks to an aspect of human rights, namely its relationship to the nation-state form. Though human rights are conceived as universal ideals, their fulfillment in tangible entitlements and claims occur predominantly at the level of the nation-state. The possibility of human rights – and of our commitment to their primacy (as ‘natural law’) hinges on cultural understanding of rights and questions of what is it to be human. Rather than proceeding from the well understood logic of universal human rights as internationally held norms that ought to be realized and applied through the domestication of those norms in particular states, the paper proceeds with a view to the realm of affect; sympathy and love as well as disgust, shame and humiliation. Why do we intervene and feel sympathy and compassion for some individuals and groups, and not others? How does a politics of affect emerge in relation to vulnerable migrant groups such as asylum seekers, temporary and unauthorized migrants? Through examining the perspectives of ‘rooted cosmopolitanism’ (or cosmopolitanism from below) and the ‘politics of becoming’, the paper aims to map a theoretical convergence between hospitality and attention to proximity (nationalism).