Cosmopolitanism and the Down Sides of Globalization
Some trends are (re)emerging in many European and Western societies, what Ulrich Beck has called the cosmopolitanization of the world : the rebirth of populist movements and xenophobic political ideas, the shift toward national preference in the economics, the new rise of cultural identity claims , etc. tend to prove that parochialism and isolationism are overtaking openness to alterity. In France, for example, the universality of the Republic has fallen back on national values, and questions relating to what constitutes the French identity, the nation and its borders have once again emerged in public debate. In the United States, Donald Trump has claimed to build new walls and encourage economic protectionism, along with geopolitical isolationism. The Brexit suggests also a strong distrust against the actual supranational political European’s project.
Consequently, this environment a number of questions to the cosmopolitan approach, that we would like to explore in this session. To what extent does globalization and modernity encourage cosmopolitanism? Is this shift irreversible? Are all the ‘winners’ of globalization necessarily cosmopolitans and do the “losers” of globalization have a chance to be cosmopolitans? How to investigate the tensions in contemporary cosmopolitanism? And is cosmopolitanism, as a concept, still useful to address the down sides of globalization?
To address these questions, the session calls for epistemological, theoretical and empirical discussion.