, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 111-127
Date: 09 Dec 2009

Cosmopolitanism and the De-colonial Option

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What are the differences between cosmopolitanism and globalization? Are they “natural” historical processes or are they designed for specific purposes? Was Kant cosmopolitanism good for the entire population of the globe or did it respond to a particular Eurocentered view of what a cosmo-polis should be? The article argues that, while the term “globalization” in the most common usage refers and correspond to neo-liberal globalization projects and ambitions (roughly from 1980 to 2008), and the Kantian concept of “cosmopolitanism” responded to the second wave (XVIII and XIX of European global expansion), “de-colonial cosmopolitanism” refers to global processes and conceptualizations delinking from both neo-liberal globalization and liberal cosmopolitan ideals. But it delinks also from theological and Marxist visions of a homogenous world center around religious ideals or state socialist regulations. De-colonial cosmopolitanism is a cosmopolitanism of multiple trajectories aiming at a trans-modern world based on pluriversality rather than on a new and good universal for all.

The first version of this paper was presented as the opening lecture for the project “Multiple Trajectories, Critical Interrogations” lead by Kamari Clarke, Ariana Hernández-Reguant, and Moira Fradinger (Yale University, November 2, 2008), under the title of “De-colonial Cosmopolitanism between Theology and the Spirit of Global Capitalism.” The final version benefited from the workshop “(De)colonial Cosmopolitanism” at the Center for Global Studies and the Humanities, Duke University, February 2008, http://trinity.duke.edu/globalstudies/de-colonial-cosmopolitanism, and also from a workshop “Between Cosmopolitanism and Empire: Europe, Human Rights, Sovereignty” and round table “The State We’re In’—Cosmopolitanism,” in March 2009, organized by Costas Douzinas at Birkbeck College, London, http://www.bbk.ac.uk/law/research/events/pastevents.
(For: “Cosmopolitanism in the Making,” a special issue of Studies in Philosophy and Education, Torill Strand, editor; University of Oslo, Institute for Educational Research).