Cosmopolitan Norms and the Art of Deliberation: Beyond Forgiveness



In this chapter, we use Seyla Benhabib’s understanding of universalism that centres difference in conceptualising cosmopolitanism. Cosmopolitanism, following Benhabib, is more plausible if it invokes a conceptualisation of universalism that privileges subjectivities in the constitution of our individual and collective autonomy as humans. In this chapter, we contend that a difference-based notion of cosmopolitanism can guide democratic iterations underscored by communicative freedom. We specifically draw on Seyla Benhabib’s thoughts on democratic iterations to show how cosmopolitan human encounters might be extended further. Her view of democratic iterations is apposite to the cultivation of a cosmopolitanism-in-becoming in the sense that, as we shall show, iterations within themselves are both democratic and deliberative acts of human engagement—those acts of engagement that seem to be commensurate with cosmopolitan norms of human engagement.


Universalism Difference Cosmopolitanism Subjectivities Individual Collective autonomy Humans Democratic iterations Communicative freedom Iterations Cosmopolitanism-in-becoming Human engagement 


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa
  2. 2.School of EducationUniversity of MalawiZombaMalawi
  3. 3.Department of AccountingUniversity of the Western CapeBellvilleSouth Africa
  4. 4.Centre for Innovative Learning TechnologyCape Peninsula University of TechnologyCape TownSouth Africa
  5. 5.Faculty of EducationCape Peninsula University of TechnologyMowbraySouth Africa

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