Advertisement

Cosmopolitanism and an Ethics of Sacrifice

  • Scott Schaffer
Chapter

Abstract

Since the coming to the fore of cosmopolitan social thought in the wake of the decline of postmodernisms, a variety of scholars have attempted to develop notions of ‘cosmopolitan social thought’, organising them in terms of the varieties of projects they deal with, ranging from the development of cultural competencies enabling equitable treatment of all peoples, to the creation of transnational governance mechanisms, to the establishment of international social movements and forums. Still others have critiqued these theoretical offerings, noting their basis in a particular set of material resources that go unacknowledged or the failure of cosmopolitan ethical positions to impact on the material inequalities in the world today. Yet, no one has to date observed the core of the problem of cosmopolitanism as a lived, resistant practice: namely, that cosmopolitanism social thought must address both the ethical and cultural part of the equation and the material inequities in the world.

This chapter works to lay out the foundations for thinking of cosmopolitan social thought as needing to address both material and superstructural inequalities in the world. It starts by examining the organising principles used by many scholars for understanding the variety of cosmopolitanisms and the common critiques levelled against those theoretical positions. It then examines the core thematic concerns raised by cosmopolitan theorists, working to unify them into a material and ideational model of cosmopolitanism. Finally, the chapter utilises the notions of sacrifice produced by Jean-Paul Sartre in his Rome Lectures and George Bataille in The Accursed Share to begin thinking through the process of making sacrifice serve cosmopolitanism, of making cosmopolitanism serve humankind as a whole, and of making cosmopolitanism into a real, practical, resisting ethics. In part, the ultimate recommendation is that cosmopolitanism as a theoretical and epistemological position must sacrifice its ontological superiority and begin to be open to ‘cosmopolitanisms from below’, and it simultaneously must be committed to the sacrifice of material resources in the name of distributive justice.

References

  1. Anderson, T.C. 1993. Sartre’s Two Ethics: From Authenticity to Integral Humanity. Chicago and LaSalle, IL: Open Court Press.Google Scholar
  2. Attfield, R. 2006. The Shape of a Global Ethic. Philosophy and Social Criticism 32 (1): 5–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bataille, G. 1998. Exchange and the commodification of the economy. In Georges Bataille: Essential Writings, ed. M. Richardson, 80–86. London: SAGE Publications.Google Scholar
  4. ———. 1991. The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, volume 1. New York: Zone Books.Google Scholar
  5. Bowman, E.A., and R.V. Stone. 1991. “Making the Human” in Sartre’s Unpublished Dialectical Ethics. In Writing the Politics of Difference, ed. H.J. Silverman, 111–121. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bowman, E.A., and R.V. Stone. 1992. “Socialist Morality” in Sartre’s Unpublished 1964 Rome Lecture: A Summary and Commentary. Bulletin de la Société Américaine de Philosophie de Langue Française IV (2–3): 166–200.Google Scholar
  7. Brown, E.A., and R.V. Stone. 2001. 1968 as a Precedent for Revolt Against Globalization: A Sartrean Interpretation of the Global Uprising. In The Problems of Resistance: Studies in Alternate Political Cultures, ed. S. Martinot with J. James, 234–251. Amherst, NY: Humanity Books.Google Scholar
  8. Calhoun, C. 2007. Nationalism and Cultures of Democracy. Public Culture 19 (1): 151–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. ———. 2004. A World of Emergencies: Fear, Intervention, and the Limits of Cosmopolitan Order. 35th Annual Sorokin Lecture, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.Google Scholar
  10. ———. 2003. “Belonging” in the Cosmopolitan Imaginary. Ethnicities 3 (4): 531–568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. ———. 2002. The Class Consciousness of Frequent Travelers: Toward a Critique of Actually Existing Cosmopolitanism. The South Atlantic Quarterly 101 (4): 869–897.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. ———. 2001. The Necessity and Limits of Cosmopolitanism. Conference paper presented at “Identity and Difference in the Global Era,” UNESCO/ISSC, Rio de Janeiro.Google Scholar
  13. ———. 1999. Nationalism, Political Community and the Representation of Society: Or, Why Feeling at Home is not a Substitute for Public Space. European Journal of Social Theory 2 (2): 217–231.Google Scholar
  14. Cheah, P. 2006. Cosmopolitanism. Theory, Culture & Society 23 (2–3): 486–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chhachhi, A. 2006. Postscript: Tensions and Absences in the Debate on Global Justice and Cosmopolitanism. Development and Change 37 (6): 1329–1334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Erskine, T. 2002. “Citizen of Nowhere” or “the Point Where Circles Intersect”? Impartialist and Embedded Cosmopolitanisms. Review of International Studies 28: 457–478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Giri, A.K. 2006. Cosmopolitanism and Beyond: Toward a Multiverse of Transformations. Development and Change 37 (6): 1277–1292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hall, S. 2002. Political Belonging in a World of Multiple Identities. In Conceiving Cosmopolitanism: Theory, Context and Practice, ed. S. Vertovec and R. Cohen, 25–33. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Held, D. 2003. Cosmopolitanism: Globalisation Tamed? Review of International Studies 29: 465–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. ———. 2002. Culture and Political Community: National, Global, and Cosmopolitan. In Conceiving Cosmopolitanism: Theory, Context and Practice, ed. S. Vertovec and R. Cohen, 48–59. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Held, D., and M. Guibernau. 2001. Globalization, Cosmopolitanism, and Democracy: An Interview with David Held. Constellations 8 (4): 427–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Honneth, A. 2007. Disrespect: The Normative Foundations of Critical Theory. Malden, MA: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  23. Kennedy, M.D. 2006. Calhoun’s Critical Sociology of Cosmopolitanism, Solidarity and Public Space. Thesis Eleven 84: 73–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kurasawa, F. n.d. Fragments Around a Critical Cosmopolitanism. (Web site). Accessed February 9, 2008. http://yorku.ca/kurasawa
  25. ———. 2004. A Cosmopolitanism from Below: Alternative Globalization and the Creation of a Solidarity Without Bounds. Archives européennes de sociologie XLV (2): 233–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kwok-Bun, C. 2002. Both Sides, Now: Culture Contact, Hybridization, and Cosmopolitanism. In Conceiving Cosmopolitanism: Theory, Context and Practice, ed. S. Vertovec and R. Cohen, 190–208. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Lehmann, W. 2008. Personal Conversation.Google Scholar
  28. Lemert, C. 2004. Can the Worlds Be Changed? On Ethics and the Multicultural Dream. Thesis Eleven 78: 46–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Marx, K. 1978. Wage Labour and Capital. In The Marx-Engels Reader, ed. R.C. Tucker, 203–217. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  30. Merleau-Ponty, M. 1964. The War Has Taken Place. In Sense and Non-Sense, ed. M. Merleau-Ponty, 139–152. Chicago: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Nash, K. 2003. Cosmopolitan Political Community: Why Does It Feel So Right? Constellations 10 (4): 506–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nussbaum, M.C. 1997. Kant and Stoic Cosmopolitanism. Journal of Political Philosophy 5 (1): 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pieterse, J.N. 2006. Emancipatory Cosmopolitanism: Toward an Agenda. Development and Change 37 (6): 1247–1257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pollock, S., H. Bhabha, C.A. Breckenridge, and D. Chakrabarty. 2000. Cosmopolitanisms. Public Culture 12 (3): 577–589.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Roudometof, V. 2005. Response: The Moral Conundrums of the Global Age. Current Sociology 53 (1): 143–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rundell, J. 2004. Strangers, Citizens and Outsiders: Otherness, Multiculturalism and the Cosmopolitan Imaginary in Mobile Societies. Thesis Eleven 78: 85–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sartre, J.-P. 1985. Critique of Dialectical Reason, Volume 1: Theory of Practical Ensembles. London and New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  38. ———. 1964a. Conférence à l’Institut Gramsci. Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  39. ———. 1964b. Manuscript on Ethics Prepared by Gallimard. New Haven, CT: Beinecke Manuscript Library. Unpublished typescript.Google Scholar
  40. Schaffer, S. 2006. Spatial Authenticity and Global Social Thought. Unpublished conference paper presented at the Middle East Research Competition’s “Developing Research and Researching Development” research seminar, Tunis, Tunisia.Google Scholar
  41. ———. 2004. Resisting Ethics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Skrbis, Z., and I. Woodward. 2007. The Ambivalence of Ordinary Cosmopolitanism: Investigating the Limits of Cosmopolitan Openness. The Sociological Review 55 (4): 730–747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Skribis, Z., G. Kendall, and I. Woodward. 2004. Locating Cosmopolitanism: Between Humanist Ideal and Grounded Social Category. Theory, Culture and Society 21 (6): 115–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Stoekl, A. 2007. Excess and Depletion: Bataille’s Surprisingly Ethical Model of Expenditure. In Reading Bataille Now, ed. S. Winnubst, 252–281. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Stone, R.V., and E.A. Bowman. 1991. Sartre’s Morality and History: A First Look at the Notes for the Unpublished 1965 Cornell Lectures. In Sartre Alive, ed. R. Aronson and A. van den Hoven, 53–82. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Stone, R. V., in collaboration with E. A. Bowman. 1986. Dialectical Ethics: A First Look at Sartre’s Unpublished 1964 Rome Lecture Notes. Social Text 13 (14): 195–215.Google Scholar
  47. Szersynski, B., and J. Urry. 2006. Visuality, Mobility and the Cosmopolitan: Inhabiting the World from Afar. British Journal of Sociology 57 (1): 113–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Truong, T.-D. 2006. One Humanity, Many Consciousnesses: Unresolved Issues in Nussbaum’s New Frontiers of Justice. Development and Change 37 (6): 1259–1272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Turner, B.S. 2006. Classical Sociology and Cosmopolitanism: A Critical Defence of the Social. British Journal of Sociology 57 (1): 133–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Van der Veer, P. 2002. Colonial Cosmopolitanism. In Conceiving Cosmopolitanism: Theory, Context and Practice, ed. S. Vertovec and R. Cohen, 165–178. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Vertovec, S., and R. Cohen, eds. 2002. Conceiving Cosmopolitanism: Theory, Context and Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Zubaida, S. 2002. Middle Eastern Experiences of Cosmopolitanism. In Conceiving Cosmopolitanism: Theory, Context and Practice, ed. S. Vertovec and R. Cohen, 33–47. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott Schaffer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

Personalised recommendations