Can We (Still) Think About the European Union and Canada as “Cosmopolitan Vanguards”?

  • John Erik Fossum
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Political Sociology book series (PSEPS)


This chapter discusses the EU and Canada as possible cosmopolitan vanguards. The EU and Canada espouse the importance of openness and inclusion, and the need for respecting and valuing difference and diversity, and stress their multinational character. Neither propagates an explicit cosmopolitan doctrine; we must instead look for concrete manifestations of cosmopolitanism in principles, procedures, structural arrangements and actual behaviour. Struggles over recognition can foster inclusiveness insofar as they unfold in a context that contains viable means of political representation and social welfare (re-distribution). The EU is the most explicit attempt at discussing these issues beyond the nation-state framework. Canada discusses them in a context of a contested state, and some of the issues discussed in the EU resonate with discussions in Canada.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Erik Fossum
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OsloOsloNorway

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