Conflicts in cosmopolitanism and the global left

Martell, Luke (2011) Conflicts in cosmopolitanism and the global left. Policy Network.

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Social democrats have been discussing how to respond to globalisation for two decades or more. Cosmopolitanism is one way that’s been proposed. Cosmopolitanism is about being open to others from around the world and having obligations to them. This relates to traditions in social democracy of internationalism, egalitarianism and collectivism. Social democracy has also sometimes had liberal and progressive supporters with views that fit with cosmopolitan principles of tolerance and pluralism.

Globalisation is said to be one thing that’s put cosmopolitanism back on the agenda. It leads to awareness of others, and of interdependence and global obligations. We’ve grown to see that we have globally shared problems – like climate change, human rights, global poverty, nuclear proliferation, and the risks that come with economic interdependency. Some argue that we should be addressing such problems and obligations through institutions like the United Nations or the International Criminal Court and via global talks about issues such as climate change and world trade. These means are cosmopolitan because they bring diverse people together to address common concerns.

There are two issues that arise for cosmopolitan social democracy. One is that it isn’t proving all that cosmopolitan when it comes to openness and friendliness to others. The other is that it may be being too cosmopolitan when it puts faith in global gatherings to address world issues.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: Luke Martell
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:42
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2021 15:16

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