Human rights, Islam and the failure of cosmopolitanism

Edmunds, June (2013) Human rights, Islam and the failure of cosmopolitanism. Ethnicities, 13 (6). pp. 671-688. ISSN 1468-7968

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The rise of global human rights has been presented as compelling evidence for cosmopolitan progress, especially in Europe, and with particular benefits for ethnic and religious minorities. New conceptions of citizenship – post-national, de-nationalized, disaggregated and cosmopolitan – have been used to show how minorities have created and profited from European cosmopolitanism. Some theorists have pointed to human rights activism, especially around the foulard affair, to illustrate the arrival of cosmopolitan justice. However, this paper suggests that cosmopolitan optimism has misjudged the magnitude of the impact of human rights. European cosmopolitanism’s commitment to ‘cool’ attachments has difficulty with ‘thick’ religious attachments. Muslim cosmopolitanism – expressed for example though religious pilgrimages – makes Muslims ‘bad’ cosmopolitans in the European version. This clash needs to be reconciled before Europe can define itself as the unrivalled source of cosmopolitan justice.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Human rights, cosmopolitanism, cosmopolitan citizenship, European Muslims
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: Aneira Edmunds
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2013 14:01
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2015 10:40
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