Cosmopolitanism, Democracy and the Global Order

Authored by: David Held

The Ashgate Research Companion to Cosmopolitanism

Print publication date:  September  2011
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754677994
eBook ISBN: 9781315612850
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043782


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Cosmopolitanism is concerned to disclose the ethical, cultural and legal basis of political order in a world where political communities and states matter, but not only and exclusively. In circumstances where the trajectories of each and every country are tightly entwined, the partiality of ‘reasons of state’ needs to be recognized. While states are hugely important vehicles to aid the delivery of effective public recognition, equal liberty and social justice, they should not be thought of as ontologically privileged. They can be judged by how far they deliver these public goods and how far they fail; for the history of states is marked, of course, not just by phases of bad leadership and corruption but also by the most brutal episodes. A cosmopolitanism relevant to our global age must take this as a starting point, and build an ethically sound and politically robust conception of the proper basis of political community, and of the relations among communities.

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