The humble cosmopolitan: rights, diversity, and trans-state democracy

New York: Oxford University Press (2020)
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Abstract

Cosmopolitanism is said by many critics to be arrogant. In emphasizing universal principles and granting no fundamental moral significance to national or other group belonging, it wrongly treats those making non-universalist claims as not authorized to speak, while treating those in non-Western societies as not qualified. This book works to address such objections. It does so in part by engaging the work of B.R. Ambedkar, architect of India's 1950 Constitution and revered champion of the country's Dalits (formerly "untouchables"). Ambedkar cited universal principles of equality and rights in confronting domestic exclusions and the "arrogance" of caste. He sought to advance forms of political humility, or the affirmation of equal standing within political institutions and openness to input and challenge within them. This book examines how an "institutional global citizenship" approach to cosmopolitanism could similarly advance political humility, in supporting the development of input and challenge mechanisms beyond the state. It employs a grounded normative theory method, taking insights for the model from field research among Dalit activists pressing for domestic reforms through the UN human rights regime, and from their critics in the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. Insights also are taken from Turkish protesters challenging a rising domestic authoritarianism, and from UK Independence Party members demanding "Brexit" from the European Union-in part because of possibilities that predominantly Muslim Turkey will join. Overall, it is shown, an appropriately configured institutional cosmopolitanism should orient fundamentally to political humility rather than arrogance, while holding significant potential for advancing global rights protections and more equitable rights specifications.

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Luis Cabrera
Griffith University

Citations of this work

The Normative Demand for Deference in Political Solidarity.Kerri Woods & Joshua Hobbs - 2024 - Global Justice : Theory Practice Rhetoric 14 (1):53-78.
World government.Catherine Lu - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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