Theory, Culture and Society 33 (7-8):301-309 (2016)

‘Methodological cosmopolitanism’ connotes a profound transformation of the sciences as forms of public reflexive social analysis on learning to live well together through building homes in the world: what may be called the ‘Beckian vision’, in memory of Ulrich Beck. This short note considers how Beck’s concept of emancipatory catastrophism may not be the most productive development of his own programme. This is precisely brought out by a methodologically cosmopolitan analysis of a key East Asian response to the global risk of climate change: innovation of low-carbon cities in China. Instead, these presumptively archetypically cosmopolitan initiatives offer something of a political education regarding the irreducibly strategic power/knowledge dynamics at work – including in ongoing contestation about the very term ‘cosmopolitan’.
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DOI 10.1177/0263276416669413
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