‘Cosmopolitanism and the question of universalism’, en Delanty, G. (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Cosmopolitanism Studies, London: Routledge: 47-59.

The recent cosmopolitan turn in the social sciences over the past 15 years or so has been an exciting and welcome move. Exciting, because it has been able, within a reasonably short period of time, to gather a great variety of scholarly and disciplinary traditions while making them think about the conceptual and normative challenges of our current global modernity. Welcome, because despite its excesses and shortcomings, it has decidedly contributed to the critique of different essentialist, chauvinist and indeed nationalistic ways of thinking that have been present throughout the history of the social sciences. Cosmopolitanism is now a common term within a number of different scholarly communities and intellectual traditions – look no further than this very compendium for a concrete expression of this trend. To this positive scenario, however, at least one note of caution may need to be added. We must ensure that this incipient ‘cosmopolitan paradigm shift’ does not fall victim of its own success. The last thing we want is a kind of smallscale repetition of ‘the rise and fall’ of globalisation theories of the turn of the century – that the excitement and critical spirit of cosmopolitanism fades well before it is able to ascertain more fully a positive intellectual agenda in its own right (its main outcome, the critique of methodological nationalism, being an important but still mostly ‘negative’ result, Chernilo 2007a; Turner 2006).


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