‘There is no Cosmopolitanism without Universalism’, en Delanty, G. (ed.) The Routledge International Handbook of Cosmopolitanism Studies, 2nd Edition, London, Routledge: 30-41.

This chapter offers a reassessment of cosmopolitanism’s most vexing issue: its interconnections with the question of universalism. It argues that the core of the cosmopolitanism project lies in its claim to universalism. It discusses four of the most common charges against cosmopolitan universalism: the problem of its ‘original locale’, of ‘stability’, of ‘reification’ and of ‘idealism’. The chapter explores the ‘problematic centrality’ of universalism in cosmopolitan thinking and deals with early cosmopolitan thinking: the problems of particular origins and stability. It discusses the questions of reification and idealism by looking at Immanuel Kant’s cosmopolitan and moral thinking. It is in Kant’s decided proceduralisation of universalism and his view of how moral universalism is compatible with the all real egotistic motivations of individuals that a universalistic orientation renews itself and remains a fundamental resource for contemporary cosmopolitan thinking. In postmodernism and postcolonialism alike, then, universalism is seen as wholly problematic, mistaken and pernicious.


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