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Troubling cosmopolitanism

Kalogeras, Joanne (2014) Troubling cosmopolitanism. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis proposes a reconstructed, critical cosmopolitanism that uses the identified core components of the normative branch of cosmopolitanism rooted in (Kantian) moral philosophy and the works of a wide variety of critical theorists that include feminist, postcolonial, and queer perspectives. I pay particular attention to those theorists influenced by poststructuralist deconstructions of the stable subject who focus either on the normative theory directly or on components essential to it. Normative theorists, exemplified by Thomas Pogge, Simon Caney and others, usually focus on global distributive justice, taking as a given, for example, who counts as human. Critical theorists, such as Judith Butler, question that premise. This postmodern turn has implications for what I argue are the three necessary components of cosmopolitanism: autonomy, universality, and its anti-nationalist position. However, the first two have been problematised because of their liberal conceptualisations, which then has implications for cosmopolitanism’s anti-nationalist position as well. I propose a reconfiguration of cosmopolitanism that retains the core normative concepts, but rejects their more liberal interpretations. I argue that the atomistic individual as the basis for liberal autonomy is flawed, and that liberal cosmopolitan conceptualisations of univeralism do not recognise its particularity. I also argue that that the normative theory does not fully take into account nationalism’s dependence on the marginalisations of non-normative populations within the nation state, and how those dependencies might be complicit with nationalism’s othering of those across borders. In addition to a number of normative theorists, the thesis references such multidisciplinary thinkers as Butler, Linda Zerilli and Hannah Arendt. I examine the works of different theorists to develop a reformulation of each of these concepts and integrate an intersubjective approach into these reformulations in order to assemble a feminist, intersubjective, critical cosmopolitan theory. I suggest the adoption of a ‘cosmopolitan intersubjectivity’ in order to show how these concepts can be reconfigured to work together more cohesively and give cosmopolitan theory greater internal consistency.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2014 Joanne Kalogeras
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Gender Institute
Supervisor: Phillips, Anne and Hemmings, Clare

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