Appraise the Pros and Cons of Cosmpolitanism

Topics: Political philosophy, Immanuel Kant, Law Pages: 4 (1445 words) Published: November 21, 2012
Appraise the Pros and Cons of Cosmopolitanism
Cosmopolitanism is the term to illustrate a theoretical belief of how some think the world should be, where interstate boundaries are abolished and citizens become part of a global body. It is derived from the ancient Greek, kosmopolites, usually translated as ‘citizen of the world’. Cosmopolitanism takes different stand-points throughout the fields of sociology, politics and philosophy. Gerand Delanty splits the concept into four main categories: “internationalism, globalisation, transnationalism and post-nationalism”(Delanty 2000: 52) and four sub-categories “legal, political, cultural and civic” cosmopolitanism. This essay shall analyse and evaluate arguments for and against the notion of cosmopolitanism according to Immanuel Kant’s perception and Hegel’s analysis of the subject matter. Since Kant’s perception is pre-dominantly a form of internationalism and legality, and he is known as the modern forefather of the contemporary conceptualisation, I shall primarily focus on the arguments for and against legal cosmopolitanism. Immanuel Kant developed his notion of cosmopolitanism as a result to the ever increasing Hobbesian ‘state of nature’ in the international realm, between the individualistic actors, nation states and the ever growing interstate communication; especially post the peace of Westphalia where state sovereignty became formalised. Hegel believed that this individuality amongst states in their hobbesian ‘pursuit of felicity’ would only lead to war. “when the particular wills of states can come to no agreement, the controversy can be settled only by war.” (Hegel 2001: 264) This in mind, I shall reference the views and opinions of contemporary theorists on Kant’s conceptualisation of cosmopolitanism. One of the main positives of cosmopolitanism according to modern theorists is accountability, Kant’s predominantly Legal cosmopolitanism was the ideology where state conflict could be resolved...
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