Cosmopolitan political community : why does it feel so right?

Nash, Kate. 2003. Cosmopolitan political community : why does it feel so right? Constellations, 10(4), pp. 506-518. ISSN ISSN 1351-0487 ; Online ISSN 1467-8675 [Article]


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Identification with a national community is typically associated with “hot” emotions, and opposed to “cool” cosmopolitanism as an ideal. This paper will consider neo-Kantian understandings of cosmopolitan citizenship to be realised through human rights in which “hot” national feeling and “cool” cosmopolitanism are implicitly opposed in this way. I will argue that the dichotomy makes it difficult to see how “warm” cosmopolitanism is actually developing in political communities organised by Western states, in less rationalist ways than is suggested by neo-Kantians and in association with, rather than in opposition to, national feeling. Human rights are developing in part through humanitarian intervention that is of questionable legitimacy in democratic terms. It is less likely to be judged “right” (or wrong) according to reasoned normative principles with which cosmopolitanism is associated in neo-Kantianism, and more likely to be consented to on the basis of sentimental “popular cosmopolitanism” that feels right.

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December 2003Published

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13 Apr 2007

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29 Apr 2020 15:28

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