A Long and Broken History of Western “Universalism”: Cosmopolitanism

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Abstract
With recent developments in political globalization, self-identifying “cosmopolitans” have overwhelmed the scholarly discourse. This article examines the moral claims behind the theory of cosmopolitanism—in its political universal form—while being especially cautious of claims of such true universalism, and its likely dangerous applications. This entails a brief analysis into certain justified universalist legal traditions; an example of such is found in the International Criminal Court (ICC). In examining the theory and application of western-originated cosmopolitanism, we not only see how theoretical claims of moral superiority are wrong, but that they are alive and well in western theories. In application, it follows that even (slightly) milder legal traditions, like the ICC, imply this unjustified moral superiority.
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Archival date: 2016-10-14
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2016-10-14

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