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Debating Cosmopolitics


The audacious and gruesome terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, along with the military response, have been the defining political events of this new millennium. The most profound challenge directed at the international community, and to all of us, is to choose between two alternative visions. What we call the traditional statist response emphasizes 'national security' as the cornerstone of human security. Centralization of domestic authority, secrecy, militarism, nationalism, and an emphasis on unconditional citizen loyalty, to her or his state as the primary organizing feature of international politics are all attributes of this approach.

We recommend an alternative vision, one that we call democratic transnationalism. Democratic transnationalism attempts to draw on the successes of democratic, particularly multinational democratic, domestic orders as a model for achieving human security in the international sphere. This approach calls for the resolution of political conflict through an open transnational citizen/societal (rather than state or market) centered political process legitimized by fairness, adherence to human rights, the rule of law, and representative community participation. The promotion of security for individuals and groups through international human rights law in general, as reinforced by the incipient international criminal court with its stress on an ethos of individual legal responsibility, assessed within a reliable constitutional setting, is a crucial element of this democratic transnationalist vision, which aspires to achieve a cosmopolitan reach.

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Citation information for the book:

Archibugi, Daniele. Debating Cosmopolitics. London; New York: Verso, 2003.



Place of Publication

New York, NY