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Our Cosmopolitanism Future

Cosmopolitanism’ has been advanced as a means of superseding ethnic particularism on the one hand and of developing a political ideology in keeping with global changes at the economic level on the other. Cognate notions of ‘one world’, ‘a global ecumene’, ‘a universal humanism’, a ‘shared planet’ and ‘cosmopolitan democracy’ have gained widespread use, though often such notions are undertheorised and even vague. This project will tackle the claims and limitations of cosmopolitan theory, but also look at some empirical underpinnings to the notion – in terms of the gathering strength of transnational companies, communities and social movements. There will be three outcomes: (1) A major conference in April 2000 (with the support of the ESRC Transnational Communities Programmes) on ‘Conceiving Cosmopolitanism’; leading to a book (2) A paper for that conference (with Robert Fine) and (3) a extended article on recent forms of transnational social protest.