1st Global Cosmopolitanism Conference
Mount Melleray Monastery, Waterford, Ireland 21-23 May 2018
At the heart of cosmopolitanism is the notion that today we live in a global village. The cosmopolitan person is a kosmopolites – Greek for ‘citizen of the world’. There are different forms of cosmopolitanism – moral, political, economic and cultural – but they all promote membership of the international community as being a desirable state.
The cosmopolitan person is seen as sophisticated, cultivated and tolerant; the cosmopolitan city is viewed as vibrant, enlightened and forward-looking. Unified transnational approaches look to be rational solutions to humanity’s ecological, technological, military and economic challenges. War, famine, disease, terrorist activity, religious tensions and refugee crises seem to demand a cosmopolitan response. Meaningful conversations across, and concerning, boundaries are to be encouraged. In addition to this normative aspect of cosmopolitanism, there is also the descriptive reality of cosmopolitanisation. Here, binaries such as domestic/foreign and national/international are becoming increasingly irrelevant, as over-arching structures begin to transcend the parochialism of the nation state. The movement of people, goods and information is more extensive now than at any time in history. One manifestation of this is ‘glocalisation’ – in which globally available products are modified for local markets. For example the women’s magazine, Cosmopolitan, which is published in 35 languages across 100 countries, provides different content to suit local cultures – a commercially successful implementation of the slogan ‘Think Globally Act Locally’.
But not everyone is comfortable with cosmopolitanism. Some people argue that our primary obligations are towards our local communities, and there are groups who reject the notion of universal human rights and do not recognise the legitimacy of political and legal bodies such as the United Nations and the International Criminal Court. Anti-globalisation movements fear that economic cosmopolitanisation only benefits international elites and corporate capitalism. The multicultural project is deemed to have failed in several countries by its detractors; in certain regions nationalism is on the rise. Some say that what begins as tolerance towards ‘the other’ and respect for diversity can morph into intolerance, hegemony and coercion, as a single view is promoted. The UK referendum on leaving the EU (‘Brexit’) perhaps illustrates suspicion towards any perceived dilution of national sovereignty in the interests of international co-operation.
This project sets out to understand the ‘cosmopolitan condition’.
Issues / Core Themes
• Defining cosmopolitanism.
• Localism versus cosmopolitanism.
• What are the wider implications of cosmopolitanism?
• Is cosmopolitanism fully attainable, and if so is it desirable?
• What would a cosmopolitan world look like: socially, politically, geographically, economically and culturally?
• How might cosmopolitan norms be decided?
• To what extent is political cosmopolitanism – a united world order – a desirable development of moral cosmopolitanism?
• Cosmopolitan identity: how is it formed; is it only theoretical?
• How does cosmopolitanism fit with nature?
• ‘The Other’: difference, diversity, similarity, solidarity.
• How does cosmopolitanism relate to women’s rights, poverty, housing, discrimination, health?
• What should the approach of the cosmopolite be towards the refugee crisis and the advancement of developing countries?
• What stance ought cosmopolitanism take towards national borders?
• To what extent do peace, economic stability and human rights depend upon a cosmopolitan outlook?
• What are the dangers of unfettered cosmopolitanism?
• The local, the regional and the global (governance, trade, defence, self-determination)
• What are the barriers to a cosmopolitan existence?
Given the interdisciplinary nature of the conference, and recognising that different groups express themselves in various formats and mediums, we would like participants – both from within and from outside academia – to explore the concept of Cosmopolitanism in ways that include, but are not limited to:
How does cosmopolitanism relate to the following -
• Cosmopolitanism and migration
• Cosmopolitanism and public policy
• Cosmopolitanism and conflict
• Cosmopolitanism and fanaticism
• Cosmopolitanism and urban planning
• Cosmopolitanism and mass displacement
• Cosmopolitanism and religion
• Cosmopolitanism and post-colonialism
• Cosmopolitanism and information and communications technology
• Cosmopolitanism and social cohesion
• Cosmopolitanism and individual liberty
• Cosmopolitanism and social geography
• Cosmopolitanism and the arts
• Cosmopolitanism and literature
• Cosmopolitanism and academia
• Cosmopolitanism and philanthropy
• Cosmopolitanism and global health
• Cosmopolitanism and diversity
• Cosmopolitanism and fear
Who would this appeal to?
As an interdisciplinary project this has wide appeal and might include: social scientists, human rights activists, advocacy groups, philosophers, social geographers, sociologists, political theorists, NGOs, economists, anthropologists, historians, lawyers, theologians, urban planners, artists, performing artists, writers, charities, psychologists, medical professionals, scientists, therapists, teachers, behavioural scientists.
What to Submit:
300 word abstracts should be submitted by January 14, 2018. All submissions are minimally double blind peer reviewed. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be sent by March 14, 2018. Abstracts should be emailed simultaneously to the Organising Chairs; abstracts should be submitted in a Word format with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract f) up to 10 key words
E-mails should be entitled: Cosmopolitanism 1 Abstract Submission.
Please use plain text (Times New Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to send it again.
This event is an inclusive interdisciplinary research project. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various innovative and exciting discussions.
All papers accepted for the conference must be in English, and last no more than twenty minutes to present.
We believe that it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the conference. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation.
Please note: we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, but we will provide free return transport from Dublin to the conference venue.
Our conference will be in a historic monastery, set in the beautiful Irish countryside. It will be an opportunity to escape from the world for a short while, and enjoy some friendly and stimulating discussions in a serene environment. The monastery website can be found at www.mountmellarayabbey.org
From €380 (including accommodation, meals, conference fee and return transport from Dublin to the monastery)
Dr Sean Moran
Waterford Institute of Technology