Presentation

Cosmopolis

A review of Cosmopolitics

 

2017/1

Introduction

 

Thomas More’s famous Utopia has evoked for five centuries the idea of a « nowhere » (from from Greek ou “not”, and topos “place”), projected into an imaginary island cut off from the outside world, whose inhabitants live in a wise and happy environment. Overcoming common stereotypes, Nicole Morgan sees this society as looking for the best possible form of government, through a search led by the philosopher in the City who appears to be a pioneer of Modernity.

Andreas Bummel revisits the recurrent debate about a federal world government, with the long-term objective of democratizing international relations and institutions. Developing such institutions […] will depend on a combination of a sense of global citizenship, the spread of democratization at the national level and the incorporation of universal legal instruments.

Raoul A. Weiler and Kris Demuynck examine the prospects for food production to sustain the survival of future societies and their ethical implications. They recall that famine, precarity and the collapse of societies have been a permanent feature of human history, but are usually tied to geographical locations, demography, social and political contexts as well as the impact of the human behavior on the environment.

Haider A. Khan asks whether the US should reassess its grand strategy to adjust to changing relations with Asia. After the demise of the “new American Century” and its unipolar assumption, responses to the current turbulence in global politics and the world economy cannot ignore the largest continent on our planet if a more sustainable future can be envisaged.

In the debates section:

Nicole Morgan returns to a previous analysis of terrorism scenarios, in a society dominated by the free pursuit of material benefits, atavistic defense mechanisms and nationalistic feelings. The current trends are likely to unleash the ongoing destruction of human ecology, she says, continue the processes of disintegrating traditional social bodies and transform its subjects into objects through technological means.

Haider A. Khan comments on the following two books on Global Crisis in the cyber age: Connaisance totale et Cité mondiale, edited by Paul Ghils, Louvain-la- Neuve: Academia-L’harmattan, 2016;

The Unmaking of Arab Socialism, by Ali Kadri ,London: Anthem Press, 2016.

He uses them as a background for analyzing the nature and consequences of the current crisis and envisaging a green path forward to long term recovery.

The final text is a paper originally published by Lucio Levi in Cosmopolis, questioning the antiquated disciplinary division between “political science” and “international relations” based on the split between the study of domestic politics and that of international politics. He asks why the state-centric approach based on the division of the world into sovereign states is conceived as a permanent, and not a historically transitory, trait of politics.