chapter  3
20 Pages

COSMOPOLITANISM AND POLITICAL COMMUNITY: The equivocations of constitutional patriotism

The daunting problem any cosmopolitan faces is how to understand the relation between cosmopolitanism as a transformative project and actually existing forms of political community. The new cosmopolitanism characteristically pursues a middle path between two extremes: one is ‘the end of the nation-state’ thesis and its displacement by global forms of political community; the other is the reconciliation of cosmopolitanism with the existing nation-state. In place of both extremes the new cosmopolitanism usually conceives the ‘cosmopolitan condition’ as a multilayered global order consisting of a reformed basis of solidarity within the nation-state, the development of transnational forms of political community such as the European Union with new forms of solidarity to match, and the consolidation of international institutions, movements and laws regulating relations between states and guaranteeing the rights and freedoms of global citizens. It treats this multilayered order not only as something to be desired but as a visible development albeit one contested from both ends of the political spectrum and in need of nurturing in its own right. The cosmopolitan condition from this

perspective is a differentiated architectonic of legal and political forms and cosmopolitanism is a way of seeing and acting in relation to this complexity. This understanding of the relation between cosmopolitanism as a transformative project and existing forms of political community is the subject matter of this chapter.