chapter  7
24 Pages

Multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, planetarity: the challenge of living together

WithTariq Jazeel

There are three sections to this chapter. The first paints in broad strokes a picture of the capacious logic of the term ‘multiculturalism’, before teasing out some of the culturalist implications of its use. The second moves on to discuss in more depth the concept of cosmopolitanism which, like multiculturalism, is so often evoked as an imaginative and political antidote to the closures of narrowly national or parochial senses of belonging. As I show, critical postcolonial engagements with cosmopolitanism reveal its own geographical limitations as an effective trope for living with difference on non-hierarchical terms. The third section of this chapter draws on recent work that looks beyond, or after, cosmopolitanism, in particular, recent geographical work on the potential of the encounter and Gayatri Spivak’s (2003) concept of planetarity. I suggest that these ways of thinking stake out more uncertain and humble movements towards differences heretofore unknown by the majority.