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Transnational Communities Programme

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international conference on

Conceiving Cosmopolitanism

Politics in Transnational Perspective

27-29 April 2000, University of Warwick

List of Speakers and Abstracts

‘Cosmopolitanism’ is a long-sidelined concept recently re-activated by a wide range of social and political theorists. It is currently presented by way of a new politics of the left, postulating alternatives to both ethnocentric nationalism and particularistic multiculturalism. A call for some kind of cosmopolitanism in politics has re-emerged due to an increasing awareness of transnational realities on various levels. For instance on a very broad global level, many political agendas (including human rights, crime and the environment) are beyond the capacity of any one country to act effectively. On an immediate personal level, many individuals are now more prone to articulate complex affiliations, meaningful attachments and multiple allegiances to issues, people, places and traditions that lay beyond the boundaries of their resident nation-state.

For some theorists, envisioning a politics of cosmopolitanism refers to possibilities surrounding global democracy and world citizenship. For some it means fostering new frameworks for alliance-making among social movements locally or globally. Others who invoke cosmo-politanism advocate a non-communitarian, post-identity politics of overlapping interests and heterogeneous or hybrid publics. And still others draw upon the term to challenge conventional notions of belonging, identity and citizenship.

The conference has been convened with the collaboration of the ESRC Research Programme on Transnational Communities, the University of Warwick and the ‘Re-inventing Britain’ project of the British Council and the Arts Council of England. It will provide a unique venue for some of the field’s foremost writers to exchange views on topics such as those described above, as well as related topics including: the historical vicissitudes of ‘cosmopolitanism’, the political representation of multiple identities, the meanings and ramifications of dual citizenship, new modes of coalition-building, the reconciliation of patriotism with heterogeneity, and the creation of institutions for transnational governance.

Participation and follow up:

The organizers very much regret that there are no further places available for the conference at the time of this posting (November 1999).  However, we may have a late cancellation so if you are interested in being placed on our waiting list please email Anna Winton,, with your name affiliation and describing your interest in cosmopolitanism.

It is hoped that we will post the abstracts on this site.  If you are unable to attend but would like to receive further information please register your interest with Anna.

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