272 pages

July, 2017

ISBN: 9781479863235



Add to Cart Available: 6/23/2017

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Bruce Robbins is Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. He is the editor of Cosmopolites and the author of Perpetual War: Cosmopolitanism from the Viewpoint of Inequality.

All books by Bruce Robbins

Paulo Lemos Horta is Assistant Professor of Literature at New York University Abu Dhabi. He is co-editor of the Everyman’s Library Arabian Nights and author of Marvellous Thieves: Secret Authors of the Arabian Nights.

All books by Paulo Lemos Horta

Kwame Anthony Appiah is Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University. Among his many works are The Ethics of Identity (2005) and Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (2006). 

All books by Kwame Anthony Appiah

An indispensable collection that re-examines what it means to belong in the world. 

"Where are you from?" The word cosmopolitan was first used as a way of evading exactly this question, when Diogenes the Cynic declared himself a “kosmo-polites,” or citizen of the world.  Cosmopolitanism displays two impulses—on the one hand, a detachment from one’s place of origin, while on the other, an assertion of membership in some larger, more compelling collective. 

Cosmopolitanisms works from the premise that there is more than one kind of cosmopolitanism, a plurality that insists cosmopolitanism can no longer stand as a single ideal against which all smaller loyalties and forms of belonging are judged. Rather, cosmopolitanism can be defined as one of many possible modes of life, thought, and sensibility that are produced when commitments and loyalties are multiple and overlapping.  Featuring essays by major thinkers, including Homi Bhabha, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Thomas Bender,  Leela Gandhi, Ato Quayson, and David Hollinger, among others, this collection asks what these plural cosmopolitanisms have in common, and how the cosmopolitanisms of the underprivileged might serve the ethical values and political causes that matter to their members. In addition to exploring the philosophy of Kant and the space of the city, this volume focuses on  global justice, which asks what cosmopolitanism is good for, and on the global south,  which has often been assumed to be an object of cosmopolitan scrutiny, not itself a source or origin of cosmopolitanism.  

This book gives a new meaning to belonging and its ground-breaking arguments call for deep and necessary discussion and discourse. 


  • "Cosmopolitanisms, excavates the history of the concept and speculates about its future…. An impressive gamut of contributors represent the major disciplines of the humanities, reflecting the seduction of cosmopolitanism within contemporary theory over the past few decades.”

    Times Higher Education

  • "This edited volume reignites many of the incessant debates on cosmopolitanism, its origin, development, and raison d’être, not only from difference disciplinary traditions and ‘world views’ but also from different points in time. . . . The vibrancy of the field is shown by the list of influential critics in this volume, who do not take the notion of cosmopolitanism for granted but engage with it from positions that are both critical and creative.”


  • “This book, which draws from contributions from north and south, east and west, center and periphery, powerfully reveals the change that the cosmopolitan idea has undergone when globalization, with its dominations, liberations, transportations, inequalities, and hybridities, made it eventually a historical reality. ‘New’ cosmopolitanism is more intense, diverse, conflictual, ambivalent than the ‘old,’ but also more directly involved in the shaping of our common future--for better or worse. Cautiously, but distinctively, the voices heard in this most timely book speak for the better.”

    —Etienne Balibar, author of Equaliberty