Cosmopolitanism and the Legacies of Dissent/Dissidence
Call for Papers Date:
Recently, there has been an increasing interest in theories of cosmopolitanism, considering that all human beings belong to a single community and the ultimate units of moral concern are individual human beings, not states or particular forms of human associations. Nevertheless, the challenges that a theory of cosmopolitanism has to tackle are considerable. Most of the approaches have to confront at least two main challenges: the first one regards the possibility of a theory of cosmopolitanism within a pluralist framework, and the second concerns the tension between universal values and state sovereignty. From this perspective, it would be important to investigate whether concrete historical episodes of dissent may provide any lessons for the contemporary debates on cosmopolitanism. Firstly, in aiming at a non-totalizing theory of cosmopolitanism it would be relevant to analyze different trajectories of resistance that led to theoretical and practical responses to a totalizing overarching ideology. Cosmopolitan theorists might learn from historical episodes of dissent how practical resistance to hegemonic claims is generated, and how dissident thinking might contribute to new, enriched ways of conceiving the non-totalizing foundations of cosmopolitanism. Secondly, it might be relevant to explore from a cosmopolitan perspective how concrete/specific episodes of dissent appropriated universal cosmopolitan values in a particular community: was dissidence a democratic iteration of universal values, was it a cosmopolitan expansion of the respective society etc?
We invite interested scholars worldwide to contribute with texts written in English language to a book with the working title Cosmopolitanism and Legacies of Dissidence that will be published by an international publishing house.
Here are several clusters of questions to be addressed and analyzed in the envisaged volume:
i.What legitimates the dissidents’ permanent questioning and contestation of the given/imposed meanings in a political regime? In the name of what values were the dissents’ claims formulated? Are these values local, national, international or universal? Are these universal values related to the international legal framework or are there unwritten universal values as well, values derived from different ways of thinking about universalism?
ii.Are non-violent actions of dissident movements/thinking an important way in approaching cosmopolitan universal values? Are the universal cosmopolitan values more adequate for non-violent actions than for violent ones?
iii.Is there a dialectics between the universal and the particular in a concrete case of dissidence/civil disobedience? How is the dialectics between universal and particular played in an episode of dissent in a given community? What happens after a dissidence episode: do we have a “cosmopolitan recalibration of the polis” (Tihanov) or, on the contrary, an “un-cosmopolitan contraction of the society”?
iv.How do dissidents and dissidence movements relate to the world at large? Do dissident movements from different contexts manifest a transnational solidarity, a solidarity with other dissidents? Does this qualify as cosmopolitan solidarity? (for example, Charta 08 initiated by the Chinese dissident/human right activist, Liu Xiaobo, inspired from Charta 77 and written in the style of Charta 77).
v.Is dissidence, indeed, “the highest form of patriotism”? Are dissidents regarded by their communities as “rooted cosmopolitans”(Appiah) or rootless cosmopolitans? Are dissidents perceived in the first stages of their dissent as a threat to their national local communities, or are dissidents “heroes” from the very beginning of their dissidence action?
vi.What lessons can a scholar of cosmopolitanism learn from dissent/dissident movements? Does dissent qualify as a cosmopolitan practice? Are normative approaches of dissidence possible from a cosmopolitan point of view? Could dissent be a necessary/inevitable part of a cosmopolitan democracy?
We assume that possible answers to these questions may come from a reading (preferably from the perspective of cosmopolitan political theory and/or from perspective of the history of ideas) of discourses/texts of dissident thinkers and dissident movements: manifestos, declarations, other texts explaining the necessity of dissent (for example, autobiographies, memories etc). A minimal historical background of in each case would be necessary that would describe the context generating the dissidence and the main outcomes of this form of action.
Contributors to the foreseen volume are encouraged to select and adapt the suggested questions and methodologies that are pertinent to the particular case/subject at hand, which may include, but need not necessarily be restricted to, the following: the Indian independence struggle of 1947; the US civil rights movement in the 1960s; the Iranian resistance in 1979; opposition activity in South Africa contributing to the end of the apartheid regime; dissident movements from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union; the dissent leading to the Tiananmen Square events in 1989 in China and the contemporary dissidence in China, protests and oppositions in former Yugoslavia, the protests called “the Arab Spring” and others.
30 April 2012: Proposals submission (500 words abstracts and contact details)
30 July 2012: First drafts of papers to be submitted
1 August - 30 October 2012: Peer-review
1 November 2012: Papers with comments to be sent to the authors
1 February 2013: Final drafts to be submitted
April 2013: Manuscript to be sent to the publisher
Proposals should be sent to: email@example.com or/and firstname.lastname@example.org
New Europe College, str. Plantelor 21, sector 2, 023971 Bucharest, Romania
New Europe College Bucharest, Romania
str. Plantelor 21, sector 2, 023971 Bucharest, Romania
Tel: 00 40 21 307 9910
Fax: 00 40 21 327 0774
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