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Third World ProtestBetween Home and the World$
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Rahul Rao

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199560370

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199560370.001.0001

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The Dark Sides of Cosmopolitanism

The Dark Sides of Cosmopolitanism

Chapter:
(p.35) 2 The Dark Sides of Cosmopolitanism
Source:
Third World Protest
Author(s):

Rahul Rao (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199560370.003.0002

The chapter offers a critical reading of currently hegemonic practices and understandings of liberal cosmopolitanism. It argues that the praxis of liberal cosmopolitanism assists in the consolidation of Western hegemony by furnishing a moral vocabulary for the justification of coercive disciplinary practices such as humanitarian intervention and economic conditionality, which are intended to enforce conformity with liberal political and economic values in the Third World. Such justifications tend to mask a set of power relations that have endured since colonial times. Contemporary resistance to the praxis of liberal cosmopolitanism is informed and sharpened by the historical memory of empire and imperialism. The second part of the chapter explores the politics of cosmopolitanism within the Western academy, identifying a dual tendency inherent within cosmopolitan thought towards the justification of imperial governance on the one hand (apology) and an ineffectual critique of empire on the other (utopia).

Keywords:   cosmopolitanism, hegemony, humanitarian intervention, economic conditionality, memory, resistance, apology, utopia

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