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Title: Rethinking the European political landscape : a cosmopolitan approach
Authors: Abdilla, Raylene
Keywords: Kant, Immanuel, 1724-1804
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: Abdilla, R. (2015). Rethinking the European political landscape : a cosmopolitan approach (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: In this dissertation I seek to show how cosmopolitanism can offer a way of rethinking European politics. To do this, I will first give a historical account of cosmopolitan theory, focusing on the Stoics and Immanuel Kant, and of the development of the European Union (EU) as it is known at present. I evaluate how the current EU framework is built upon cosmopolitan traces but needs further refonn to become a cosmopolitan entity. I show how a strand of contemporary cosmopolitans draw considerably from Kant's contributions to cosmopolitan theory and seek to adapt his thought to current political realities. I define this strand of cosmopolitanism as a federalist cosmopolitan approach since it seeks to lay down the institutional reforms needed to bring about a cosmopolitan entity. Critics of federalist cosmopolitanism also offer alternative ways of how cosmopolitanism can bring about reform from the bottom-up. I define this strand of cosmopolitanism as agonistic cosmopolitics since these thinkers focus more on the mobilisation of the people as a better way to make institutions more inclusive and just. I argue that these two approaches can complement each other and be used simultaneously through what Seyla Benhabib calls democratic cosmopolitan iterations. After delineating how contemporary cosmopolitanism can bring about political change, I consider three problematic issues inherent in the current EU framework which were made more visible as the 2008 financial crisis unfolded into a Eurozone and sovereign debt crisis: 1) the current democratic deficits of EU institutions; 2) the hegemonic forces of the EU unveiled by the Greek sovereign debt crisis which threaten democratic processes at the national level and; 3) the inadequacy of the current EU migration and visa policies, particularly as they are becoming stricter due to the financial crisis on the one hand, and the outburst of an iimnigration crisis flowing from the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean to European countries. I conclude by proposing ways of how cosmopolitanism can offer a better understanding of the current geopolitical and institutional framework of the EU and how it can be relevant to stir political innovation in hope of a more just and inclusive Europe.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - InsEUS - 1996-2017
Scholarly Works - SchFS

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