CEISR Conference, Portsmouth June 30


Towards a European Society? Parallel Session 6: June 30 9.00-10.45

Europe and the Cosmopolitan Citizen

Chair: Kathryn Brown, Tilburg University, Netherlands

Kathryn Brown, Tilburg University, Netherlands
David Owen, Southampton University, UK
Bert van Roermund, Tilburg University, Netherlands
Alan Thomas, Tilburg University, Netherlands
Discussions of cosmopolitanism focus on elucidating common values that bind individuals together across the boundaries of traditional, territorially defined nation-states. Accordingly, images of ‘cosmopolitan citizenship’ have recently been posited as ways of articulating shared European identities and concerns in a variety of political, artistic, and theoretical contexts. This interdisciplinary panel analyzes the advantages and limitations of proposing a cosmopolitan ideal in contemporary debates about Europe. Drawing together researchers in the fields of social and political philosophy, law, and visual art, this panel considers the following questions: in what ways do the contingencies of a shared historical narrative undermine the norms of cosmopolitan identification? What art forms and narrative structures do contemporary artists use to advance the ideal of a European cosmopolitan citizen? How are such works received by audiences? Do the institutions and practices of European societies show that we have not, in fact, moved beyond the nation-state? Is there a ‘democratic deficit’ between the ideal of a world citizen and the political reality of a trans-national alliance such as the idea of Europe?

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