Title

Cosmopolitics: Towards a New Articulation of Politics, Science and Critique

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

9-2015

Abstract

This paper explores how Ulrich Beck's world-risk-society theory (WRST) and Bruno Latour's Actor-Network Theory (ANT) can be combined to advance a theory of cosmopolitics. On the one hand, WRST helps to examine 'cosmopolitan politics', how actors try to inject cosmopolitanism into existing political practices and institutions anchored in the logic of nationalism. On the other hand, ANT sheds light on 'cosmological politics', how scientists participate in the construction of reality as a reference point for political struggles. By combining the WRST and ANT perspectives, it becomes possible to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of cosmopolitics that takes into account both political and ontological dimensions. The proposed synthesis of WRST and ANT also calls for a renewal of critical theory by making social scientists aware of their performative involvement in cosmopolitics. This renewal prompts social scientists to explore how they can pragmatically support certain ideals of cosmopolitics through continuous dialogues with their objects of study, actors who inhabit different nations and different cosmoses.

Keywords

Actor-Network Theory, Cosmopolitanism, Critical theory, Nationalism, Science, World risk society

Discipline

Politics and Social Change | Sociology

Research Areas

Sociology

Publication

British Journal of Sociology

Volume

66

Issue

3

First Page

441

Last Page

459

ISSN

0007-1315

Identifier

10.1111/1468-4446.12134

Publisher

Wiley: No OnlineOpen

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-4446.12134

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