The Ethics and Politics of Democratic Universalism
While supporting the cosmopolitan pursuit of a world that respects all rights and interests, James D. Ingram believes political theorists have, in their approach to this project, compromised its egalitarian and emancipatory principles. Focusing on recent debates without losing sight of cosmopolitanism's ancient and Enlightenment roots, Ingram confronts the philosophical difficulties of defending universal ideals and the implications for ethics and political theory.
In morality as in politics, theorists have generally focused first on discovering universal values and second on their implementation. Ingram argues that only by prioritizing the development and articulation of universal values through political action in the fight for freedom and equality can theorists do justice to these efforts and cosmopolitanism's universal vocation. Only by proceeding from the local to the global, from the bottom up rather than from the top down, on the basis of political practice rather than moral ideals, can we salvage moral and political universalism. In this book, Ingram provides the clearest, most systematic account yet of this schematic reversal and its radical possibilities.
James D. Ingram's argument in defense of a 'cosmopolitanism from below' is not only admirably articulated and grounded in the history of ideas and a careful assessment of contemporary debates. It is also extremely courageous intellectually: being fully aware of the past and present mystifications that affect them, he gives up neither on implementing universalistic values nor on combining the ethical and the political. His 'realism of possibility' begins with prudence and leads to endeavor.
Étienne Balibar, author of We, the People of Europe?: Reflections on Transnational Citizenship
AcknowledgmentsIntroductionPart 1. Cosmopolitanism from the Top Down1. Universalism in History2. Cosmopolitanism in Ethics: Tensions of the Universal3. Cosmopolitism in Politics: Realizing the UniversalPart 2. Cosmopolitics from the Bottom Up4. Rethinking Ethical Cosmopolitanism: From Universalism to Universalization5. Rethinking Political Cosmopolitanism: From Democracy to Democratization6. The Politics of Human RightsConclusionWorks CitedIndex
Read the introduction to Radical Cosmopolitics: