Everybody’s Cosmopolitanism. An idea for the 21st Century
Abstract: “This international reference book (BRILL, 2025, open access) is an encyclopedic project covering varieties of cosmopolitanism rooted in different traditions of thoughts (in the West, in Europe, in the Mediterranean area, in Islam World and the Middle East, in the East and South Asia, in Sub-Saharan Societies and elsewhere). Built on the idea of a genuinely enriching dialogue between scholars living in distinctive and distant societies, this book starts from the idea that cosmopolitanism, born of the European Enlightenment and proposing a path to universality, is nevertheless a situated cultural production, accused of perpetuating epistemic injustices and betraying its ultimate aspiration of inclusion. It is thus worth asking whether cosmopolitanism can survive the critique of its allegiance to the Western hegemonic universal, and inquiring about its possible enrichments by other, non-western contributions, so that cosmopolitanism really becomes “everybody’s cosmopolitanism”. The cosmopolitan approach is rooted in both normative and empirical, situated perspectives, all of which are embedded in the dialectic of the universal and the particular. Far from reducing others to subalterns, the multiple “cosmopolitan” traditions, of which the Western tradition is only one, allow for an understanding of a plural and shared world, as a rich scholarly literature has shown. From the universal horizon of Humanity captured in its different forms of life and claims, comes what we call “everybody’s cosmopolitanism” (in reference to Gertrud Stein’s book, “Everybody’s autobiography”): these are forms of cosmopolitanism that draw the possibility of an inclusive and just world, precisely through the encounter with others and by submitting to the test of others, that is, by receiving their criticism and building bridges. At stake will be the co-production (with recognition of legitimate challenges along the way) of common norms and values that will bring together different heritages and traditions on an equal footing».