Cosmopolitan Governance: Building Global Democracy

  • Steven Slaughter


So far the second part of this book has examined liberal alternatives to neo-liberal governance that have largely accepted the primacy of capitalism. However, within the tradition of liberalism there are alternative approaches that do not prioritise capitalism and involve institutionalising liberal political principles into world politics. One version of this ideal is liberal internationalism, which emphasises the practice of cooperation amongst liberal nation-states through diplomacy, international law and the development of international organisations. Liberal internationalism has shaped world politics and is a background assumption of neo-liberal governance as well as the authors and policy-makers of contractual nationalism. A stronger version of the institutionalisation of liberal political principles is liberal cosmopolitanism which advances an unwavering commitment to all humanity and a sense of detachment from solely local or national affiliations. While cosmopolitanism is “not monolithic” or exclusively liberal (Rengger 2000: 763), the universal value of individual humans is an important part of the liberal tradition and leads to differing variations of cosmopolitan thought. An important distinction should be made between “political” cosmopolitanism, which advocates the creation of universal political institutions at a global level on one hand, and “moral” cosmopolitanism on the other, which advances universal principles that do not justify global institutions but “the basis on which institutions should be justified or criticised” (Beitz 1999b: 287).


Social Movement Global Governance Global Civil Society Public Sentiment World Citizenship 
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Copyright information

© Steven Slaughter 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Slaughter
    • 1
  1. 1.Deakin UniversityAustralia

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