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This book brings to light a neglected program of cosmopolitan normativity in international law – innate cosmopolitanism – that holds special significance in this time of competing efforts to define and direct an expanding global public order.
Beginning from an intentionally broad use of the term cosmopolitan, derived from etymological roots in the cosmo-polis, Geoff Gordon draws out the main streams of thought associated with cosmopolitanism over time in discourses of international law and politics. The two best-recognized are liberal cosmopolitanism and constitutional cosmopolitanism. And, In addition to these, he introduces a third: innate cosmopolitanism. Whilst liberal cosmopolitanism is organized around the abstract individual, and constitutional cosmopolitanism is organized around the achievement of a formal arrangement, innate cosmopolitanism, is organized around a naturally-occurring collective whole: comprising all of humanity at any point in time, and understood as a historical phenomenon capable of exhibiting a will, interests or ends of its own. As such, innate cosmopolitanism is more central to the historical narrative of international law than either liberal or constitutional cosmopolitanism. It is, he argues, is the leitmotif of international law.
Clarifying, consolidating – and critiquing – cosmopolitan thought, the book thus brings to light an ill-appreciated stream of cosmopolitan normativity in international law, and subject it to critique. It will be of huge interest to specialists and students of international law and politics, and especially those concerned with ideas and theories of global order or international society.