Cosmopolitanism, Difference and Aporetic Universalism

Kate Schick

in Gillian Rose

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780748639847
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780748676675 | DOI:
Cosmopolitanism, Difference and Aporetic Universalism

Show Summary Details


This chapter advocates Rose's aporetic universalism as an alternative approach to thinking about exclusion and the Other. Liberal cosmopolitanism advocates legal equality as a redress for exclusion; however, the focus on equal rights too often obscures difference and fosters further marginalisation. Postmodern thought promotes the celebration of difference to counter suppression of particularity; however, this too can work against understanding by reifying identities in rigid classification and failing to examine their relatedness to one another or their location in social and political structures. Aporetic universalism, in contrast, begins in the middle: it attends to the mismatch between liberal cosmopolitan promises and social and political actualities, insisting that we journey towards recognition of ourselves and of others. The journey towards recognition is firmly embedded in an understanding of law, broadly conceived: the web of practices and norms that foster recognition and misrecognition. It is also inherently risk-filled: the process of reflection on structures of misrecognition and our own complicities in structures of domination is deeply political.

Keywords: Exclusion; Difference; Cosmopolitanism; The Other; Aporetic universalism; Recognition

Chapter.  8924 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.