Cosmopolitan thought in recent scholarship is commonly used in either a prescriptive or descriptive manner. It is often employed as a research agenda for various ethico-political projects or to make sense of social and political worlds beyond national frameworks. In both cases, cosmopolitanism seems to be understood as a set of assumptions about our social world. However, one of its inherent qualities is to scrutinise those assumptions and submit them to an ongoing critique. This talk aims to underline cosmopolitanism’s transformative characteristics and its capability to engage with the social world in a critical way. Possessing an unparalleled ability to understand phenomena and change them in the light of universalism, cosmopolitanism can be explored as a critical theory that has a distinct agenda and normative guidance. Drawing on the work of the Frankfurt School Theorist Axel Honneth, this talk proposes a theory of cosmopolitanism that is grounded in the concept of recognition and is as such an effective tool for identifying and critiquing social pathologies.
About the Speaker
Dr Špela Močnik is a postdoctoral research fellow for the Lee Li Ming Programme in Ageing Urbanism. Špela was an AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK) scholar between 2012 and 2015. She is an interdisciplinary sociologist specialising in the study of critical theory, multiculturalism, globalisation, cosmopolitanism, ageing society and Southeast Asian urbanisms, more specifically, public cosmopolitan spaces. Through her work, she hopes to articulate the centrality of social justice in understanding and applying solutions to urban areas conditioned by pluralism.
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