The Rise of Cosmopolitanism in the Twentieth Century West: A Comparative-Historical Perspective on the United States and European Union
One of the primary debates of the post-Cold War era revolves around the pole of cosmopolitanism - nationalism, a classic antinomy which presents somewhat of a paradox. To wit, since the late 1980s, there has been a clear increase in ethnic conflict, inwhich most of the
employ the language of nationalism.
Dominantethnic communities couch their appeals in the language of 'national' sovereignty, whileseparatist minorities speak of 'national' self-determination.
But if nationalism is enjoyinga revival, so too is its arch-enemy. The increasing degree to which organisations, goods, people and information cross national boundaries has given rise, since 1960, to the term'globalisation.'
This ferment has in turn revived an older discourse of cosmopolitanism,the subject of this work. So it seems that both nationalism and cosmopolitanism areenjoying a resurgence.
A related paradox arises from divergent trends in American and European foreign policy since 9/11. It increasingly appears as if Europe is charting a 'cosmopolitan' pathwhile the United States remains an actor focused primarily upon its own national self-interest. There is much in this argument, whether we explain it as a result of different political cultures or, as Robert Kagan, does, in the realist terminology of military might.
Yet this article suggests that developments in the political sphere are but one face of thecosmopolitan card. The other concerns ethno-culture, and here it is apparent thatAmerica’s recent drift toward greater political nationalism has had little impact on its post-war trend toward cultural cosmopolitanism. On the other hand, the growing political