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Maps

Cosmopolitanism, Nationalism and Belonging

Multiple and competing identities are prominent in modern life. At a large scale there is a particularly challenging tension between norms of belonging – notably to nations, religions, and ethno-racial identities – and norms of disengaged equivalence, like ethical universalism and cosmopolitanism. But identities and norms are rooted in structures of social relations and variation in agency.

 

Multiple and competing identities are prominent in modern life. These correspond, in varying degree, to structures of social relations, shared culture, and mutual commitments. At large scale, they are shaped by markets, states, and other structures of indirect relations. Identities are subject to innovation and choice; they can also be deeply rooted.

 

Moral obligation and political solidarity follow from embedded social relations. At the same time, both morality and practical projects also call on us to transcend local and inherited bases for judgment. We do this by building connections among families and local communities, participating in intermediate associations, social movements, religions, and nations. 

We articulate norms for relations with those beyond close webs of belonging: fairness, for example, and hospitality. But there is a distinction between norms for direct interactions with strangers and norms for participation in webs of indirect, generally impersonal relations like markets and states. Some, like honesty and adherence to contracts are extensions from norms for direct relations. But ethical universalism and cosmopolitanism encourage transcending group loyalties in the name of justice or a larger good.

 

At every scale there are potential conflicts among norms. But at large-scale there is a particularly challenging tension between norms of belonging – notably to nations, religions, and ethno-racial identities – and norms of disengaged equivalence, like ethical universalism and cosmopolitanism. Neither holds a trump card against the other. 

In a series of interrelated research projects, Dr. Calhoun focused on both transformations of scale as such and the ways this intersects with both social cohesion and social solidarities.

Previous Publications (selected)

General

Community

2007 - Nations Matter: Citizenship, Solidarity, and the Cosmopolitan Dream

2008 - Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism

1987 - Class, Place and Industrial Revolution

2002 - Imagining Solidarity: Cosmopolitanism, Constitutional Patriotism and the Public Sphere

2017 - Populism, Nationalism, and Brexit

1998 - Community without Propinquity Revisited

2006 - Nationalism Matters

1988 - Populist Politics, Communications Media, and Large-Scale Social Integration

1993 - Nationalism and Civil Society: Democracy, Diversity and Self-Determination

2007 - Nationalism and the Cultures of Democracy

1984 - Technology's Global Village Fragments Community Life

1999 - Nationalism, Social Change, and Historical Sociology

Cosmopolitanism and its Limits

Humanitarian Response to Emergencies

2008 - The Imperative to Reduce Suffering: Charity, Progress, and Emergencies in the Field of Humanitarian Action

2004 - A World of Emergencies: Fear, Intervention, and the Limits of Cosmopolitan Order

Humanitarianism in Question: Power, Politics, Ethics

Religion and Secularism

2010 - Varieties of Secularism in ‘A Secular Age’

2011 - Rethinking Secularism

2013 - Habermas and Religion

2008 - Religion, Secularism, and Public Reason

2016 - Religion, Government and the Public Good

2012 - Time, World, and Secularism

2018 - Religion in the English Public Sphere

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