Dealing with Difference: Cosmopolitanism in the Nineteenth-Century World of Empires
- Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development
- University of Pennsylvania Press
- Volume 12, Number 1, Spring 2021
- pp. 39-46
- Additional Information
Arguing that cosmopolitan ideas and practices have to be included in a joint matrix, this introduction puts emphasis on the situatedness of cosmopolitanism in specific periods, regions, and political contexts. It highlights nineteenth-century empires as central frameworks and breeding grounds of cosmopolitanism and identifies imperial and anti-imperial thinking as crucial to various conceptions of world citizenship. The introduction points to the campaigning for and enactment of rights and to the related conceptions of humanity as crucial elements of nineteenth-century cosmopolitanism. Seeing cosmopolitanism through the historical prism of the Age of Empire with all its contradictions and ambivalences also provides a framework for thinking about how to deal with difference in the present.