SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Rao, Rahul (2014) 'The Elusiveness of 'Non-Western Cosmopolitanism'.' In: Gupta, Sonika and Padmanabhan, Sudarsan, (eds.), Politics and Cosmopolitanism in a Global Age. New Delhi: Routledge. (Ethics, Human Rights and Global Political Thought)

Full text not available from this repository.


In this chapter, I examine four different academic discourses that purport to discuss questions of cosmopolitanism, world order and global justice. I argue that liberal cosmopolitan discourses in political theory and philosophy have tended to theorize global justice without being particularly attentive to global thought produced outside the West. Disciplines other than political theory and philosophy have been more attentive to the cosmopolitical experiences of non-elites, locating these in a range of border-transgressing experiences and ways of life. Yet this ‘practice turn’ has left obscure the relationship between cosmopolitan experience and moral obligation. The emerging field of comparative political thought (CPT) promises to engage with the question of moral thought produced outside the Western world. However, using recent work on similar questions in global history, I will argue that the ontological premises of much CPT scholarship, with its emphasis on intellectual traditions, lineages and civilizational thought, threatens to obscure the spaces in which, and the encounters through which, cosmopolitan political thought has been produced in the world outside Europe.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Politics and International Studies
ISBN: 9780367176945
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2014 09:03
Related URLs: http://www.rout ... /9781138822405/ (Publisher URL)

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item