The Cosmopolitan Predicament   /   Fall 2009   /    Bibliographic Review

Cosmopolitanism: A Bibliographic Essay

Jeffrey S. Dill

Cosmopolitanism is back. In the last decade, nearly one thousand books have been published in English with the word “cosmopolitan” or “cosmopolitanism” in the title.1

If titles in academic publishing are a reliable marker, we are witnessing a significant renewed interest in an ancient (and modern) political ideal.

There have been three key cosmopolitan “moments” over the last two millennia. The first was the birth of the concept in the Cynic and Stoic traditions of the ancient Greeks. The second cosmopolitan moment was a renewed use of the term as an Enlightenment ideal, largely through Kant, during the emergence and struggles of the nation-state. The third moment is the contemporary one: an impressive amount of attention has been paid to cosmopolitanism in the last two decades across a wide array of academic disciplines—political philosophy, international relations, legal theory, and sociology.

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