Professor Richard Beardsworth speaks to Faculti about the cosmopolitan political project today

The Head of POLIS spoke on the philosophy and morality of cosmopolitanism and international relations.

In this interview, Professor Beardsworth considers what a cosmopolitan political outlook means and what traction this mindset has today in a world beset by national and international tensions.

He begins by discussing the philosophy and mindset of cosmopolitanism, describing it broadly as a sense of belonging to at least two communities: one local, bordered and bound; the other, much larger and open, in principle, to as many people in the world as we can imagine.

He then turns to how cosmopolitanism functions within international relations, drawing a distinction between the cosmopolitan hopes and expectations of the 1990s and 2000s (human security; sustainable development; eradication of poverty, responsibility to protect populations, etc.) and the kind of cosmopolitan political project possible in today’s world with its reversion to ideologies of nationalism practices of national sovereignty.

Professor Beardsworth argues that the problems and challenges facing present and future generations – climate change, artificial intelligence, radical poverty and inequality, global transition to low-carbon economies and societies – require aligning national politics with a more cosmopolitan outlook, and that this alignment constitutes the major moral and political struggle of the coming decades.

The full talk of ‘The Cosmopolitan Project Today’ is available to watch on the Faculti website.