Bruno Blessed are the peacemakers. It is always nicer to read a peace proposal (like Ulrich Beckâs) than a call for jihad (like Samuel Huntingtonâs). Beckâs robust and realist form of cosmopolitanism, expressed in the lead article of this symposium, is to be welcomed. On the other hand, peace proposals make sense only if the real extent of the conï¬icts they are supposed to settle is understood. A detached and, let us say, inexpensive way of understanding enmity, a Wilsonian indifference to its complexity, may further infuriate the parties to a violent dispute. The problem with Beckâs solution is that, if world wars were about issues of universality and particularity, as he makes them out to be, then world peace would have ensued long ago. The limitation of Beckâs approach is that his âcosmopoliticsâ entails no cosmos and hence no politics either. I am a great admirer of Beckâs sociology â the only far-reaching one Europe has to offer â and have said so in print on several occasions. What we have here is an argument among friends working together on a puzzle that has defeated, so far, everyone everywhere. Let me make clear from the beginning that
Common Knowledge – Duke University Press
Published: Oct 1, 2004
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