I have now finished writing my thesis, which only needs a very last light-editing touch. As a teaser, I publish here the abstract:
Cosmopolitanism is not a well-known entity in political theory. Therefore, a history of this political doctrine is needed. However, such epistemological enquiry faces an ontological conundrum. Not only is it difficult to identify cosmopolitanism, but doing so might prove to be an ‘uncosmopolitan thing to do.’ This thesis employs a contextualist archaeology — marrying Foucault with the ‘Cambridge school’ — in order to conciliate an epistemological approach with a fairly ontologically neutral status. Cosmopolitanism is thus envisaged as a located discourse in the West, problematising the local and the general, and squeezed in between (inter)nationalism and universalism. How did cosmopolitanism enter political thought alongside these two other doctrines? To contemporary cosmopolitanism, eighteenth-century French political thought constitutes a ‘return’ to the humanist foundations on which our modern political vocabulary got formed. Its study reveals that a hitherto-considered nationalist vocabulary — the nation, the patrie — was indeed formulated in cosmopolitan terms. It also reveals that the conception of humanity structured communautarian contractualist theories despite the universality of human rights. This thesis shows the common archive of these three discourses around a rediscovered and yet unanswered question in political thought: the proper sovereign authority to govern ‘universally free and equal’ humankind.
Everyone is very welcome to provide a feedback regarding the quality of the abstract in itself and/or the content.