My PhD won De Gruyter’s 10th Anniversary OA Competition

Press Release

10 years of Open Access Books at De Gruyter – 10 Winning Titles!

Winning titles of De Gruyter’s Open Access Book Anniversary competition announced

Berlin, 27 September 2021

In late 2020, De Gruyter celebrated its 10th open access book anniversary with a call for book proposals and invited scientists and scholars globally to submit their book projects for OA publication. The 10 winning titles will be published by De Gruyter in OA without any author publication fees to support the development of open research.

With this prize, De Gruyter celebrates the 10 year anniversary of its first open access book publication. In 2010, De Gruyter published the Handbuch Bibliothek 2.0, its first open access book. Since then, the publishing house has developed into one of the world’s largest open access book publishers with over 3.000 open access books available on

Under the headline “10 Topics, 10 Books, 10 Weeks” the publishing house based in Berlin received almost 120 entries for this competition within 10 weeks. An expert committee of renowned researchers from a variety of academic disciplines reviewed all of the submissions and ultimately had to make some hard choices.

Academics worldwide, from all subject areas, told De Gruyter about their monograph ideas, their envisioned audiences, and a little about themselves. After a thorough review process, De Gruyter is now very happy to announce the 10 winning titles:

·        Lena Zschunke: „Engel in der Moderne. Eine Figur zwischen Exilgegenwart und Zukunftsvision“ (The Angel in Modernity. A figure between exiled presence and future vision)

“After the careful selection process by our experts, we can now announce the winners of our Open Access call for papers. We are very pleased with this selection of exciting, highly relevant publications that reflect the diversity of our OA book program. We are sure that the titles will get the attention they deserve through OA publication,” says Maria Zucker, Manager Open Access Books at De Gruyter.

The winners will receive an immediate Open Access publication available on plus services such as indexing and distribution. The books will also be available as print editions. Furthermore, the winning titles will be presented via short author interviews on the blog De Gruyter Conversations, starting with Dominique Haensell and her title “Making black history”. Dominique Haensell is editor-in-chief of the feminist Missy Magazine.

You can find further information on the competition here.

De Gruyter

Mauricio Quiñones

Manager Communications

Tel: +49 30 260 05 164

De Gruyter publishes first-class scholarship and has done so for more than 270 years. An international, independent publisher headquartered in Berlin — and with further offices in Boston, Beijing, Basel, Vienna, Warsaw and Munich — it publishes over 1,300 new book titles each year and more than 900 journals in the humanities, social sciences, medicine, mathematics, engineering, computer sciences, natural sciences, and law. The publishing house also offers a wide range of digital media, including open access journals and books. The group includes the imprints De Gruyter Akademie Forschung, Birkhäuser, De Gruyter Mouton, De Gruyter Oldenbourg, De Gruyter Saur, Düsseldorf University Press, Deutscher Kunstverlag (DKV) and Jovis Verlag, as well as the publishing services provider Sciendo. For more information,

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Rosenfeld, Sofia — Citizens of Nowhere in Particular: Cosmopolitanism, Writing and Political Engagement in Eighteenth-Century Europe

Work Cited
Rosenfeld, Sophia. “Citizens of Noweher in Particular: Cosmopolitanism, Writing and Political Engagement in Eighteenth-Century Europe.” National Identities 4, no. 1 (2002): 25-43.

Contention of the essay: the development of the conceptual space of political engagement among private subjects cannot be reduced to the creation of national loyalties. A body of literature existed, produced in the 18th century under the amorphous space of the transnational Republic of Letters, in which individuals transformed themselves into political spokesmen by de-situating themselves rhetorically.
These authors “encourage us to rethink our often resolutely presentist assumptions about the connection between geographical or familial rootedness, on the one hand, and the political identity associated with citizenship, on the other.” (27)
“For in the years immediately preceding the French Revolution, before the nation-state had become an entirely hegemonic paradigm even in Western Europe, it appears that the idea of political engagement was not yet necessarily dependent on one’s sense of belonging to a distinctive subgroup of humanity. Rather… public action often depended upon the opposite: deliberate deracination and namelessness on the part of the individual subject” (Rosenfeld 2002, 27).
Roots of participatory citizenship in the context of absolutism
Political decision-making and political expression were the monopoly of kings and their chief advisers. Hence a royal endorsement necessary to the publication of anything. It was especially true when it came to international affairs: the determination of foreign policy, until the outbreak of the French Revolution, was the exclusive prerogative of ministers and heads of state.
Yet, the second half of the 18th century saw a growing number of writers from an expanding range of social background. Especially an increasingly broad range of unofficial francophone literature found its way into circulation across Europe. The intention behind those texts was

“to influence a new entity: trans-European public opinion, a realm of philosophical contestation and, ultimately, political pressure established in good measure by writers themselves. Publication and response became a form of public action, a challenge to the absolute sovereignty of the state. And what these authors sought to communicate were generally not suggestions for improving a particular dynasty’s fortunes externally. Instead, they were alternative and often adversarial blueprints for developing international or global political systems that worked against specific royal ambitions and associated conceptions of society, especially on the part of absolute monarchies” (Rosenfeld 2002, 28).

Some of what the history of ideas have categorised as “peace plans” are famous (Penn, Saint-Pierre, Kant), many others are obscure or footnotes in this history.
What Rosenfeld wants to focus on is not so much the details of the content of such peace plans, but “how their individual authors justified writing these polemics, that is, making themselves into political actors, the precursors of participatory citizens, and intruding upon terrain from which they were, in both principle and practice, supposed to be excluded” (Rosenfeld 2002, 28-29).

“At issue is ultimately the question of authorial self-representation in an era before not only the concept of the nation but also the related vision of the author as public spokesman and participant in the business of rule had assumed the self-evident status that it has today” (Rosenfeld 2002, 29).

“Almost all the authors of these polemics call considerable attention to themselves as individuals. They make no effort to disguise the fact that the words on the page are the product of the minds of single, specific beings, writers, who are conveying their own, assume a distinctly modern, proprietary attitude towards their ideas…” (Rosenfeld 2002, 29).

Yet these writers, in describing themselves, insist on their lack of connections to the sphere of decision-making. Moreover, they forgo the chief marker of identity: the legal name. Many times the works were “anonymous”, although the author’s identity was an open secret. They identified themselves by their unbounded affection for humanity at large, calling themselves “Doctor Man’lover” or “a friend of mankind”. (29) They would also call themselves “simple citizen” or “an isolated human being”. “As the literary critic Thomas Keenan points out, the word ‘human’ has long stood, in contradistinction to proper nouns, as ‘the name of that which would precede geographical divisions and political articulations, of that which is by definition essentially unbordered’” (Rosenfeld 2002, 29).
The authors were both individuals with their own singular political thoughts, and individuals without particular connections to any family, location, history, or status.

“Local and national situatedness were here simultaneously subsumed, though not necessarily rejected, in favour of both a universal identity as a human and a personal one as a political actor” (Rosenfeld 2002, 30).

1.    Silence:
Ex: Nouvel essai sur le projet de la paix perpétuelle (Switzerland, 1788) by Antoine de Polier de Saint-Germain.
First, the author leaves off any reference to himself or precise location of the book. Then, he gradually reveals more and more about an alternative aspect of himself: his philosophical orientation and his motivation as a public spokesman on matters of international relations.
2.    Reference to another extra-historical authorial identity:
Ex: République universelle, ou l’Humanité ailée, réunie sous l’Empire de la Raison (André Guillaume Resnier).
During the « Year I » of reason appears the universal Republic. Written by the fictitious « Reinser II de Genève », he established himself as “an alternative moral elite distinguished by its compassion, public mindedness, and dedication to rationality.” (31) He depicts himself as a spokesman for “Reason” and a “martyr for truth”.

“What these texts share is a method of justifying both their production and their contents based on denying the reader’s expectations regarding the author’s familial, local, and even national identity” (Rosenfeld 2002, 31).

Of course these examples were neither unique at the time nor reserved to cosmopolitan themes. “But in the late eighteenth century, the employment of pseudonymous cosmopolitan monikers, in conjunction with expressions of fungible individuality, was especially associated with the publication of transgressive peace plans” (Rosenfeld 2002, 32).
The purpose of pseudonymity
The rhetorical stance of presenting oneself both in one’s singularity as an individual and one’s representativeness as a member of a boundaryless community of humanity served several purposes:
–    “Opened up a space for a new kind of non-nationally-specific political identity and engagement
–    “Rendered feasible a new type of secular political vision outside the related frameworks of both the nation-state and the locality”. (Rosenfeld 2002, 32)
1.    The uses of pseudonymity in the 18th century Republic of Letters
Primary reason for authorial disguise = practical: protect the writer as vulnerable being (censorship + preserving modesty and dignity/social stigma of publication).
But it did not protect completely. The other reason is that it “could potentially function as a form of liberation and, consequently, empowerment, especially for one who wrote from a marginal position in terms of sex, social status, geography, politics, religion, or some combination thereof” (Rosenfeld 2002, 32).
On the one hand, the author could deviate charges of immodesty upon himself to critics on the content of the writing. On the other, it could entail rhetorical benefits for the author as he/she tried to elevate the value of his public utterances as interventions in the public sphere. “And in the case of the peace plans under consideration here, their authors frequently found that they could use their humanitarian pseudonyms as a foundation for epistemological and moral empowerment for themselves as protocitizens, as well as for their political projects” (Rosenfeld 2002, 33).

2.    The effects of this practice on the transformation of the writer into a thoroughly public actor and an example for his own political theory
“… by explicitly drawing attention to their lack of connections or position, eighteenth-century authors could also confirm their radical autonomy and, hence, impartiality as intellectual voices, the fact that they were not beholden to any particular interest or any kind of received wisdom associated with any one faction” (Rosenfeld 2002, 33).
Ex: Ange Goudar noted that because of his status as an outsider he could consider the world of politics objectively, as a “knowable science”, rather than subjectively as a private matter.

“They could also assume a moral authority, and consequently, privilege for themselves that allowed them to overcome the normal obstacles to public expression and, as private individuals, do and say that to which they would ordinarily not be entitled” (Rosenfeld 2002, 33).

They could then strip kings and princes of their exclusive authority and prerogatives, and take their place to write on the public good of the world’s citizens.
Eurocentricism and francocentricism
The danger of this model of abstract universal human is the “Enlightenment thinkers’ difficulty recognizing and coming to terms with difference and heterogeneity, which is another way of saying their tendency to generalize from their own example” (Rosenfeld 2002, 34):
–    They were all men of considerable social and economic privilege
–    The Western European locus and bias is apparent

“The humanitarian cosmopolitanism of the eighteenth century is, in the end, a distinctive kind of local situatedness and privilege chiefly revelatory of membership in the francophone Republic of Letters” (Rosenfeld 2002, 35).

But very few of these plans project a unitary world state. Most are preserving local differences.

“Certainly, both Enlightenment epistemology and Enlightenment political theory depended heavily upon the idea of a uniform human nature. But attachment to this idea in no way meant that variation among humans was seen as impossible or even undesirable” (Rosenfeld 2002, 35).

Often they include “unquestioned francocentric assumptions about what progress towards modernity should entail” (Rosenfeld 2002, 36). But the more important is that they constitute “early attempts to grapple with the difficult task of balancing universalism and difference” (Rosenfeld 2002, 36).

“As such, they offer us an alternative way of conceptualising the roots of individual political engagement, a model tied exclusively neither to nation-state membership nor to the sentiment of national belonging” (Rosenfeld 2002, 36).

Changing name
At first the peace plans were an alliance among constitutional monarchs recognizing human rights in a pacific confederation. The culture of the Revolution led to plans linked to the idea of the republic understood as a form of government characterized by popular sovereignty, constitutional protections for the universal rights of man. A few revolutionary thinkers even proposed plans for federations of individuals, considered as citizens of the world.
At the same time, antipathy to the social hierarchy and the Church led to replace the name in the public sphere with a moniker emphasizing the individual’s political values or public actions. Those wanting to imagine new configurations beyond the national level continued to find it useful to adopt pseudonyms.
An extreme example of this is Cloots: from Prussian Klootz he Frenchifyed his name into Cloots. From baron von Klootz he adopted simply Cloots. From Jean-Baptiste, he unbaptised himself into Anacharsis, name of an ancient Sythian who left his native land to travel civilized countries in search of broader knowledge. He added “orator of the human race”.
“… it was a way to emphasise [sic] that one was both an individual, a single person free to identify oneself at will, and a public servant, writing (which is to say acting) in the name of and for the sake of the good of humanity alone” (Rosenfeld 2002, 38).

At the same time, the idea of the nation as a community of person grew. In 1795, an anonymous author (thought to be Scipione Piattoli), published a plan based on transnational cooperation referring to himself as “the old cosmopolitan Syrach”: in good measure because his views had become out-of-date.

“These examples have the potential to help us see the teleological and often anachronistic ways in which historians of modern Europe have frequently described the coming-into-existence of the citizen out of a locally and then nationally rooted being. In fact, as it turns out, political engagement did not always follow directly from the development of national identity in distance. The model of the abstract human, stripped of any relationship to any particular form of identification but understood as an individual, also provided a foundation for the emergence of the public actor, at least in the realm of rhetoric, before the era of a triumphant bourgeois liberalism in Europe – a situation which suggests that the history of conceptual globalism, needs, along with nationalism and localism, to be rethought” (Rosenfeld 2002, 39).

“Perhaps the key discovery of the authors of these odd peace plans of the late eighteenth century is that identity can be extremely fluid. After all, one can situate oneself not only locally or nationally but also cosmopolitically in multiple ways simply by manipulating that basic identifier that is one’s name. And it is, in part, as a result of this possibility that private persons first began to imagine something like global citizenship” (Rosenfeld 2002, 39).

Back in France: diversity and integration

I am back in France and have been staying for a month now. I left about 7-8 years ago and only came back a few days twice a year for season holidays to visit my parents. My contact with French politics was limited to following the news sporadically in the dailies, and I only kept ties with French culture by exploring eighteenth century literature and philosophy. I left partly because I felt ill-treated in France, partly because I felt I would not be able to achieve what I wanted to in a society I perceived as highly hierarchical, responding to authority, but yet constantly acting — in an immature way — against authority.

Coming back was a big shock. Things are even worse and more pronounced, I think than when I left. Or is it just because being in France I am also following the news through the radio and television? What I perceive is a society in crisis. Not only the recession and the economic crisis, which is now even worsened by the global financial crash, but also the whole society and its identity.

I read in the serious and trustworthy Le Monde about how the French police is perusing at a European conference about its solid techniques of repression and anti-riot tactics for the suburbs. The European neighbours applauded politely but off the records wondered about the necessity and efficiency of this kind of violence. Two days later a video was shown in the French media of policemen beating a young inhabitant of these suburbs who appears defenceless, and allegedly was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. A few days later, during a friendly football match between France and Tunisia, the French national anthem La Marseillaise was booed and whistled by supporters. Great demonstration of paternal protest ensued from the powers-that-be about these “imbeciles” who should “show respect to the national anthem and the players”; huge political tempest in a football glass.

The issue is that so many of these Frenchmen feel at odds with the French identity as displayed in mainstream media and by the authorities.

An excellent documentary “9-3 mémoire d’un territoire” (“9-3 memory of a territory”) investigates one of these “suburban area” that has so often been shown in the media as violence zone, one of these areas where two years ago rampage and riots occurred. The immigration from all the countries have accumulated there over a century. From the first Spanish and Italian workers brought to die in these poisonous and polluted death-factories established around Paris, to the North African and African ones brought to reconstruct France after World War II, parked in the sixties and seventies in the cheapest possible buildings, to the more recent Africans and inhabitants from former colonies lured into employment. Today this zone is disaffected by public authority, no school or any public infrastructure can be built on a polluted and poisonous ground, the youth is unemployed and rejected from the French education system, which only reproduce the same elite trained to pass special exams in the grandes écoles.

Rachida Dati by Benjamin Lemaire
Rachida Dati by Benjamin Lemaire

Rama Yade, by Marie-Lan Nguyen
Rama Yade, by Marie-Lan Nguyen

Le Monde was also presenting a series of investigations about integration in politics entitled “when a French Obama?”: in the French Parliament only 1MP out of 577 is black! 4 out of 343 senators are of Maghreb descent. 2000 out of 520,000 town-hall counsellors are representing diversity. In the government though, Rachida Dati, Rama Yade and Fadela Amara represent diversity. However, they seem to miss the point. Barack Obama is not a candidate for a minority. He is bot a black candidate to represent the African-American. In my view, he would not even be able to run for the presidency if he was. He is so successful because he has always held a speech about unity. He is a cosmopolitan candidate with multiple identities, in which everyone can recognise one’s own. This candidate was only possible in a country were, firstly, minorities could be recognise and gain access to higher education, social positions and political representations, and, secondly, multiethnicity and multiculturalism was so widespread that a new model of commonality and unity had to be imagined.

So is it really so hard to understand why some football supporters boo the Marseillaise? Is it really the appropriate response to display a paternalistic faked anger and indignation at the reality of a failed model of French integration? To show this withdrawal to nationalist symbols, which do not mean anything to anyone any more? These statesmen are hanging to symbols from the nineteenth century, as if our society was still living the glorious days of the coming industrial age, and necessitated a social cohesion based on a strong and rigorously monolithic national mass culture. On the other hand, people reject these symbols for this very same reason.

As if the “nation” ever meant a uni-dimensional view of culture. As if the Marseillaise was the anthem of a nationalistic and patriotic emotion that only the far-right and the conservatives had the courage to display publicly.

It seems to me that it is the whole French conception of the nation-state that needs to be dramatically re-investigated and thought anew. The nation is a common denominator for diversity, originally. In the early days of the French revolution it was the common concept to gather all free men as opposed to tyrants. By the same token, the patrie was this territory on which men were free and participating to public decisions. Seen this way, there is nothing “wrong” in being a nationalist or a patriot. It also allows a more open conception of society and identity. And after all it is only later that the concept of nation and patrie became “French”, or for that matter “British” or “German” etc: in the late eighteenth century in the history of ideas, and in the late nineteenth century for the deep roots in society.

This change of paradigm may sound aloof from realities. It is not. It matters because we enter progressively a change to a creative economy, in which growth is produced by the “creative industries”. And according to some social and economic theories, they can only thrive in towns and regions were tolerance, talent, and technology are encouraged. This means that a lot of money must be invested in the development of research and higher education, and that different education models than the one of the industrial age must be fostered. The goal is not to produce communicative elements in the society that must perform repetitive and des-individualised tasks such as writing “to whom it may concern” letters, but to produce individuals capable of functioning in opened and diverse societies, creative and talented, able to think for themselves rather than repeat what a rigid society needs them to repeat.

France is not on this path. Of course, some grandes écoles are breaching the taboo of “affirmative action” by recruiting young from these ethnically diverse suburbs. But it is a drop in the ocean. There are less PhD dissertations completed in France than in the UK and Germany. Worse, the rates are dropping while they are soaring in these countries. Budgets for research are not up to the levels they should be. France is not investing in the future. On top of this, elected officials are still functioning in the rhetoric of a Third Republic France with grandiose ideas of the French identity, values and symbols.

There is a need for a cosmopolitan state. This cosmopolitan state would reinterpret these national values and symbols, back to their pre-industrial liberal roots, in order to foster the creative economy. At the same time, there is a need to change the mentality that everyone should expect the state or public authorities to do everything. There is a need for more individualistic energy and initiatives. It is also the role of education to teach people not to wait for authority to regulate problems. This does not mean a minimalistic state, it means a responsible and mature population that does not just strike for any problem but efficiently communicate. It means a society based on more egalitarian principles. It means an education that values what people can accomplish according to their capacities. It means a society that respect human beings for what they can do and give the opportunity to accomplish their potential, instead of solely looking at what grande école one studied at and what hierarchical rank one occupies. Only a tolerant and flat based social model with an opened identity can flourish. This means that France must reinvent herself, and this path is best traced through re-investing in her revolutionary roots.

Rousseau et le paradoxe d’une pensée cosmopolitique anti-cosmopolite

Dans la pensée de Rousseau, il y a un paradoxe sur lequel on se penche de plus en plus. Une certaine acrimonie face aux cosmopolites, alors que Rousseau exprime une pensée cosmopolitique en reprenant le grand projet de Saint-Pierre d’une paix universelle et perpétuelle. Projet raillé par un truculent Voltaire il est vrai, dans son Rescrit de l’Empereur de Chine, parce qu’il semble ne concerner que l’Europe. Ce paradoxe a été longtemps occulté par une lecture nationaliste de la pensée de Rousseau. En ce sens Rousseau apparaît comme le penseur de l’Etat-nation au sens contemporain du terme. Cependant, il faudrait apporter une lecture qui remettrait Rousseau dans le vocabulaire et la pensée de l’époque et arrêter cette vision d’un Rousseau précurseur du romantisme, anti-chambre du dix-neuvième siècle. Cette vision est celle d’une relecture de cette période, selon un vocabulaire différent. Mais revenons-en à ce paradoxe qui découle de cette relecture de Rousseau dans son époque.

En ce qui concerne l’acrimonie de Rousseau, je suis en train de travailler sur un article — histoire de me faire une publication — à ce sujet. Ma perception est qu’il faut séparer le concept du cosmopolite et celui de cosmopolitisme. Il y a une philosophie que l’on peut appeler « cosmopolitique » à l’époque, même si le mot « cosmopolitisme » n’apparaît que plus tard, fin 19e siècle. Et puis en parallèle, il y a des « cosmopolites », et un certain rejet de plus en plus général de ces « cosmopolites ». Ces cosmopolites sont des voyageurs. La raison pour laquelle j’avance cette affirmation est l’existence dans les dictionnaires de deux acceptations du terme, une grammaticale et une philosophique. C’est pour cela que je pense que le rejet de l’acceptation grammaticale du cosmopolite — le voyageur sans attaches fixes — conduit lentement à un rejet par sémantique du cosmopolite philosophique — perception stoïcienne politique.

Rousseau est, je pense un cosmopolite dans le sens philosophique du terme comme en témoignent beaucoup d’écrits, notamment sa révérence faite à une des grandes références en philosophie politique du siècle : l’abbé de Saint-Pierre et son projet de paix universelle et perpétuelle. Rousseau pense comme tant d’autres – on l’oublie trop souvent — qu’il faut œuvrer à la création d’une société commune de l’humanité. Cependant, il cherche à se démarquer des grands penseurs (qui sont à l’époque Grotius, Locke que l’on accepte et Hobbes que l’on rejette). Ainsi, il avance la thèse selon laquelle il faut d’abord construire des sociétés particulières avant la grande société des sociétés. Il avance aussi les hypothèses selon lesquelles une telle société doit être fondée sur l’amour des lois et de la « patrie », comme Montesquieu.

Le cosmopolite, au sens grammatical, devient l’anti-patriote, car comment peut-on savoir qu’il va aimer les lois et la patrie puisqu’il change de pays comme de chemise ? Ce cosmopolite là est aussi identifié avec les philosophes qui voyagent et promeuvent l’idée de l’existence d’une société naturelle que la société sociale doit respecter. Cette pensée est issue de la théorie du droit naturel, qui pose problème politiquement parlant : le souverain est Dieu qui a décidé des lois naturelles ; or comment politiquement transcrire un souverain métaphysique, et comment et qui peut décider de définir ces lois ? Face à ce discours métaphysique existe un discours physique, comme par exemple Holbach qui lui aussi s’insurge contre l’inexistence de toute société dite naturelle avant une société humaine :
“L’homme, fruit d’une Société contractée entre un mâle et une femelle de son espèce, fut toujours en Société” (La politique naturelle).

Rousseau est un penseur si important, à mon sens, parce qu’il apporte une réponse concrète au problème philosophique du souverain légitime. La réponse selon laquelle le souverain légitime serait le peuple ne va pas de soi, si l’on considère le paradigme philosophique selon lequel l’homme est né libre et égal en droit. En effet, un penseur méconnu de la révolution française, Anacharsis Cloots, souligne tout à fait cette contradiction : pourquoi tel peuple déciderait de fractionner le pouvoir politique ? Et où cette fraction peut-elle s’arrêter ? Pourquoi tel village ne déciderait-il pas de devenir souverain ? Des questions éminemment actuelles à l’heure des séparatismes nationalistes de toute sorte. Sa solution n’en est pas moins une source de nombreux autres problèmes : le souverain est le genre humain qui doit être réuni dans une république universelle.

Rousseau est aussi important pour la pensée cosmopolitique parce qu’il est celui qui, avant Kant et qui l’inspira, fait entrer le cosmopolitisme dans la pensée politique. Malheureusement, il fustige les « cosmopolites », associés aux philosophes, et je pense que c’est de là que vient notre lecture de Rousseau comme à « contre-temps » de son époque et déjà dans le dix-neuvième nationaliste. C’est une erreur. Je pense que Rousseau fustige simplement ces voyageurs qui sont apatrides par choix, parce qu’il pense que tout système politique pour être bien ordonné et pacifique doit reposer sur un ensemble de sociétés républicaines, qui ne peuvent être stable et fonctionner que si les citoyens sont respectueux des lois et du droit. La patrie dans le vocabulaire du dix-huitième siècle n’est pas celle du dix-neuvième que nous semblons toujours avoir aujourd’hui. La patrie est le lieu ou se rencontre les hommes libres et égaux en droit et le souverain. C’est ainsi qu’il n’y a pas de patrie selon l’Encyclopédie Diderot et d’Alembert là où il y a un tyran comme souverain. Un patriote est donc celui qui défend la liberté et l’égalité, les droits de l’homme, en opposition aux absolutistes monarchistes ou tyrans. C’est en ce sens que les guerres révolutionnaires ont éclaté, c’est en ce sens qu’il faut comprendre la « Marseillaise » comme chant de guerre aux tyrans et à l’oppression et non comme chant de guerre tout court. La nation est aussi définie comme peuple d’Hommes libres et égaux, détenant chacun et chacune une part de la souveraineté.

Rousseau est donc un penseur cosmopolitique mais anti cosmopolites dans le sens des apatrides par rejet à participer à tout projet politique. Comme penseur cosmopolitique il a apporté des solutions, mais ces solutions posent problèmes au projet cosmopolitique : le souverain populaire où s’arrête-t-il ? Qui décide du fractionnement de la souveraineté et comment ? Mais d’un autre côté, l’idée selon laquelle il n’existerait qu’un seul souverain, le genre humain, qu’avancent Cloots et aussi Robespierre pose encore plus de problèmes et n’est toujours pas résolu philosophiquement et bien sûr encore moins politiquement parlant.

Il faudrait d’abord réussir ce tour de force de concilier Rousseau et Cloots, avant de pouvoir imaginer des solutions politiques à l’instauration d’un projet cosmopolitique d’un monde ou tous les êtres humains pourraient vivre libres et égaux en droits, dans le respect de la dignité, et avec les mêmes chances à vivre une vie selon leurs capacités.

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