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Lecture 7

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Political Science

Course: Poli Sci 2H03 Subject: Cosmopolitanism: Beyond the State? Instructor: Dr. Vermilyea Section: Evening, T01 Date: Oct.24, 2012 Arguments against human rights as a global medium - Turner  They are irredeemably associated with Western values  e.g., focus on individualistic claims instead of the more global community  Not all forms of Western rights are individualistic, just like not all Asian thoughts are communal  Must be careful not to over-emphasize distinctions between Western and Asian notions of individual and community  They are not enforceable  Certain rights are more enforceable like habeas corpus (can't imprison without just cause)  Bulk of human rights are less enforceable, especially those with strong cultural components  Little discussion about what obligations might correspond to such rights  Idea of human rights is problematic because it doesn't require any obligations from the individual 3 versions of citizenship  Liberal theory of citizenship - minimalist  Role of the state is to protect the freedom of citizens  Best achieves aim by removing obstacles to free exchange in the marketplace  Very republican stance  Role of government is to celebrate sovereignty of individual  Utilitarian role of government  Maximizes happiness (which is measured by individual wealth)  Social theory of citizenship  Rests on understanding that the state has a role to play in mitigating the negative aspects of the capitalist market by providing a safety net to protect workers against unemployment/sickness and support them in retirement  Idea of welfare state  e.g., universal healthcare, employment insurance, disability coverage  Idea of the state that has a role to play in terms of moderating capitalism  Citizenship as virtue  Education of the citizen in virtues is essential in achieving personal autonomy  Citizens need training in order to gain a job  Liberal idea  Distinction between end goals of education  Neo-liberals - become productive members of capitalist market  Also to become better members of the community  Evidence that liberal and social views of citizenship are in crisis  Lack of social capital (i.e., involvement in community)  Distrust of politics  Ideal image of this world citizen that a lot of people argue is needed/will help mitigate some of the negative aspects of what is going in our world  Dream that globalization will make possible world governance within which cosmopolitanism can flourish Course: Poli Sci 2H03 Subject: Cosmopolitanism: Beyond the State? Instructor: Dr. Vermilyea Section: Evening, T01 Date: Oct.24, 2012  Turner argues that this idea of global citizenship is much too abstract and too vague to carry conviction or commitment  Even idea of nation state is too abstract to carry commitment  People's commitments are more local/regional based  Geography of emotions is important in creating civic loyalties and commitments  Idea that in order for us to have a civic bond, we must have a connection to a certain place (including cultural memories)  This is a big challenge if we are imagine a world government  Hard to do on a national scale, let alone a world scale  Patriotism, which is the love for one's country, can still be maintained  Doesn't rule out respect for other countries  Patriotism and cosmopolitanism can be combined Nationalism and citizenship  Nation-state citizenship and nationalist ideology have been, in the modern world, powerful agencies for creating individual identities  Nationalism embraced negative images of outsiders, and, as a result, modern politics became a politics of friend or foe  2 main challenges:  No specific political community on world stage  Can say we have a Canadian political community, but not one internationally  Continue to have these robust forms of national citizenship  This overly strong allegiance to particular countries Historical and sociological roots of cosmopolitanism  Hospitality towards strangers evolved out of the norms of protected trade  Trade tended to promote tolerance  As we become more connected as societies, we have an interest in maintaining similar value systems and not going to war with one another  Contemporary: cosmopolitanism has been closely associated with the human rights revolution, but has often been dismissed because it is allegedly western, elitist, and interventionist  Will bring about a standardization of cultures  Everything is acceptable as long as falls within the norms of Western ideology  Ignatieff promotes a minimalist defence of rights  Very liberal idea  Democratically elected governments should only intervene in other countries if in violation of human rights  Intervention should only be taken if human rights are being severely violated and it becomes an international threat  Cultural relativism: idea that beliefs/customs/practices are relative to the culture that they are being practiced in  Idea that no right or wrong  Can't have overarching arguments for morality Course: Poli Sci 2H03 Subject: Cosmopolitanism: Beyond the State? Instructor: Dr. Vermilyea Section: Evening, T01 Date: Oct.24, 2012  All particular to cultures  Ignatieff critical of using this argument against human rights  Thinks that the West has conceded too much against local customs  e.g., female circumcision  Mistake to regard fundamentalism as the only voice of Islam  Ignores the diversity of internal voices  A lot of disagreement over what is good/right, there is still agreement over what is insufferably wrong  There is diversity in human happiness but unity in human misery Irony and cosmopol
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