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Cosmopolitan Europe

ISBN: 978-0-7456-3562-0
328 pages
November 2007, Polity
Cosmopolitan Europe (0745635628) cover image
Europe is Europe’s last remaining realistic political utopia. But Europe remains to be understood and conceptualized. This historically unique form of international community cannot be explained in terms of the traditional concepts of politics and the state, which remain trapped in the straightjacket of methodological nationalism. Thus, if we are to understand cosmopolitan Europe, we must radically rethink the conventional categories of social and political analysis.


Just as the Peace of Westphalia brought the religious civil wars of the seventeenth century to an end through the separation of church and state, so too the separation of state and nation represents the appropriate response to the horrors of the twentieth century. And just as the secular state makes the exercise of different religions possible, so too cosmopolitan Europe must guarantee the coexistence of different ethnic, religious and political forms of life across national borders based on the principle of cosmopolitan tolerance.


The task the authors have set themselves in this book is nothing less than to rethink Europe as an idea and a reality. It represents an attempt to understand the process of Europeanization in light of the theory of reflexive modernization and thereby to redefine it at both the theoretical and the political level.


This book completes Ulrich Beck’s trilogy on ‘cosmopolitan realism’, the volumes of which complement each other and can be read independently. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the key social and political developments of our time.

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  • Contents
  • Foreword
  • Chapter 1
  • Introduction: The European Malady and Why the Idea of a Cosmopolitan Europe Could Evolve.
  • Chapter 2
  • The Reflexive Modernization of Europe.
  • Chapter 3
  • The Cosmopolitan Empire: The State and Power in the Case of Europeanization.
  • Chapter 4
  • Europe’s Social Arena: On the Variable Dynamic of her Borders.
  • Chapter 5
  • Strategies for the Cosmopolitanization of Europe.
  • Chapter 6
  • Diversity and Acceptance: Pan-European Social Conflict and the Political Dynamic.
  • Chapter 7
  • On the Dialectics of Globalization and Europeanization:Without Oppositions to a Cosmopolitan Europe.
  • Chapter 8
  • A Cosmopolitan Vision for Europe
  • Bibliography
  • Detailed Contents
  • Preface
  • 1 Introduction: The European Malaise and Why the Idea of Cosmopolitan Europe Could Overcome It
  • 1 Rethinking Europe
  • 2 What is meant by Cosmopolitan Europe?
  • 2.1 What is Europe?
  • 2.2 What is cosmopolitanism?
  • 2.3 Sociological and political cosmopolitanism: from the national to the cosmopolitan outlook in research on Europe
  • Institutionalised cosmopolitanism
  • Deformed cosmopolitanism
  • Cosmopolitan realism
  • 3 European self-delusions
  • 3.1 The national self-delusion
  • 3.2 The neo-liberal self-delusion
  • 3.3 The technocratic self-delusion
  • 3.4 The Eurocentric self-delusion
  • 2 The Reflexive Modernisation of Europe
  • 1 From the first to the second modernity: Europeanization revisited - from the perspective of the theory of reflexive modernisation
  • 2 Europe and the reflexive modernisation of state and society
  • 3 The inclusive Europe
  • 4 Europeanization as regime of side-effects
  • 5 Europeanization as transformative regime
  • 6 Europeanization as self propelling regime
  • 3 Cosmopolitan Empire: Statehood and Political Authority in the Process of Europeanization
  • 1 The national either/or-Europe and its predicaments
  • 2 State and empire
  • 2.1 What is meant by empire?
  • 2.2 State and empire in comparison
  • 2.3 Empire and models of international order in comparison
  • 2.4 Imperium and empire: historical variants of imperial constitution of order
  • 2.5 Features of the European Empire
  • Feature 1: Asymmetrical political order
  • Feature 2: Open, variable spatial structure
  • Feature 3: Multi-national societal structure
  • Feature 4: Integration through law, consensus and co-operation
  • Feature 5: Welfare vs. security
  • Feature 6: Horizontal and vertical institutional integration
  • Feature 7: Network power
  • Feature 8: Cosmopolitan sovereignty
  • Feature 9: Ambivalence of delimitation and limitation
  • Feature 10: Emancipatory vs. repressive cosmopolitanism
  • 3 European Empire and the transcendence of the nation-state
  • 3.1 The function of the nation-states in the European Empire
  • 3.2 The modus operandi of the European Empire
  • 4 European sovereignty as a positive-sum game
  • 4.1 The politics of interdependence
  • 4.2 The politics of golden handcuffs: on the reflexive self-interest of cosmopolitan states
  • 4.3 Capital of trust: obligating others
  • 5 The cosmopolitan organization of diversity: the European Empire and its contradictions
  • Constitutional tolerance
  • Transnational diversity
  • Transnational incrementalism
  • Ordered pluralism
  • Reflexive decisionism
  • Multiple memberships
  • 4 European Social Space: On the Social Dynamics of Variable Borders
  • 1 On the Europe-blindness of sociology: critique of the fixation of Europe research on the state
  • 2 Horizontal Europeanization: questions, indicators, empirical developments
  • 2.1 Language
  • 2.2 Identity
  • 2.3 Education
  • Educational curricula
  • Educational mobility
  • 2.4 The economy
  • Labour market
  • Companies
  • 3 Empirical cosmopolitan social theory of Europeanization
  • 3.1 The problem
  • 3.2 European society as interdependence
  • 3.3 European society as mobility
  • European integration through European expansion
  • The internalisation of external conflicts
  • 3.4 European society as civil society
  • The uncoupling of nation and civil rights
  • Civil society from above?
  • 3.5 European society as civilisation
  • 3.6 European society as memory
  • 5 Strategies of European Cosmopolitanization
  • 1 European cosmopolitanization as a meta-power game
  • 2 Strategies of Europeanization
  • 2.1 State strategies
  • National egoism
  • Intergovernmental minimalism
  • Cosmopolitan realism
  • Cosmopolitan idealism
  • 2.2 Capital strategies
  • National protectionism
  • European protectionism
  • European neoliberalism
  • 2.3 Technocratic strategies
  • 3 Deformations of cosmopolitan Europe
  • 3.1 The economic deformation
  • 3.2 The nationalist deformation
  • 3.3 The bureaucratic deformation
  • 4 Strategies of European cosmopolitanization
  • 4.1 Cunning of reason? The side-effects-power of the global economy and its limits
  • 4.2 Cosmopolitanization from below: the role of civil society movements
  • 4.3 Cosmopolitanization from outside: Europeanization and global political cosmopolitanism
  • 4.4 Cosmopolitanization from above: supranational institutions and civil society movements
  • 5 What makes cosmopolitanization strategies realistic?
  • First: Europeanization as positive-sum game
  • Second: problems of perception or conversion
  • Third: the problematic of interest-transformation
  • 5.1 Risk shock and its strategic utilisation
  • 5.2 Pioneering strategy
  • 5.3 Value strategy
  • 5.4 The prospects of strategies of Europeanization: the examples of migration and provision for the elderly
  • 6 Inequality and Recognition: Europe-wide Social Conflicts and Their Political Dynamics
  • 1 Critique of methodological nationalism in the sociology of inequality and research on the welfare state
  • 2 Mobile borders, mobile patterns of inequality?
  • 3 European regions as conflict patterns of European inequalities
  • 4 Mobile ‘We’ and mobile ‘Others’?
  • 5 The recognition-inequality dilemma: on the intersection of conflicts over inequality and conflicts over the recognition of difference
  • 6 To what extent can and should a cosmopolitan Europe promote solidarity?
  • 7 On the Dialectic of Globalization and Europeanization: External Contradictions of Cosmopolitan Europe
  • 1 The cosmopolitan deficit: critique of the Eurocentric outlook in the debate on Europe
  • 2 World risk society: outline of a theory
  • 2.1 General theorems
  • Global risks as a social construction
  • Global risk as reflexive globality
  • War without wars
  • Manufactured uncertainty
  • Uncertainty authorises perception
  • Blurred lines of conflict
  • The politics of empowerment
  • The failure of national international regulatory systems
  • The new politics of uncertainty
  • The politics of risk construction and risk minimisation
  • Side-effects of side-effects: risk paradoxes
  • Implications for the social sciences
  • 2.2 The reality and unreality of global risks as a product of cultural perceptions
  • 2.3 Divergent logics of global risks: on the distinction between economic, environmental and terrorist risks
  • 2.4 The European public sphere and civil society can be understood and developed as a response to world risk society
  • 2.5 World risk society, the European Empire and the contradictions of a proactive security policy
  • 3 The Iraq War and its lessons for cosmopolitan realism
  • 4 What European cosmopolitanism can contribute to global cosmopolitanism
  • 8 Cosmopolitan Visions for Europe
  • 1 Three scenarios of the future Europe
  • The decay scenario
  • The stagnation scenario
  • The cosmopolitanization scenario
  • 2 Reflexive constitutionalism: constitution and civil society in Europe
  • 3 Cosmopolitan democracy: possibilities for legitimating the European Empire
  • Intervention strategies
  • Inclusion strategies
  • Strategies of recognition of otherness
  • Control strategies
  • 4 The principle of the cosmopolitan integration of Europe
  • 4.1 Internal integration: the principle of differentiated integration
  • 4.2 External integration: on the dialectic of differentiation and expansion
  • 5 Power and weakness in world risk society - Europe’s cosmopolitan realism in a new world order
  • 6 In the European interest: Europe’s cosmopolitan interest and cosmopolitan responsibility
  • 7 Dilemmas of cosmopolitan Europe
  • The universalistic dilemma
  • The integration dilemma
  • The insecurity dilemma
  • The boundary dilemma
  • The peace dilemma
  • Beyond arrogance and self-betrayal: culture of shared ambivalence
  • Bibliography
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U. Beck, Professor of Sociology, Ludwig-Maximillian University of Munich
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  • Brilliant new work by Ulrich Beck, one of the leading social thinkers of our time written with an eminent scholar of sociology.
  • Beck develops his now classic concepts of second modernity, risk society and reflexive sociology into a radical new sociological analysis of the cosmopolitan implications of globalization in Europe.
  • A persistent theme running through Beck’s reflections is his attempt to recover an authentically European tradition of cosmopolitan openness and otherness and tolerance of difference.
  • An essential text for students and scholars in sociology and politics.
  • This book completes Ulrich Beck’s trilogy on ‘cosmopolitan realism', whose volumes complement each other and can be read independently.
  • The Cosmopolitan Vision develops the theoretical perspective which in Power in the Global Age is applied to key issues concerning the postnational legitimation of political power and, finally, in Cosmopolitan Europe, is tested against a special case, the unknown Europe in which we live.
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"A sociological diagnosis of cosmopolitanization that is frequently original and at times breathtaking."
Global Networks

"An important stimulus to how Europeans can seek to understand critically what will happen to them in 2008 and beyond."

Ranier Fsadni, Times of Malta

"This is an important, highly relevant, and compelling book. It will be valuable to anyone who is interested in the present state and future of Europe."

James Rosenau, George Washington University

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