National Sovereigntism and Global Constitutionalism: An Adornian Cosmopolitan Critique

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There are two dominant schools of thought addressing problems of cosmopolitanism and (international) conflict: democratic national sovereigntism, inspired by Hegel, and global constitutionalism, inspired by Kant and reformulated by Habermas. This paper develops a third position by reading Adorno's critique of both theoretical traditions. Rather than compromising between these camps, Adorno triangulates between them. Critically illuminating their respective deficiencies in view of the changing conditions of a globalized modern world has critical implications for cosmopolitics. Although largely negative, Adorno's critique provides an important framework for a contestatory reformulation of cosmopolitanism, one that is better equipped to confront societal and political global conflicts insufficiently reflected in sovereigntist and global constitutionalist models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-39
Number of pages16
JournalCritical Horizons. A Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16-Feb-2016


  • Adorno
  • conflict
  • cosmopolitanism
  • global constitutionalism
  • Habermas
  • Hegel
  • Kant
  • sovereignty

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