Статья 'Cosmopolitanism Vs Patriotism and the context of globalization' - журнал 'SENTENTIA. European Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences' - NotaBene.ru
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SENTENTIA. European Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

Cosmopolitanism Vs Patriotism and the context of globalization

Kalabekova Svetlana Vladimirovna

PhD in Philosophy

associate Professor, Department of philosophy and Humanities, North Caucasus state Academy

369000, Russia, Kchr oblast', g. Cherkessk, ul. Abrikosovaya, 11

Other publications by this author








Abstract: The object of the analysis is the research of the globalization trends, while the subject is the social substance and forms of manifestation of Cosmopolitanism and patriotism. The author examines the contradicting unity and interdependency of these phenomena, their impact upon the formation of the global thought and ethnic self-conscience. The author analyzes the correspondence of cosmopolitan values with the nature of globalization; importance of local identities and nationalistic-patriotic orientations, as well as their association with the values of universalism. A special attention is paid to the dependence of the progress of globalization upon the combination of cosmopolitan and local patriotic practices. The scientific novelty consists in substantiation of the thesis on the complex nature of Cosmopolitanism and patriotism. The ideas of Cosmopolitanism emerge in the course of historical development, being demanded by the conditions of national and political life, as well as requirements for civilized development. Therefore, the topic of this article allows the author to formulate the following conclusions: 1) demand for cosmopolitan orientations and patriotism values are actualized by the requirements of globalization; 2) the logic of modern development presupposes interconnection and interdependency of these crucial trends of globalization.


tradition, locus, identity, fragmentation, universalism, nationalism, liberalism, patriotism, Cosmopolitanism, globalization

The problematics of Cosmopolitanism pertains to the ranks of those that are little-studied within the socio-philosophical and politological literature, even though the interest in Cosmopolitanism emerged back in the times of antiquity, due to establishment of poleis, which required for a man to be of cosmic orientation, free from coarsened patriotism, but not lacking it completely. Without going into too much detail regarding the evolution of the ideas of Cosmopolitanism, let us note that they were appearing throughout the course of historical development, being demanded by the circumstances of national and political life, and requirements for civilized development. Naturally, the core ideas changed from generation to generation, resulting in the modern Cosmopolitanism being a representation of a unity of diverse concepts that complement one another.

Firstly, Cosmopolitanism is an ideology of so-called world citizenship, which acknowledges the values of universal quality or common human values that weigh over the national values and even more so, put pressure on them. In the modern conditions with expansion of globalization and the associated cultural processes, the results of which become the phenomena of standardization that are evident in everything – in the lifestyle, actions, systems of value orientations and preferences, unique practices, etc. – emerges the global consciousness, forms a common human identity, separation from national roots takes place, and ideology and practice of multiculturalism sets in. All of these and many other processes of the modern world give Cosmopolitanism attractive features, especially since expansion of the scale of migration, interlacing of worldviews, cultures, and traditions testify in favor of this philosophy. Moreover, a cosmopolite is accepted everywhere as “one of our own”, rather than an outsider.

The demand for cosmopolitan ideas is largely determined by the historical conditions and their specificity. Today, when liberal orientations are strongly progressing and establishing everywhere, compared to the patriotic ideas that are oriented towards development and support of national tradition, which according to its supporters not only still has its importance, it actually gained more: development of national forms of life, preservation of ethnic identity, choice of a particular form of autonomy is possible only based upon and through the social institution of tradition in its broadest sense. As to the supporters of Cosmopolitanism, the points made by its defenders are fairly weighty – from establishment of the principle of dominance of that which is panhuman as opposed to national-state, which presupposes the “cosmic” human, “citizen of the world”, free from ties to national-state locale, and therefore able to spread the “national” horizons, thus contributing to a successful integration into the new global context, up to formation of ideas of global thought. Giving less preference to the national identifiers that bound the individual to specific ethnic group or a country than his rights and liberties, Cosmopolitanism matches the ideology of liberalism, for which nationality is nothing more than a tradition, a will of time. Thus Cosmopolitanism and liberalism, as held by their adherents, lower the risks associated with various manifestations of discrimination, as well as persecution and violation of rights based on race or nationality.

Secondly, some believe that in the conditions of the increasing fragmentation of the world, it is Cosmopolitanism that becomes the instrument which allows bridging the gap between countries and nations. The need for cosmopolitan ideology is dictated by many realities of the modern world, and primarily by the processes of increasing integration, the objective foundation of which is comprised by demands of economic, political, and cultural character. The form of expression of Cosmopolitanism on the sphere of economics becomes the creation of large transnational and international corporations, endowed with special authority and corporate personhood (which, of course, does not cancel the system of national-state legal personhood) in resolution of issues that have both national, and global dimensions, the realization of which is possible only through combination of efforts and expansion of cooperation. In the political sphere it is creation of political blocs and alliances, the work of which requires cosmopolitan worldview and approaches. As to the cultural aspect, it is the very place where cosmopolitan ideas found their materialization, which is confirmed by the establishment of various forms of material and spiritual cultures, with common features ranging from clothing to tastes. The processes of standardization and unification led to the formation of a singular “clichéd” thinking and mass conscience, especially among the youth, who compared to other groups of the population, susceptible to the influences of modern trends that are called to decrease the role of state-national and political limitations, particularly with regards to choice of the place of residency. The establishment of similarities in views and opinions is influenced by the Internet and communication technologies, which formed the space of a global virtual reality, erase the differences, and contribute to entrenchment of universal values.

Despite the spike in nationalistic manifestations attributed to patriotism, demanding the strengthening in a role of national states and increased authority pertaining to realization of the principles of national sovereignty, the liberal-cosmopolitan ideology is gaining momentum. The modern civilization experiences the effects of two interconnected processes: integration, caused by the complications in global development, which require more and more unification, and fragmentation, expressed in the forms of sovereignization and autonomization, and strive to self-determination. The manifestation of the first trend is Cosmopolitanism, which shares the liberal values, and the second – nationalistic, marching under the patriotic slogans. The latter refutes the point of view of those who believe that the times of nationalism have passed, since it, first and foremost, does not meet the requirements of the globalizing world, and secondly, it “costs” too much for the modern countries – economically, financially, socially, and humanly. Thirdly, nationalism, in one form or another, but as protection of national forms of life and activity, is considered an outdated doctrine, incapable of standing up to the modern calls, representing a sort of “initiator” thereof, to which there are many evidence in the modern history.

To the fact that nationalistic-patriotic ideology did not lose its relevance speak the achievements (both, economic and technological) of a number of Asian communities, which were able to adapt the national tradition to the conditions of the marker economy. On one side – reliance on ethnic roots; on the other – acceptance of liberal-cosmopolitan values, which alleviate the threats arising from national-autonomous development that does not take into consideration the demands of modern life, which it undoubtedly nearly impossible. Success is found by those who are able to combine the local and global contexts, and thus the national and cosmopolitan values and interests. In addition to that, the property of cosmopolitan forms of lifestyle consists in the fact that they are “simultaneously global and local…symbolize ‘ethnic globalism’ or…‘Cosmopolitanism with roots’. The difference between purely local and purely cosmopolitan forms of life lies in the fact that cosmopolites feel, and if needed protect their place as open to the world… The space of individual experience no longer coincides with the national space, rather…transforms under the influence of cosmopolitanization”, but this does not mean that “all of us will eventually become cosmopolites” [1, p. 38].

Recognizing priority of the personal – interests, rights, liberties – over that which is collective, universally standardized – overt ethnic, global traditions – over national, rejecting the absolute role of authorities, no matter where they manifest, stimulating development of innovations and freedom of creativity, cosmopolitan coincides in its essential content with liberalism. But the successes of cosmopolitan ideas are largely determined the compatibility of the ethnic (in its narrow sense), national-state (in the broader sense) with global context, context of Cosmopolis, and it is confirmed by the aspiration of many to acquiring and sensing their own identity. In this case it is hard to disagree with Ulf Hannerz’ opinion that cosmopolitan ideology is possible and is exercised through recognition of others, those that differ from us, as independent and valuable; cosmopolitan ideology is “…Attitude towards diversity, towards existence of cultures in individual experience. Cosmopolitan is…strive for accepting others. It is intellectual and aesthetic openness to the divergent cultural experience; search of contrasts, rather than uniformity… State of readiness, ability to accept another culture based on hearing…, infiltration and understanding. We are talking about…the ability to grasp a special system of meanings…” [2, p. 94-95]. Thus, Cosmopolitanism represents an example of diversity of identities and cultures, through which and thanks to which it realizes itself. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Cosmopolitanism is ethnically oriented and patriotic, same as patriotism is cosmopolitan. In the conditions of global market the only ideology capable of mobilizing various ethnic and social groups, can and must be (as rightly believed by some scholars) the philosophy of cosmopolitan patriotism, while national identity should be “enriched” by the values of Cosmopolitanism.

Nationalistic-patriotic attitudes of the globalization period do not lose their importance, and it is substantiated by the sociological surveys regarding personal importance and priority of national identifiers, which give the individual feeling of belonging towards a specific local, ethnos, and tradition. Free from xenophobia, such nationalism (interpreted as patriotism) represents the foundation of national identity and the stimulus for success and development, and in such capacity opposes Cosmopolitanism. And although there are many of those who strive to be like the Europeans for example (the events of the beginning of the XII century can serve as a vivid confirmation thereof), there is still evident desire to preserve not only the individual independent ethnic community, but also the entire diversity of the forms of their lifestyle. The liberal-cosmopolitan project also presupposes a “cosmopolitan patriot”, expression of which are the various forms of social organization beyond the borders of one’s own country – fellow countrymen associations, and enclaves, diasporas, etc. With all the differences between them, they are united by the strive to reproduce their customary and common forms of national life; to be a European, but to remain a Russian European, Bulgarian, Romanian, Polish, etc. In other words, “cosmopolitan patriot can accept the possibility of a world, in which everyone is an established cosmopolite, connected to their home, their cultural peculiarities, but experiencing satisfaction from existence of others, different places, which are home of other, different people” [2, p. 95]. Today, there are more and more talks about threats from globalization, especially with regards to countries and regions, for which national tradition is more than just a tradition. Therefore, the symbiosis of cosmopolitan and patriotic is expressed in a controversial form. On one hand, globalization eases the process of integration into modern context, provides scientific and technological capabilities for socio-economic development, which raises the demand for and justifies cosmopolitan worldview. In this situation Cosmopolitanism becomes a sort of a mechanism for overcoming the philosophy of nationalism, thus executing its “reboot” through proliferation of universalistic ideas, which is largely assisted by modern technologies and innovations, as we have already noted. Expansion of the entire spectrum of social collaboration contributes to the strengthening of cooperation, promotes adaptation to local conditions of various types of acquisitions, not only technological.

On the other hand, advancement of Western values onto national “markets”, often contradicting the established views on what is important and what matters, invokes opposing trends, expressed in the resistance to the pressure of Americanization as the symbol of globalization, as well as in the growth of anti-globalistic feelings, expressed in the strengthening of phenomena of traditionalism, regionalism, and thus patriotism. In addition to that, the growing Islamization of some countries (including Soviet), which takes place under the flag of patriotism and protection of national interests, is also the reaction to the threats associated with intrusion of cosmopolitan values into the world of traditional, which embodies patriotism. Since majority of the countries experience serious difficulties of socio-economic nature, globalization is therefore perceived differently in the eyes of the population, and those perceptions are mostly negative, which is evident in the corresponding assessments of the cosmopolitan ideology. Thus, globalization that is associated with Westernization, which is understood in both, the direct and metaphorical sense, invokes rejection. For example, in the Eastern (Arabic) societies, where liberal values contradict the philosophy of everyday life, moreover, contradict the norms of morality and opinions on what is allowable, Cosmopolitanism is perceived as an obstacle that disrupts the natural course of events, and therefore unacceptable, especially since it does not solve the issues associated with elimination of inequality, which is the basis of the expanding social polarization. This is only one side of the coin. But the other side is the growing understanding of the fact that moving forward “while looking backwards”, electing the path of social isolation, a society condemns itself to self-destruction and social degradation.

Integration into the global space, acceptance of the values of cosmopolitanism is only preferable from the perspective of economic and financial gains, without which the technological “breakthroughs” are impossible. But in the place where the topic is the risks to national mentality and identity, national tradition, the global project is merely a metaphor. Moreover, some nations owe their success to the right choice of development strategy, in which the national component and national identity hold a special place. Patriotism presents itself as the means of preservation and development of the culture in its broad sense, while Cosmopolitanism is associated with and caused by primarily achievements linked to the sphere of innovations, with possibilities of technological and economic progress, which lifts the contradictions between the local and global. In such situation patriotic ideology is more preferable, since it allows preservation of the national “selfness”. Success of the interconnection between cosmopolitan and local-patriotic, overcoming of the risks that originate of the grounds of their contradicting unity, are possible through the use of the well-known formula “think globally, act locally”, which is not only still relevant, but on the contrary, becoming more demanded by the strict oppositions of the modern world.

The reaction to the unifying influence of cosmopolitan processes and the growing importance of national factors becomes the formation of hyper ethnic conscience and self-conscience, which manifest in extreme forms of nationalism – xenophobia, chauvinism, and racism. In such circumstances the cosmopolitan ideology becomes more preferable, since it allows minimizing risks produced by the absolutization and exaggeration of the role of what is ethnic. Both, the exaggerated patriotism (nationalism) and uncontrollable Cosmopolitanism predetermine not only the vector of social aims, but also (just as importantly) the “quality” of the ethnic groups and the prospects of their development in the context globalization.

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