Sociological theories of cosmopolitanism address its development at different geographical scales, raising questions of the global demos and the global political community. This article considers international human rights as a resource for building global solidarity, and argues that the way in which international human rights are made and enforced primarily by national states must be taken seriously if they are to be considered as such. “Ethical cosmopolitanism” (Benhabib 2002) must be forged among the citizens of national territories for global social democracy to be a real possibility. The concepts of political culture and cultural politics are discussed as valuable for thinking through the relationship between ethical cosmopolitanism and cosmopolitan democracy and there is preliminary investigation of three different types of “jurisgenerative politics,” considered as sites of cultural politics rather than – as Benhabib does – as contributing directly to ethical cosmopolitanism.

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