Dominant approaches to cosmopolitanism have been criticized for failing to sufficiently account for how power and privilege have entwined with cosmopolitan proposals, and cosmopolitanism itself has been accused of being the ideology of global capitalism. Taking seriously cosmopolitanism’s complicity in domination, this article draws on the work of Theodor W. Adorno to sketch a theory of cosmopolitanism as solidarity. It argues that prominent approaches to cosmopolitanism understand solidarity as an identification of particular with universal, with pernicious political consequences. The article examines three concepts from Adorno’s philosophy that challenge contemporary cosmopolitanism: his concept of “constellations” offers a different way of relating particular to universal; his claim to solidarity with “tormentable bodies” reimagines moral action informed by this transformed relation; and his concept of a “global subject” offers a way to theorize the relation between this moral action and political intervention at the global level.
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Research Article| February 01 2023
Adorno’s Cosmopolitan Solidarity
Caleb J. Basnett
New German Critique (2023) 50 (1 (148)): 31–58.
Caleb J. Basnett; Adorno’s Cosmopolitan Solidarity. New German Critique 1 February 2023; 50 (1 (148)): 31–58. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0094033X-10140719
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