Cosmopolitanism has been invoked to stress the potential advantages of thinking beyond the nation with regard to human rights, diasporic or intellectual affinities, as well as other forms of affiliation. However, nationalism does not have to amount to a mere manifestation of ethnic or xenophobic closure, and it may foreground an effective cosmopolitanism that ensures social rights on a local and a transnational level. The author considers not only the European nationalist tradition but also the ways in which it was appropriated and redefined in non-European places as a condition of the possibility for more effective transnational, cosmopolitan alliances.

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