Cosmopolitan Spaces: Europe, Globalization, Theory by Chris Rumford

By Chris Rumford

The booklet advances a provocative serious analyzing of either globalization thought and modern Europe. eager about questions of house, borders and governance, Cosmpolitan areas challeges traditional notions of cosmopolitanism and its relevance to conceptualizations of house, and gives a clean tackle the that means and implications of globalization.

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They are concerned that European sociology in general and the sociological work on the EU in particular, is being dominated by social theory: “sociology in Europe is not dominated by empiricists but by social theorists” (Guiraudon and Favell, 2007, 4). They see as ‘regretful’ the identification of sociology with debates in social theory which, in their view, does not aid the development of an empirical sociology of European integration. The complaint which they lay at the door of social theory is formulated as follows (Guiraudon and Favell, 2007, 5–6): It is quite remarkable how little all the grand talk of contemporary social theory—about transnationalism, cosmopolitanism, mobilities, hybridity, identities, public spheres, governmentality, risk societies, modernity, postmodernity, reflexive modernization, or whatever—has to offer to studying contemporary Europe or the EU in empirical terms that have anything in common with how mainstream EU scholars approach the field.

The Otherhood claimed by the EU is at odds with the colonial legacies of its member states. It also sits rather uncomfortably alongside the fact that the EU works hard (or enlists others to work on its behalf) to forcibly exclude non-Europeans from its borders. As Balibar points out, EU borders are aimed at the ‘global poor’ who “need to be systematically triaged and regulated at points of entry to the wealthiest territories. Borders have thus become essential institutions in the constitution of social conditions on a global scale” (Balibar, 2004b, 113), leading to a form of ‘global apartheid’.

The complaint which they lay at the door of social theory is formulated as follows (Guiraudon and Favell, 2007, 5–6): It is quite remarkable how little all the grand talk of contemporary social theory—about transnationalism, cosmopolitanism, mobilities, hybridity, identities, public spheres, governmentality, risk societies, modernity, postmodernity, reflexive modernization, or whatever—has to offer to studying contemporary Europe or the EU in empirical terms that have anything in common with how mainstream EU scholars approach the field.

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