On Cosmopolitan Self-Determination

1 Global Constitutionalism, pp. 405-428, 2012

33 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2013

See all articles by Alexander Somek

Alexander Somek

University of Iowa - College of Law

Date Written: November 7, 2012


In order to arrive at an adequate understanding of the changing Westphalian world, it is necessary to distinguish political self-determination from its cosmopolitan counterpart. While political self-determination has its place in a familiar and common space, cosmopolitan self-determination stands for unbounded collective self-determination among strangers. Two forms can be distinguished. In its mixed form, it is tied in with political self-determination, adopting the latter as a medium for realizing common autonomy among those who are foreign to one another. Virtual representation is essential to understanding how cosmopolitans are connected to bounded political spaces. In its pure form, by contrast, cosmopolitan self-determination detaches itself from political judgment and finds its major role in authorizing risk management and crisis intervention. It lends expression to the impoverishment suffered by collective freedom in an administered world. Any calibration of the relationship between political and cosmopolitan self-determination must examine the general social conditions enabling an autonomous life.

Keywords: constitutionalism, self-determination, citizenship, transnational law

Suggested Citation

Somek, Alexander, On Cosmopolitan Self-Determination (November 7, 2012). 1 Global Constitutionalism, pp. 405-428, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2172476

Alexander Somek (Contact Author)

University of Iowa - College of Law ( email )

Melrose and Byington
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics