On the Possibility of a Global Political Community

ProtoSociology 33:93-127 (2016)

Authors
Heikki Patomäki
University of Helsinki
Abstract
Is anything like a global political community – and thereby ideals such as global democracy and justice – achievable? This is a key question not only for political theory but also for contemporary political practices. Many political realists believe that humans are essentially tribal beings, or at least will remain so in the foreseeable future. Post-structuralists main­tain that historical identities are based on contrasts and oppositions, on the play of negative differences, which is necessary for language to exist. Thus identities must always exclude something. My first point is that it is possible to define our shared identity as humans and earthlings in the context of a cosmic setting. Big History not only frames world history in cosmic terms and imagines a future world community but is also systematically critical of Eurocentrism and other forms of centrism. Second, otherness can also be located either in our own past or, alternatively, in our contemporary being, when seen from a point of view of a possible future position in world history. Third, utilizing the concept of a horizon of moral identification and developing further Todorov’s axis of self-other relations, I conclude by outlining a cosmic, geo-historical, relational and ethico-political conception of global identity that is based on both positive and negative elements.
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Social Science
Categories No categories specified
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ISBN(s) 1434-4319
DOI 10.5840/protosociology2016335
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