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Accepted Paper:

Cosmopolitanism in Europe  
Rik Pinxten (University of Ghent)

Paper long abstract:

With the given that a majority of the Europe's population is already living in urban contexts, the question emerges whether and in what ways cultural and religious identities can still hold a primordial status in the present socio-political complexes. I claim that one should try to argue for an intercultural view of humankind first, with universal rules of conduct first (in the line of Human Rights) and cultural or religious identities in a secondary role. The combination of all three aspects defines the role of 'borders' in the contemporary human predicament. All of this has to be conceived on a cosmopolitan perspective, which is product of and subject to continuous negotiations.

The two first aspects (intercultural human, universal rules of conduct) form the basis of both the capacity and the institutional practice of interculturality. Clearly, they have to defined in a minimalist format. Nevertheless, their primary status is fundamental in the world we are entering. In that perspective we need research on how people live with universality (negotiated and debated, for sure) and with particularity at the same time. The Mediterranean religions will pose as obstacles in this world to the extent that they continue to manifest themselves as political systems and think themselves to be universal projects (which is understood and often promoted by the political versions of all three). By doing that, they refuse the new human condition of living with and within the new borders.

Panel W117
Law and normative pluralism
  Session 1