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Cosmopolitanism and the Arab Spring

Foundations for the Decline of Terrorism


Lori J. Underwood

Cosmopolitanism and the Arab Spring: Foundations for the Decline of Terrorism analyzes the role of social media in the Arab Spring within a specific philosophical framework. Kantian cosmopolitanism, enhanced by social media and Internet communications technologies, offers a solid explanation of the political evolution of the Arab Spring. These technologies have given rise to a new cosmopolitanism that rejects alternating dichotomies in favor of an evolving consciousness of our status as citizens of a global commonwealth with a tiered set of duties to everyone within our sphere of influence. Cosmopolitanism as extended through social media has the potential to break down barriers to aid those who suffer under unjust governmental systems and to yield real and sustainable progress toward the amelioration of both tyranny and terrorism. Cosmopolitanism and the Arab Spring is recommended for political philosophy courses as well as interdisciplinary capstone courses exploring problems in the modern world.


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Chapter Three: Technology and Cosmopolitanism 45


Chapter Three Technology and Cosmopolitanism The Importance of Cosmopolitan Right In the last chapter, I addressed the importance of cosmopolitan right in aiding people suffering from unjust regimes. Structurally, cosmopolitan right be- comes essential in bringing relief to those suffering injustice because politi- cal right and international right fail. Materially, the cause is much more fun- damental. The duties held by political bodies are the duties of artificial men. The duties held by federations are the duties of collectives of artificial men. All of these duties are alienated from their natural source, moral agents themselves. Kant, like many social contract theorists, stresses that no valid social contract can alienate human beings from their fundamental rights. There are innate connections between our moral duties and moral rights. Both moral rights and moral obligations (particularly for Kant) are grounded in the inherent goodness of the human will. But whereas fundamental human rights are unalienable, there are roles, such as civil servant or sovereign that can temporarily alienate us from our moral duties. It is important to stress that this alienation occurs only during the situations in which individuals are serving as sovereign or civil servant. The alienation of duties in political right can be seen throughout civic life. For Kant, the sovereign must legislate in all matters as though he were one of the citizens. He must act as a citizen because he wants to be a citizen, just as if his voice were joining in with the rest of the citizenry...

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