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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 Four: Social Media and the Arab Spring 61


Chapter Four Social Media and the Arab Spring Un-alienated Right The events of the Arab Spring are multi-faceted and represent a complex in- tersection of political theory and practice. The events and the agents who played a significant role in the unfolding set of phenomena now collectively referred to as the ‘Arab Spring’ are too numerous to be fully and adequately treated within the boundaries of a single chapter. Moreover, such a treatment is not the primary goal of this chapter nor is it within the scope of this book. This chapter will provide a general summary of the timeline of events for the purpose of examining the role of social media in their progression. Examin- ing the timeline of events is a particularly enlightening lens for examining the significance of social media’s part in the Arab Spring, particularly as it pertains to the functions of international and cosmopolitan right within Kant- ian political theory. As previously argued, one consideration that distinguishes cosmopolitan right from either political right exercised by agents of the state or interna- tional right is that cosmopolitan right is exercised as a duty of an individual world citizen. It never need be alienated by becoming predicated on the exer- cise of an abstract general will of a body politic or a collective of bodies poli- tic. This is a tremendous practical strength for cosmopolitan right because, in theory, it makes cosmopolitan right less subject to the mixed motives that can lead to the compromise of human...

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