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Cosmopolitanism and the Arab Spring

Foundations for the Decline of Terrorism

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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 Five: Cosmopolitanism and Revolution 117

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Chapter Five Cosmopolitanism and Revolution The revolution of a gifted people which we have seen unfolding in our day may suc- ceed or miscarry; it may be filled with misery and atrocities to the point that a sensi- ble man, were he boldly to hope to execute it successfully the second time, would never resolve to make the experiment at such a cost—this revolution, I say, nonethe- less finds in the hearts of all spectators (who are not engaged in this game them- selves) a wishful participation that borders closely on enthusiasm, the very expression of which is fraught with danger; this sympathy, therefore, can have no other cause than a moral predisposition in the human race.—Immanuel Kant The Call to Revolution There are many both within and outside the Middle East who have regarded the Arab Spring as a call to revolution. The extent to which this is, or should be true, depends in large measure on one’s understanding of the nature of revolution. Normally when we speak of a people being called to revolution in the political sense, we envision the people taking up arms to defend their freedom. Does this describe what has happened in the aftermath of the Arab Spring? Certainly the people, in one form or another, have taken up arms again the ruling regime in a number of Arab states since the events of the Arab Spring began. These include Libya, Egypt, and Syria. However, to view the events of the Arab...

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