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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 Six: Cosmopolitanism and the Future 138


Chapter Six Cosmopolitanism and the Future The Arab Spring as a Model of Cosmopolitan Success I have argued that a modified version of Kantian cosmopolitanism is the best theoretical model for understanding the role of social media in the events of the Arab Spring. I have also argued that Kant’s broader account of political right and political progress provides a good foundation for understanding legitimate and praiseworthy civic interaction. Although Kant’s political the- ory predates the Arab Spring by more than two hundred years, the fundamen- tal elements of human rights and political tensions between power and justice have not changed. Kant foresaw that cosmopolitanism would play a vital role in bringing attention to atrocities that happen throughout the world, he sim- ply did not envision that one of the vessels facilitating the rise of cosmopol- itanism’s new age would be digitized information passing through fiber-optic lines and across silicone micro-processors. These new tools have allowed the citizens of the world to carry out their moral duties of cosmopolitan right to one another on a scale and with a speed that Kant could not have imagined. Though he did not imagine this techno- logical tool detail, he did foresee its effect. Even though the Arab Spring and its aftermath have been harsh and unimaginably difficult for those enduring them, this period of transition is evidence that the world is in the midst of a great leap forward in human moral progress. There is at least a recognizable subset of the...

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