The nationalist perspective – which equates society with the society of the nation state – blinds us to the world in which we live. In order to perceive the interrelatedness of people and of populations around the globe in the first place, we need a cosmopolitan perspective. The common terminological denominator of our densely populated world is “cosmopolitanisation”, which means the erosion of distinct boundaries dividing markets, states, civilizations, cultures, and not least of all the lifeworlds of different peoples. The world has not certainly not become borderless, but the boundaries are becoming blurred and indistinct, becoming permeable to flows of information and capital. Less so, on the other hand, to flows of people: tourists yes, migrants no. Taking place in national and local lifeworlds and institutions is a process of internal globalisation. This alters the conditions for the construction of social identity, which need no longer be impressed by the negative juxtaposition of “us” and “them”.
For me, it is important that cosmopolitanisation does not occur somewhere in abstraction or on a global scale, somewhere above people’s heads, but that it takes place in the everyday lives of individuals (“mundane cosmopolitanisation”).
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