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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Imperfect Cosmopolis

Studies in the History of International Legal Theory and Cosmopolitan Ideas

In current political debates, the term “cosmopolitanism” is often used in quite vague ways, as part of sweeping generalizations that might not hold up to closer scrutiny. Imperfect Cosmopolisaims to clarify the meaning of the term by approaching it from a decidedly historical perspective—distinguishing, for example, between types of cosmopolitanism and the development of the concept through the centuries.

209 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2011

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“The range of Georg Cavallar’s reading into the history of legal and political thought is impressive in both its breadth and its depth. It makes Imperfect Cosmopolis a richly textured account of the formation of European cosmopolitan ideas that enlightens us to how varied and also how imperfect cosmopolitan visions have been. In providing us with this more nuanced account, Cavallar presents the cosmopolitan project itself in a more humble, and therefore somehow more attractive, light.”

Gideon Baker, Griffith University

Table of Contents


1. Introduction
2. Vitoria, Grotius, Pufendorf, Wolff and Vattel: Accomplices of European Colonialism and Exploitation, or True Cosmopolitans?
3. British Enlightenment: the Triumph of Commercial Cosmopolitanism
4. Kant and the ‘Miserable Comforters’: Contractual Cosmopolitanism
5. Late Eighteenth-century International Legal Theory: from Cosmopolis to the Idea of Europe
6. Immigration, Rights and the Global Community: Pufendorf, Vattel, Bluntschli and Verdross
7. Conclusion

Selected Bibliography

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