The Cosmopolitan discourse on global governance invokes a global, normative ethic. It presumes a kind of shared civic identity that ignores the burdens of history, obstacles of geography and diversity of peoples, uniting all under a set of identifiable global problems. Critical scholars have moved away from such universalism by advancing their own brand of Cosmopolitan ethic, one anchored in a spatially limited and bottom-up definition of the good life. Yet critical scholars continue to emphasise individual agency, underplaying the structured nature of global inequalities. Consequently, they reinforce, rather than challenge, the current global order. I consider the implications of these models of Cosmopolitanism for issues of power, identity and agency. Any approach to global governance, I argue, must begin by analysing the relationship between identity and (in)security.
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