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His best-known plea for peace, Complaint of Peace, was published in at the time of negotiations between England, France, Spain and the Holy Roman Empire on the future of Europe. In this work Peace speaks in her own person. Seven years later he commented sadly that he should write an epitaph for Peace. In a letter known as A Most Practical Deliberation About Waging War With the Turks, written in , he argues that Christians are clearly permitted to go to war and notes that Christians may legitimately wage war on the Turks, if they are deaf to appeals for peace and threatening Christendom.

He therefore seems here to repudiate his anti-war stance. The literary devices employed in his anti-war rhetoric do indeed leave room for the reader to doubt whether they necessarily reflect his full position. Erasmus looked back to Plato and Seneca when discussing the possibility of restraint in the waging of war, and compares the classical period favourably with Christian practices in his own time, but one of his central arguments was that war was incompatible with true Christianity.

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Where Machiavelli admired the boldness of Pope Julius II in war, Erasmus detested his military conquests, and wrote a poem that compared Julius to the tyrant Julius Caesar. But, given his tolerance and cosmopolitanism, it is not surprising that the secularizing thinkers of the Enlightenment looked to him for inspiration. Cosmopolitanism and neo-Stoicism: Montaigne and Lipsius Montaigne —92 was also claimed as an early philosophe during the Enlightenment.

His own religious views are open to conflicting interpretations, as are his politics. He has, as Richard Sayce notes, been interpreted as both pious Catholic and atheist, monarchist and republican, conservative and liberal. There is a good case that Montaigne anticipated the Enlightenment sense of a common humanity transcending diversity of religion and custom, and the Enlightenment reaction against unnecessary cruelties. He attacked burning of witches and the use of torture, and claimed that the contemporary practice of Citizens of Christendom or the world? Montaigne too was widely travelled in Europe, seeking to adopt the customs of the country, although he spent most of his life in his native Bordeaux.

He travelled in his mind much more widely, anticipating the Enlightenment fascination with non-European civilizations. Nor did Montaigne assume European superiority; he commented on the positive warrior qualities of the Ottoman Turks, and on how the scientific, artistic and political achievements of Chinese civilization compared favourably with Europe.

When dealing with less complex cultures, for example the native Americans, Montaigne enters imaginatively into their reactions to the first sight of Europeans and deplores their betrayal by European conquerors. Lipsius — , who experienced the trauma of the civil war between Catholics and Calvinists in the Netherlands, deplored religious fanaticism and argued for religious compromise in the interests of political peace. This did not take the form of espousing official tolerance for a variety of Churches.

Lipsius was prepared to argue for imposing uniformity in public religious observance whilst claiming freedom for private religious beliefs and practices. This view can be related, as Richard Tuck argues, to a Stoic ethic of self discipline and cultivation of appropriate emotions. The strand of Stoicism that both Montaigne and Lipsius found congenial was one that stressed that the wise individual should seek detachment from the passions and the affairs of the world. They did not look to Cicero, who maintained an emphasis on sacrificing the individual for the good of the republic, but took Seneca as their primary reference point.

This detachment was linked to abandoning forms of passionate identification with a particular group and set of beliefs. Socrates being asked of what countrey he was, answered: Of the world. Instead he urged a new Europe united under one ruler to promote religious and political unity against the threat from the Ottoman Empire. If they did opt for a pure Machiavellianism in their specific political proposals, this would be very difficult to square with a world view that was later to find expression in Kant.

One response is to question their Stoicism and point to the element of Scepticism in their thought. A Scepticism about the existence of universal moral principles and emphasis on pursuit of self-interest as the root of human action clearly can provide a justification for pursuit of self-interest by states without regard for the claims of morality. The other response, which preserves their broad commitment to cosmopolitan ideas, is to question how much they agreed with Machiavelli. Citizens of Christendom or the world?

But in a period when states were establishing their sovereignty, combining state interest and universal moral principles in politics between states proved to be the central problem, and one that still is a starting point for writers on international politics. One key issue is how far sovereignty should be seen as sacrosanct and how far cosmopolitan values should influence law and practice.

The school of international lawyers who drew on earlier concepts of natural law attempted to find a middle way in addressing these issues. The figure we will concentrate on is Hugo Grotius, but first we should note his predecessors. Three authors are often given particular credit for developing international law before Grotius. The law of nations jus gentium was necessary to define how sovereign states should relate to one another. But by convention Grotius is usually regarded as the most influential figure and therefore his views are taken here as the basis for exploring cosmopolitan elements in international law.

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Grotius — was born in Delft, as the Netherlands was becoming independent of Spain, and educated as a humanist classical scholar — his father had been a student of Lipsius. He was active in the politics of the province of Holland and in his early writings promoted a theory of republicanism, though in his better known work on international law he upheld the rights of sovereign monarchs and denied a right of rebellion to recover political freedom. He also had to confront the religious questions posed by divisions between Catholics and Protestants and divisions within Dutch Calvinism.

Grotius tended to stress the common ethical basis of Christianity underlying doctrinal disputes and to urge 26 Citizens of Christendom or the world? Grotius was deeply concerned with promoting peace within the state and preventing unnecessary and brutal wars between Christian states — this is scarcely surprising during the Thirty Years wars of religion. As a Protestant he rejected aspirations of the kind voiced by Campanella to achieve European unity under Papal influence. His own solution is to resurrect and reinterpret the Roman and Catholic tradition of just war.

Whereas Erasmus tends to assume that the character and decisions of individual sovereign princes can directly impact on the condition of Europe, Grotius is inclined to define sovereignty as territorial, and to take account of a logic of conflicting interests between states.

He has therefore been a reference point for international lawyers in the s writing in the context of the League of Nations and again in the s when the wars in the former Yugoslavia made humanitarian intervention a key issue. Grotius clearly seems to be arguing for the latter view, both in his language and in his case for intervention to protect subjects against their sovereigns.

The primary reason for ascribing to Grotius a significant degree of cosmopolitanism — his sense of a united humanity — has already been noted. This sentiment is given greater weight by his interpretation of natural law and by his explicit view that international law applies outside Europe in relations with peoples of other religions. How Grotius understood natural law changed between his first work in international law, The Law of Prize, published posthumously in , and The Law of War and Peace, published in Both are distinct from law promulgated within particular states.

Grotius appeals to the natural sociability of mankind, citing the Stoics, and the specifically human attributes of speech and the faculty of knowing and acting in accordance with general principles. This sentence has been used to suggest Grotius initiated a purely secular view of natural law.

In his early work on The Law of Prize Grotius upheld the right of the East Indies to trade freely with all nations at a time when the Portuguese were trying to enforce a trade monopoly in the area. This was certainly not a totally disinterested position, since the Dutch were trying to break the Portuguese monopoly for their own commercial purposes and had used force by seizing a Portuguese ship to make the point. Moreover asserting a universal right to trade can be seen as part of the history of western colonial expansion.

Moreover, Grotius had a genuine interest in indigenous peoples, and engaged in a number of studies on indigenous Americans. Like other humanists, he drew freely on classical pagan sources, with an emphasis on Stoic thinkers. For example, he uses Marcus Aurelius when refuting Carneades and Chrysippus to uphold the view that the law of nature is divine in origin. Unlike some of the other humanists, he draws indiscriminatingly on Plato and Aristotle as well as the Stoics, on Cicero as well as Seneca.

More surprisingly, he also drew examples from the non-European world, including Muslim practices and the cultures of South America. Grotius was committed to a universalist view of the world and the applicability of natural and international law. There is not a right of rebellion and active resistance can only be justified in the same kind of circumstances which justify other states intervening. He even suggested waste land might be assigned to them. Although he repudiated this theory in The Law of War and Peace, he was still willing to argue as though slavery was justified.

It is to this strand of thought that sought peace and the realization of cosmopolitanism through a union of states that we now briefly turn. International federation and peace Schemes for European unity can be traced back to the Middle Ages.

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Dante sought to revive the Roman Empire and to link this new monarchy to the spiritual authority of the Papacy, which was to renounce its temporal power. Plans for unifying Europe politically were quite frequently aired in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, both by advisers to rulers and by individual idealists. Many of these plans had an element of realpolitik, designed in a way to give particular power and leverage to a particular country.

Many also failed to embody a truly cosmopolitan outlook even in principle because their main purpose was to unite Christendom to wage war against the Turks. So the goal of peace within Europe was linked to destroying the threat from the Ottoman Empire and expanding European control. The most radical aspect of his plan was that he looked beyond Europe and aimed to incorporate Turkey in his proposed association, and also Persia, China, Ethiopia and the East and West Indies. He suggests also weighted voting based on an assessment of the economic revenue of the member states.

But as F. Hinsley notes in Power and the Pursuit of Peace, the focus of all three of these projects was on a distinctively European union as a culturally and politically more realistic goal than a world body. There are parallels with arguments today that the European Union can be seen as a potential exemplar of regional cooperation and internationalism, rather than as an extension of European power in the world and protection of European interests at the expense of other regions.

Conflicting legacies The period to is a time of transition between a medieval society of overlapping jurisdictions, unified by religion and culture, and the emerging Europe of territorial sovereignty based on centralized state power. Erasmus, and to some extent even Grotius, still partially reflected this earlier world, normally writing in the universal language of Latin. But by the seventeenth century there was an emerging sense of national identity and an increasing tendency for scholars to write in their native tongue. Grotius invoked moral obligations towards individuals in the sphere of international politics, but looks forward as well to the eighteenth-century European world of sovereign states, pursuing state interest but maintaining a degree of cooperation and a core of common beliefs.

So it is possible to argue that there were two separate legacies from this period, which both became more clearly defined in the Enlightenment. The first was a legacy of international society between states, which engaged in quite frequent — if limited — wars of dynastic and territorial ambition, but moderated their behaviour in accordance with the customs and positive agreements that constituted international law between states, including some awareness of just war limits on acceptable methods of warfare.

The second legacy was a peaceoriented cosmopolitanism, stressing links between individuals and moral obligations to all humanity. Hatred of war and a search for perpetual peace became a central theme in the Enlightenment. Some of the theorists mentioned in this chapter published their plans for peace at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and they provided a starting point for the most sophisticated and wellknown proposal for perpetual peace, by Kant, published at the end of the century, in Within the cosmopolitan legacy it is also possible to trace a gradual evolution from a predominantly European and Christian perspective to a view of the world which is more genuinely universal, and also more secular.

This trend was of course to be fully developed in the Enlightenment. The humanist thinkers and exponents of international law both provided arguments for freedom to 32 Citizens of Christendom or the world? Contributions to cosmopolitan thought in the period before also reflected some of the ambiguities of universalist political and legal theories that present-day postcolonial and postmodern critics still detect in western liberalism.

On the one hand, a plausible case can often be made that universal principles serve as a justification for pursuit of very specific western interests, as in calls for freedom of the seas, freedom of travel and trade. On the other, cosmopolitan aspirations by humanist thinkers often do attempt to transcend not only political but also cultural borders.

This tension also becomes more explicit in the Enlightenment with the fact of growing European power over many parts of the world, and at the same time a growing awareness of other cultures and some concern about the abuses arising from various forms of colonialism and European settlement. This period saw the consolidation of a state system resulting in anarchy between sovereign states with naturally conflicting interests, but an anarchy tempered by a degree of order based on the pursuit of the balance of power, a model central to realist theory in international relations.

It also saw the evolution of what can be understood as an international society between states, based on diplomatic conventions and common attitudes.

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International law in this period reflected this new order. The most important eighteenth-century theorist of international law, Emerich Vattel, moved away from the elements of cosmopolitanism in Grotian thought to stress the sovereign integrity of states and not the rights of individuals, and to promote correct diplomatic procedures and restraints on the conduct of war, rather than focus on the just causes of war. The model of international society allows for cooperation as well as conflict between states and gives some weight to shared values, but with its emphasis on state sovereignty it is opposed to the more utopian aspirations of cosmopolitanism.

But, despite the nature of the state system, a cosmopolitan emphasis on links between individuals across frontiers, the rights of all human beings, and the goal of world peace are also a significant feature of this period. The Enlightenment remains a central inspiration for the idea of world citizenship and for cosmopolitan thought. Some of them specifically looked towards a possible world without war; all of them attacked cruelty and justifications for violence and oppression.

They also tended to see the development of free trade across frontiers as a means of promoting peace and an exercise of world citizenship, though some were also 34 Enlightenment cosmopolitanism sensitive to the ways in which trade, especially in the non-European world, could lead to exploitation. Contemporary theorists responding to both globalization and nationalist xenophobia, have looked back for inspiration to the eighteenth century.

Montesquieu too is often quoted for his cosmopolitan commitments. He is the inspiration for Julia Kristeva, looking for an alternative to racist and inwardlooking tendencies in French nationalism. Thomas J. Schlereth in his study of cosmopolitanism in this period focuses primarily on the Scottish philosopher David Hume together with Voltaire and Franklin. Jeremy Bentham devoted his reforming zeal linked to his utilitarian philosophy primarily towards English institutions, but extended his interests to international law and plans for perpetual peace.

He was widely admired in Spain and Spanish-speaking countries in Central and South America, and his ideas strongly influenced nineteenth-century peace movements in the English-speaking world. The major eighteenth-century political theorist who does not fit well into the cosmopolitan mode is Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who was opposed to many of the tenets of the philosophes, and can be presented quite convincingly as a lyrical exponent of patriotism who despised cosmopolitanism. Rousseau is, however, notorious for exploring apparently conflicting strands of thought; and he was also eloquent on the unnecessary barbarities of war, as the Discourse on the Origin of Inequality and the Discourse on Political Economy indicate, and shared the Enlightenment hatred of political oppression.

But when Rousseau is taken as a model for political theory today it tends to be in order to support national citizenship against concepts of world citizenship as we will see in Chapter 7. Enlightenment cosmopolitanism 35 Rousseau is usually seen as an important theorist in the republican tradition of political thought, which upheld citizen self-government against forms of monarchy and despotism. But in general the late eighteenth-century theorists who can be labelled republican, notably Paine and the Jacobins in their earlier speeches and writings, were explicitly cosmopolitan.

The enlightenment cosmopolitan legacy was by the nineteenth century, however, embodied primarily in liberalism. Republican ideas were taken up by socialist movements. Enlightenment rationalism and universalism are the central target of postmodern and postcolonial critiques that suggest that, far from promoting human liberation, they have legitimized forms of oppression. But there are more traditional problems in generalizing about a body of historical thought, for example the fact that there are major disagreements in interpretations of the Enlightenment.

It is also important to note that the philosophes were not all in agreement on many issues, and that there was an evolution towards a greater radicalism. Peter Gay identifies three generations: Montesquieu and Voltaire, who set the agenda; Franklin, Hume, Diderot, Helvetius and others, who consolidated a scientific and anti-clerical perspective; and Holbach, Beccaria, Lessing, Jefferson and Kant, who were more engaged in issues of political economy, legal reform and practical politics. Kant, despite his principled rejection of European colonialism in Perpetual Peace , has been accused of being the author of crude national stereotypes and characterization of races in his anthropology.

Although many of the philosophes supported the higher education of 36 Enlightenment cosmopolitanism women, Diderot and Kant specifically denied women intellectual and social equality. The approach used in this chapter is to examine the key concepts and beliefs central to the Enlightenment that have a bearing on cosmopolitanism and world citizenship. It is not necessary that all the theorists linked to the Enlightenment agree on these issues, nor does it matter if there is some ambiguity or contradiction within the position of an individual theorist.

Our search here is for the evolution of key approaches to world citizenship that have influenced beliefs and practices in recent years and that can be reinterpreted today. But this chapter does explore tensions in these concepts that may be relevant to current debates, for example between assumption of European superiority and a respect for very different civilizations. It also notes some of the contradictions within eighteenth-century cosmopolitanism: for example that citizens of the world identified in particular with Paris and that the exponents of a common humanity tended to be a cultural elite — although Paine marks a shift towards a more democratic cosmopolitanism.

It is also worth noting that cosmopolitan intellectuals often communicated in French, which in this period had replaced Latin as the universal language of Europe. I flatter myself that I am, like you, a citizen of the great city of the world. There was also a more general sense that men of learning or letters were part of this cultivated cosmopolitan elite. The cosmopolitans were almost all literally travellers.

For our purposes it is important to note how the intellectual citizens of the world gave some social reality to their claims to both universalism and a shared solidarity, and thus prefigured what today is seen as the evolution of global civil society.

But the central organizational bases were regular meeting places for example the Parisian salons or the Edinburgh and London coffee houses and clubs. These cosmopolitan journals supplemented the hundreds of national periodicals, in Britain and Germany especially, that promoted ideas among a like-minded readership. This sense that philosophy and science should transcend all political borders has sometimes been reflected in twentieth-century cosmopolitanism.

The claim to be at home anywhere and to belong to an overarching society could be seen as lack of patriotism and moral responsibility. He lamented that they all have the same tastes, the same passions, the same customs … they will all tell you how unselfish they are and behave like scoundrels. Some of the ambiguities of cosmopolitanism are embodied in the position of the Jewish financier and the Jewish intellectual.

Whilst Jewish communities in Europe were subject to social and political discrimination and retained their own religious and social identity, a privileged minority gained a significant role as bankers to princes, and had connections across Europe. Hannah Arendt has discussed the range of their possible positions, including those of the pariah and the parvenu. Tolerance: freedom of thought and religion The view that individuals should be allowed to maintain their own religious beliefs and practices was one of the tenets of the Enlightenment.

Commitment to reason required belief in free speech and rejecting censorship of beliefs or opinions. Rejection of national prejudices, which divided human beings, was naturally allied to rejection of what seemed in the eighteenth century, in the light of recent European history, an even greater threat: religious intolerance.

Locke was arguing within a Christian context — despite references to Mohammedans and paganism — and primarily seeking freedom for dissenting Protestants. He excluded from toleration both atheists and Catholics, the latter for political reasons given Catholic countries were hostile to England. The Enlightenment philosophers were prepared to go further than Locke in denying the exclusive claims of Christianity itself, though they drew on his rejection of revelation as an adequate source of truth. Montesquieu, using the device of looking at Europe through Persian eyes, is caustic about the Papacy.

But he also comments generally on the irrationality of many deeply held religious beliefs, for example taboos on certain objects or items of food.

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Enlightenment thinkers stressed both the dangers of religious zealotry and the irrationality of what they classed as superstition. The philosophes themselves tended therefore to reject specific religious commitments for a generalized deism. The Enlightenment emphasis on tolerance and the associated commitment to reason could veer towards positive 40 Enlightenment cosmopolitanism hostility to religion.

But it did mark a decisive rejection of policies designed to enforce religious conformity. Belief in tolerance also tended to undermine the claims of proselytizing Christianity as a reason for European colonization, though Enlightenment thinkers were not wholly consistent on this issue. Rights of man and rejecting slavery The link between identifying oneself as a world citizen transcending state boundaries and believing that all members of the human race are fundamentally equal goes back, as we have seen, to the Stoics.

Even if the philosophes as world citizens identified themselves as an enlightened few, this is associated with a responsibility for asserting the fundamental humanity of all. This commitment to the rights of individuals culminated in the declarations of rights by both the American and French Revolutions at the end of the eighteenth century. Respect for rights included opposition to practices such as torture and frequent use of the death penalty, widely practised in that century. But this frame of mind was universalist in implication: John Howard, for example, specifically campaigned for prison reform in Europe as a whole.

Opposing cruelty and belief in rights logically required as a minimum the condemnation of slavery round the world. The Enlightenment philosophers therefore went much further than the Stoics in totally rejecting slavery, which also implied rejecting modified forms of slavery such as serfdom. Antislavery societies in France and Britain had active support from leading intellectuals and Franklin presided over the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery. He suggests there can be a right of settlement if it is far enough from inhabited areas to exclude intrusion upon them. It is interesting to compare his views with the Enlightenment spirit animating the instructions of the President of the Royal Society in to Captain Cook about the treatment of the natives of lands where his ships might call in.

Paine demonstrated his consistent cosmopolitan radicalism in opposing colonialism. Congress later repudiated the treaty. He argued that it was in line with natural law not only to take possession of uninhabited country but also to acquire rights to the land from native inhabitants by war or treaty, both of which are a basis for just ownership.


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When the possibility of returning some land to the native Americans arose, Jefferson opposed it on the ground of the indivisibility of existing society unless the government had been delegated specific powers to hand back land. Migration, citizenship and rights of refugees Cosmopolitanism, which in principle embraces all of humanity and strives to transcend national frontiers, necessarily supports the rights of individuals to travel.

We have seen that the philosophers claimed this right for themselves even in wartime. But they also upheld a more general right to travel round the world and to be treated with hospitality. Kant made the principle of hospitality to strangers one of his definitive articles of Perpetual Peace, arguing that this did not Enlightenment cosmopolitanism 43 require the residents of a country to offer active support to strangers this cannot be claimed as a right, but depends on friendship , but that strangers should be guaranteed entry and security.

We return to this issue in more detail later in the chapter. But it also reflects the sense that all individuals have rights derived from their humanity that states should not abridge. A more radical formulation of this claim requires a right not only to travel but also to choose where to live and to choose the state to which one wishes to owe allegiance. This means that states should not forbid their citizens to leave. If there is to be a right of migration, then there also has to be an understanding among states that they will allow foreigners to reside in their countries.

The right to settle was also linked to the right to acquire citizenship. Insistence on an absolute right to migrate makes it unnecessary to take special account of the rights of those forcibly expelled from their countries, or those who flee from oppression or threat of violence and imprisonment. Although 44 Enlightenment cosmopolitanism Kant in The Metaphysics of Morals suggests that the state has the right to deport its own citizens for wrongdoing, or even to exile them totally, making them in effect outlaws, he does not pursue the implications of this for the obligations of other countries.

The philosophes did not therefore specifically address the rights of refugees. The theorists of international law Samuel Pufendorf, Christian Wolff and Vattel did, however, make provision for refugees. Their position was less cosmopolitan, since they emphasized the reality and benefits of state sovereignty. But they did envisage that states had mutual obligations within an international society, and that rulers had moral obligations under natural law towards individuals suffering extreme need. They therefore discussed the rights of foreigners to travel through or reside in another country, and recognized the plight of exiles, who had a right to live somewhere in the world.

Obligation to fellow members of humanity was, however, tempered by prudence. A ruler needed to consider whether admitting refugees — particularly in great numbers — would strain national resources or disrupt society. Therefore no particular state had an absolute obligation to grant asylum, although rulers should give weight to the claims of human sympathy. The value of trade in linking different peoples together and promoting interests in peace and peaceable as opposed to warlike values are common themes in the writing of eighteenth-century cosmopolitans.

The developing theory of political economy stressed the economic advantages; Adam Smith is of course the best-known exponent of free trade, but many other members of the republic of letters took up arguments against mercantilism and in favour of widening commerce between different nations and different parts of the world with their diverse resources. These views were held by both those of a more sceptical and conservative inclination like Hume and Voltaire, and by radicals like Franklin and Paine.

Although economic arguments and the sense that peoples could create and share in a new prosperity were important, trade was also valued for its perceived political and sociological effects. Montesquieu also argued, as many later liberals did, that promoting trade meant promoting peace, both because it created strong bonds of common interest that made war irrational and because it promoted the kind of society that rejected martial attitudes and values. Enlightenment cosmopolitanism 45 Schlereth points out that in the eighteenth century merchants engaged in international trade were often seen as forming their own cosmopolitan society, partly because they were of many nationalities.

The benefits of trade were more obvious than the possible disadvantages. It is possible to claim, as Schlereth does, that the Enlightenment thinkers represented a rising bourgeois class and that their sense of belonging to the new progressive class was consistent with speaking in terms of universal principles. But even Paine, who came from an artisan background and spoke for the common man, shared the enthusiasm for world trade. The belief in the cosmopolitan nature of world commerce is a theme of particular importance to current debates.

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