Albert Camus and Rebellious Cosmopolitanism in a Divided World

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Albert Camus’s existential thinking has been the object of renewed interest over the past decade. Political theorists have looked to his work to shed light on the contradictions and violence of modernity and the dynamics of postcolonial justice. This article contends that Camus’s account of the modern human condition provides a means of engaging critically with one of the most compelling ideas linked to thinking about global politics today: cosmopolitanism. By developing Camus’s position on absurdity and rebellion, it suggests that the idea of cosmopolitanism should be situated in a post-foundationalist and post-teleological nexus to prevent it becoming a new political ideology of immutable truth. In order to make this argument, the article focuses on how Camus’s thinking supports a rebellious cosmopolitan disposition towards global transformations. In so doing, it shows that cosmopolitanism must strive against the injustices of a deeply divided world, yet at the same time accept theoretical, factual, and moral limits on its vision and actions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-219
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of International Political Theory
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2013


  • Albert Camus
  • cosmopolitanism
  • international political theory
  • dialogue
  • solidarity


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