79 Reviews

REVIEWS Wakey wakey John Gray, Enlightenment’s Wake: Politics and Culture at the Close of the Modern Age, Routledge, London and New York, 1995. x + 203 pp., £19.99 hb., 0 415 12475 1. Why should the collapse of the Berlin Wall have come to stand as the symbol of the revolutions which swept away historical […]

Cosmopolitanism and boredom

Cosmopolitanism and boredom Bruce robbins * Martha C. Nussbaum with Respondents, For Love of Country: Debating the Limits of Patriotism, edited by Josh Cohen, Beacon Press, Boston MA, 1996, 151 pp, $15.00, pb., 0 8070 4313 3. ʻIn the course of my lifeʼ, Joseph De Maistre famously observed, ʻI have seen Frenchmen, Italians, Russians; I […]

Science-envy

Commentary Science-envy Sokal, science and the police Bruce robbins When Social Text entitled its Spring 1996 issue ʻScience Warsʼ, it fulfilled its own prophecy. Thanks to Alan Sokalʼs now famous parody article, which was published there undetected, a discursive war immediately erupted. (See ʻFriendly Fire: The Hoaxing of Social Textʼ, RP 81, pp. 54–6.) As […]

104 Reviews

Reviews Whatever happened to analytical Marxism? G.A. Cohen, If Youʼre an Egalitarian, How Come Youʼre So Rich?, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA and London, 2000. xii + 233 pp., £30.95 hb., 0 674 00152 2. This is a strange and disappointing book. The jokey and populist title is misleading. In fact the book contains the […]

What’s left of cosmopolitanism?

Over the past few decades, most Western democracies which contain national minorities have offered them a degree of cultural and in some cases territorial autonomy. In Can Liberal Pluralism Be Exported?* the Canadian political theorist Will Kymlicka lays out principles that justify this unusually happy experience after the fact. Then he considers whether the experience […]

The cosmopolitan paradox: Response to Robbins

Bruce Robbinsʼs excellent article in RP 116 points up the paradox of cosmopolitanism – that it seems ʻperpetually torn between an empirical dimension and a normative dimensionʼ. [1] For Robbins, the paradox of cosmopolitanism is rooted in the limited empirical sense of political community. For genuine democracy people need to belong to the same ʻcommunity […]

Progressive politics in transnational space

‘Qui veut faire l’ange, fait la bête.’ David Rieff, perhaps the best-known American writer on humanitarianism and human rights, chose Pascal’s aphorism as the epigraph to his latest collection of essays. This cynical take on good intentions can arguably stand for the prevailing view of action in the name of humanity, or at least the […]