The Looming Shadows of the Walls. Is a Cosmopolitan Europe still Possible?


In a Europe of many lights and shadows, cosmopolitan sociology provides a valid theoretical framework to distinguish one from the other. If cosmopolitan sociology is an attempt to understand how individuals, social groups and institutions deal with the challenges of ever more transnational social processes, then the European issue can be fully inserted within such an approach. From this point of view, following the austerity policies and recent events involving Syrian refugees and the attack by Daesh activists at the heart of Europe, sociology has started to enquire whether a cosmopolitan Europe is still possible. Conversaly, in the history of Europe and in its Constitutional Treaties, traces of cosmopolitanism are to be found almost everywhere. In this context, our study examines the crisis pervading Europe today and highlights the standing back to a certain extent of cosmopolitan sociology. At the same time, it stresses the hope that a change of direction will occur and the opportunity grasped of reflecting more deeply on the founding principles of cosmopolitan Europe.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20356609v8i3p625

Keywords: Europe; Cosmopolitanism; Cosmopolitan sociology; Cosmopolitan Europe; Citizenship


Archibugi D. (1998), “Principles of cosmopolitan democracy”, in D. Archibugi, D. Held, and M. Kohler (eds.), Re-imagining Political Community: Studies in Cosmopolitan Democracy, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Beck U., E. Grande (2007a) [2004], Cosmopolitan Europe, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Beck U., E. Grande (2007b), “Cosmopolitanism. Europe’s Way Out of Crisis”, European Journal of Social Theory, 10(1): 67‒85.

Cicchelli V. (2012), L’esprit cosmopolite. Voyages de formation des jeunes en Europe, Paris: Presses de SciencesPo.

Delanty G. (2005) “The Idea of a Cosmopolitan Europe: On the cultural Significance of Europeanization”, International Review of Sociology, 15 (3): 405‒421.

Delanty G. (2009), The Cosmopolitan Imagination, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Delanty G, C. Rumford (2005), Rethinking Europe: Social Theory and the Implication of Europeanization, London: Routledge.

Eder K. (2006), “Making sense of the Public Sphere”, in G. Delanty (ed.), Handbook of Contemporary European Social Theory, London: Routledge, pp. 333‒346.

Enzensberger H. M. (2011) [2011], Brussels, the Gentle Monster. Or the Disen¬franchisement of Europe, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Ferrara A. (2008), The Force of the Example. Explorations in the Paradigm of Judgment, New York: Columbia University Press.

Habermas J. (2003), “Towards a Cosmopolitan Europe”, Journal of Democracy, 14(4): 86‒100.

Halman L., I. Sienne, and M. van Zundert (2012), Atlas of European Values. Trends and Traditions at the turn of the Century, Leiden: Brill.

Martinelli A. (ed. 2008), Transatlantic Divide, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Rifkin J. (2004), The European dream: How Europe’s Vision of the Future is Quietly Eclipsing the American dream, New York: Tarcher/Penguin.

Robertson R. (1992), Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture, London: Sage.

Rumford C. (2005), Cosmopolitanism and Europe, Special Issue on Innovation, Vol. 18(1).

Rumford C. (ed. 2007), Cosmopolitanism and Europe, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Italia License.