Framing Societal Cosmopolitanism in Europe. A Theoretical-Empirical Research Study


Inspired by the notion of 'societal cosmopolitanism' (Pendenza 2015a) - that combines at-tachment to local territory and openness towards others - social relations on the part of Europeans are tested empirically. The article posits that this type of cosmopolitanism can exist in concomitance with oth-er relational forms towards Otherness. Its main characteristic lies in the idea that it is not nourished by the abstract principle according to which such status can be attributed only if one feels a 'citizen of the world'. On the contrary, without totally rejecting the idea, societal cosmopolitan mantains that if cosmopolitanism is to shrug off its abstraction, it requires a social anchorage to root it more firmly to real life. From a meth-odological perspective, a contrastive analysis is putting in place relative to research carried out on Europe-an cosmopolitanism and subsequently tested empirically using data from EB71.3. Findings showed that almost 25.0% (30-40% in specific countries) of the European citizens fit the description 'societal cosmopoli-tans'.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20356609v8i3p695

Keywords: Europe; Cosmopolitanism; Societal Cosmoplitanism; Belonging; Identity


Ackerman B. (1994), “Rooted Cosmopolitanism”, Chicago Journal, 104(3): 516‒535.

Appiah A.K. (1997), “Cosmopolitan Patriots”, Critical Inquiry, 23(3): 617‒639.

Beck U. (2002), “The Cosmopolitan Society and its Enemy”, Theory, Culture and Society, 19(1-2): 17‒44.

Beck U. (2013) [2012], German Europe, Cambridge: Polity Press.

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

Benhabib S. (2004), The Rights of Others, Aliens, Residents and Citizens, Cambridge: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge.

Bloch M. (1935), “Problèmes d’Europe”, Annales d’histoire économique et sociale, t. VII.

Brett J., Moran A. (2011) “Cosmopolitan Nationalism: ordinary people making sense of diversity”, Nations and Nationalism, 17(1): 188‒206.

Calhoun C. (2003), “‘Belonging’ in the Cosmopolitan Imaginary”, Ethnicities, 3(4): 531‒568.

Calhoun C. (2006), “Constitutional Patriotism and the Public Sphere: Interests, Identity and Solidarity in the Integration of Europe”, International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, 18(3-4): 257‒280.

Cerutti F., E. Rudolph (2001), A Soul for Europe. On the Political and Cultural Identity of the Europeans, vol. 1, A Reader, Virginia: Peeters, Leeuven-Sterling.

Chabod F. (1961), Storia dell’idea di Europa, Roma-Bari: Laterza.

Cheah P., B. Robbins (eds. 1998) Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling Beyond the Na-tion, Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis.

Chernilo D. (2006), “Social Theory’s Methodological Nationalism. Myth and Reality”, European Journal of Social Theory, (9)1: 5‒22.

Cohen J.M. (1992), “Rooted Cosmopolitanism”, Dissent, autumn, 478‒83.

Cronin C. (2003), “Democracy and Collective Identity: In Defense of Constitutional Pat-riotism”, European Journal of Philosophy, 11(1): 1‒28.

Delanty G. (2005), “The Idea of Cosmopolitan Europe. On the Cultural significance of Europeanization”, International Review of Sociology – Revue Internationale de Soci-ologie, 15(3): 405‒421.

Delanty G. (2006), “The Cosmopolitan Imagination: Critical Cosmopolitanism and Social Theory”, The British Journal of Sociology, 57(1): 26‒47.

Delanty G. (2014), “Not All Is Lost in Translation: World Varieties of Cosmopolitanism“, Cultural Sociology, 8(4): 374‒391.

Delanty G., C. Rumford (2005), Rethinking Europe. Social theory and the implications of Europeanization, London and New York: Routledge.

Dobson A. (2006), “Thick Cosmopolitanism”, Political Studies, 54: 165‒184.

Erskine T. (2000), “Embedded Cosmopolitanism and the Case of War: Restraint, Dis-crimination and Overlapping Communities”, Global Society, 14(4): 569‒90.

European Commission (2009), Eurobarometer 71.3 [data set], Brussels: European Commission.

Febvre L. [1944-45] (1999), L’Europe. Genèse d’une civilisation, Paris: Librairie Acadé-mique Perrin.

Fine R. (2003), “Taking the ‘Ism’ out of Cosmopolitanism. An Essay in Reconstruction”, European Journal of Social Theory, 6(4): 451‒470.

García-Faroldi L. (2008), Construyendo Europa. Las redes sociales en la difusión de actitudes e identificaciones hacia la Unión Europea; Madrid: CIS, Colección Monografías, 265.

García-Faroldi L. (2009), International experience and national contexts. Measuring attitudes towards the EU in cross-national research, Working Papers-Mannheimer Zentrum Für Europäische Sozialforschung, 120.

Habermas J. (1996) [1992], Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Habermas J. (2001) [1992], The Postnational Constellation: Political Essays, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

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

Habermas J. (2011), The Crisis of the European Union: A Response, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Haller and Roudometof (2010), “The cosmopolitan-local continuum in cross-national perspective”, Journal of Sociology, 46(3): 277‒297.

Hay D. (1957), Europe: The Emergence of an Idea, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Hollinger D.A. (2001), “Not Universalists, Not Pluralists: The New Cosmopolitanism Find Their Own Way”, Constellations, 8(2): 236‒248.

Mau S., J. Mewes and A. Zimmerman (2008), “Cosmopolitan attitudes through transnational and social practices?”, Global Networks, 8(1): 1‒24.

Mazlish B. (2005), “The Global and the Local”, Current Sociology, 53(1): 93‒111.

Merton R.K. (1949), Social Theory and Social Structure, Glencoe: The Free Press.

Mikkeli H. (1998), Europe as an Idea and an Identity, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillian.

Nielson K. (1999), “Cosmopolitan Nationalism”, The Monist, 82(3): 446‒468.

Nussbaum M.C. (1997), “Kant and Stoic cosmopolitanism”, Journal of Political Philoso-phy, 5(1): 1‒25.

Olofsson A., S. Öhman (2007), “Cosmopolitans and Locals. An Empirical Investigation of Transnationalism”, Current Sociology, 55(6): 877‒895.

Pendenza M. (2012), Tra sogni e realtà. Studi e ricerche sull’Europa e l’europeizzazione, Soveria Mannelli: Rubbettino.

Pendenza M. (ed. 2014a), Classical Sociology Beyond Methodological Nationalism, Leiden and Boston: Brill.

Pendenza M. (ed. 2014b), Special Issue on Cosmopolititan Sociology, Quaderni di Teoria Sociale, 14.

Pendenza M. (2015a), “Radicare il cosmopolitismo. La nozione di ‘cosmopolitismo so-ciale’”, Rassegna Italiana di Sociologia, 2: 265–287.

Pendenza M. (2015b), “‘Societal Cosmopolitanism’ in the drift from Universalism to-ward Particularism”, Colloque international ‘Cosmopolitisme et Sociétés Plurielles’, 15 et 16 Octobre 2015, Paris.

Pichler F. (2008), “How Real is Cosmopolitanism in Europe?”, Sociology, 42(6): 1107-26.

Pichler F. (2009a), “Cosmopolitan Europe: Views and Identity”, European Societies, 11(1): 3‒24.

Pichler F. (2009b), “’Down-to-Earth’ Cosmopolitanism: Subjective and Objective Measurements of Cosmopolitanism in Survey Research”, Current Sociology, 57(5): 704‒32.

Pichler F. (2011), “Cosmopolitanism in a global perspective: An international compari-son of open-minded orientations and identity in relation to globalization”, Interna-tional Sociology, 27(1): 21‒50.

Pollini G. (2005a), “Socio-Territorial Belonging in a Changing Society”, International re-view of Sociology – Revue Internationale de Sociologie, 15(3): 493‒496.

Pollini G. (2005b), “Elements of a Theory of Place Attachment and Socio-Territorial Be-longing”, International review of Sociology – Revue Internationale de Sociologie, 15(3): 497‒515.

Pollock S., H.K. Bhabha, C.A. Breckenridge and D. Chakrabarty (2000), “Cosmopolitan-ism”, Public Culture, 12(3): 577‒589.

Recchi E. (2013), Senza frontiere, Bologna: Il Mulino.

Robbins B. (1998), “Introduction Part I: Actually Existing Cosmopolitanism”, in P. Cheah,B. Robbins (eds.), Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling beyond the Nation, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 1‒19.

Roudometof V. (2005), “Trasnationalism, Cosmopolitanism and Glocalization”, Current Sociology, 53(1): 113‒135.

Roudometof V., W. Haller (2007), “Social Indicators of Cosmopolitanism and Localism in Eastern and Western Europe: An Exploratory Analysis”, in C. Rumford (ed.), Cos-mopolitanism and Europe, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, pp. 181‒201.

Rumford C. (2007), “Does Europe have Cosmopolitan Borders?”, Globalizations, 4(3): 327‒339,

Sheffler S. (1999), “Conceptions of Cosmopolitanism”, Utilitas, 11(3): 255‒276.

Tomlinson J. (1999), Globalization and culture, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Turner B. (2002), “Cosmopolitan Virtue, Globalization and Patriotism”, Theory, Culture & Society, 19(1–2): 45–63.

Turner B. (2006), “Classical sociology and cosmopolitanism: a critical defence of the so-cial”, The British Journal of Sociology, 57 (1): 133‒151.

Vertovec S., R. Cohen (2002), Conceiving Cosmopolitanism: Theory, Context and Prac-tice, Oxford: Oxford 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.