Author Archives: Brian Milstein

About Brian Milstein

Brian Milstein is a postdoctoral research fellow at Goethe University Frankfurt. He works in contemporary critical social theory, democratic theory, world politics, the European nation-state, and, most recently, theories of crisis and crisis-consciousness. He completed his Ph.D. in 2011 at the New School for Social Research, where he received the Hannah Arendt Award in Politics for his dissertation work. He previously held fellowships at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Collège d’études mondiales (FMSH) in Paris and has published articles in the European Journal of Philosophy and the European Journal of Political Theory.

New Book — Commercium: Critical Theory from a Cosmopolitan Point of View

by Brian Milstein

Since the end of the Cold War, there has been a wealth of discussion and controversy about the idea of a “postnational” or “cosmopolitan” politics. Yet while we have seen many normative theories of cosmopolitanism (David Held, Thomas Pogge) and some cosmopolitan-oriented theories of globalization (Ulrich Beck, Gerard Delanty), there has been little attempt to grapple systematically with fundamental questions of structure and action from a cosmopolitan perspective.

This book departs from previous theoretical treatments of contemporary world politics in that, instead of adopting the conventional image of essentially bounded nation-states that are just recently becoming interdependent with one another, it takes societies to be already essentially interconnected and analyzes their differentiation into a system of sovereign nation-states. Drawing from the cosmopolitan writings of Immanuel Kant and the critical theory of Jürgen Habermas, this book argues that, before we are members of nations, states, or other bounded communities, we are originally participants in what Kant called a commercium of global interaction who are able to negotiate for ourselves the terms on which we share the earth in common with one another. It marshals a broad range of literature from philosophy, sociology, and international relations to show how the modern system of sovereign states destructively impedes, constrains, and distorts these relations of global interaction, producing contradictions and legitimation problems in present-day world society. read more...

Posted in Academia, Books, Notices, Politics, Posts | Leave a comment