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Cosmopolitan DystopiaInternational Intervention and the Failure of the West$
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Philip Cunliffe

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526105721

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526151452

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Introduction: the rise of cosmopolitan dystopia

Introduction: the rise of cosmopolitan dystopia

(p.1) Introduction: the rise of cosmopolitan dystopia
(p.iii) Cosmopolitan dystopia

Philip Cunliffe

Manchester University Press

This chapter lays out the theme of cosmopolitan dystopia, and shows that the most direct and concrete embodiment of the failure of global cosmopolitanism was expressed in the rise of ISIS in the Middle East. The Introduction explains that the counter-utopianism built into the structure and functioning of cosmopolitan human rights means that cosmopolitanism is reactive rather than transformative, with the result that humanitarian politics is trapped in a loop of responding to humanitarian emergencies with military force. Incapable of transcending the existing political order, efforts at melioration succeed only in eroding that order. The end result of these cumulative military interventions is a decayed liberal international order and a cosmopolitan dystopia of permanent war across the Greater Middle East.

Keywords:   cosmopolitanism, dystopia, ISIS, human rights

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