The need for orientation is shared by human beings everywhere. People need to learn about their conditions of existence in order to exercise some degree of control over them as a fundamental requirement for their survival both as individuals and as societies. This thesis is about the challenges that human global interdependence raises to the fulfilment of this task. It argues that the globe-spanning webs of interdependent humankind produce a collective problem of orientation characterised by the requirement for a more cosmopolitan perspective on the human condition while recognising the difficulty in achieving just that, given how all theorising is necessarily embedded in particular social, cultural and historical contexts. Through a reinterpretation of the works of Immanuel Kant, Karl Marx, Jürgen Habermas and Norbert Elias the thesis asks how critical international theory might provide a more adequate answer to the problem of orientation. Its main argument is that this answer implies a recovery of grand narratives on the long-term process of human development which avoid a reproduction of the shortcomings with which they have been historically associated; namely, serving as a channel for the projection of parochial and ethnocentric points of view which, under the cover of cosmopolitanism, legitimize practices of exclusion and domination. The conclusion to this thesis is that a synthesis between critical theory and process sociology would enable the production of grand narratives that promote a more cosmopolitan perspective on the conditions of existence of globalised humanity while recognising and protecting the plurality of forms of human self-expression. In this manner, the thesis opens the way towards the development of more adequate means of orientation on the basis of which people might better find their bearings in the world and understand how they might come to make more of their history under conditions of their own choosing.
|Date of Award||15 Feb 2016|
|Sponsors||PORTUGUESE FOUNDATION FOR SCI & TECH|
|Supervisor||Andrew Linklater (Supervisor) & Kamila Stullerova (Supervisor)|
Orientation in World Politics: Critical Theory and Long-term Perspectives on Human Development
Saramago, A. F. V. (Author). 15 Feb 2016
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis › Doctor of Philosophy