Feminism and cosmopolitanism: some inevitable connections

AuthorDiana Elena Neaga
PositionAssistant, Faculty of Social and Administrative Sciences, ?Nicolae Titulescu' University. Ph.D. candidate, National School of Political Studies and Public Administration (NSPSPA) University, Bucharest
Diana Elena Neaga
Diana Elena NEAGA
In this paper I will approach the issue of feminism and cosmopolitanism in order to give
arguments in sustaining the fact that, today, feminism and cosmopolitanism are inevitable
connected. In constructing my discourse I will begin by laying out the main ideas of
cosmopolitanism, followed by a presentation of the construction of the feminist movement over
time, inter-relating these two discourses at the end of the analysis. Connected with political ethics,
political theory and political philosophy, the theoretical framework selected for this paper is based
on the cosmopolitan theory developed by scholars like Martha Nussbaum, Fiona Robinson and
Kwame Anthony Appaih who, underlining universality, define cosmopolitism as a universal
concern with every human life and its well-being, but who are also giving value to the differences
(seen as cultural or/ and of identity) insofar as they are not harmful to people.
Keywords: Feminism, cosmopolitanism, differences, identity, ethics.
What are the connections, if they are, between feminism and cosmopolitanism – this is the
main questions at which I try to give an answer in this paper. In order to achive my goal I divided
the paper in three parts. In the first one I present the way cosmopolitan discourse developed over
time, but in the same time I try to give some practical answers to some critics that put the
cosmopolite theory in difficulty, critics related to the problem of identity and diversity. The main
scholar the are guiding my arguments in this part are Martha Nussbaum, Fiona Robinson and
Anthony Appiah. In the second part of the paper will be focused on the presentation of the
successive stages that feminism went through in order to become the present movement, stressing
along this presentation, the common elements between the feminist and the cosmopolitan
construction. At the end of this paper I will underline how the cosmopolitan discourse which
revolves around a few principles regarded as being fundamental is highly convergent with that
promoted by the feminist movements. In order to do so I will answer to the questions: How did the
feminist movement evlove in time? What were the central and defining concepts of the three
waves? by using the main core of cosmopolitan principles - humanity, universality of the human
rights, acknowledging, understanding and valorizing differences and the metaphor of concentric
ciercles developed by Martha Nussbaum.
The discourse of cosmopolitanism is revolves around some basic principles, among which:
humanity which is a distinctive feature to all humans, the universa lity of human rights resulting
from their very belonging to humanity, the awareness and understanding of the differences,
Assistant, Faculty of Social and Administrative Sciences, „Nicolae Titulescu” University. Ph.D. candidate,
National School of Political Studies and Public Administration (NSPSPA) University, Bucharest, beneficiary of the
project “Doctoral scholarships supporting research: Competitiveness, quality, and cooperation in the European
Higher Education Area”, co-funded by the European Union through the European Social Fund, Sectorial
Operational Programme Human Resources Development 2007-2013; (e-mail: diana_elena_neaga@yahoo.com).

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