Will Kymlicka

edited-volumes: cover

Rooted Cosmopolitanism: Canada and the World

Edited by Will Kymlicka and Kathy Walker, UBC Press, 2012, 239 pp.


Kymlicka, Walker, and the other contributors provide a useful interrogation of what cosmopolitanism signifies in a Canadian context. Their suggestion of the way that cosmopolitanism is integral to most ways of understanding what it means to be Canadian leads to a provocative re-examination of this particular form of patriotism.

Canadian Literature

This volume examines the theory and practice of rooted cosmopolitanism, using Canada as a test case. Rooted cosmopolitanism is the view that our local roots our sense of attachment to particular places and communities - can help to facilitate and motivate cosmopolitan concerns for the well-being of distant strangers. This idea has a particular resonance in Canada, where it is a long-standing part of the national self-image that being a good Canadian includes being a good citizen of the world. Critics, however, argue that this self-image is mythical, and that love of country impedes people from fulfilling obligations of global justice. The essays in this volume explore the reality of rooted cosmopolitanism in Canada, examining how the sorts of local ties and identities that characterize contemporary Canadian society enable or impede cosmopolitan commitments in particular fields, such as immigration and refugee policy, multiculturalism, climate change, humanitarian intervention, and Quebec nationalism. Drawing upon a range of disciplines (political theory and philosophy, sociology, Canadian studies, and geography/environmental studies), the authors shed light on the nature and meaning of patriotism and national identity in Canada today, and its relationship to global commitments. The resulting analyses, written by some of the leading scholars in the field, provide original insight into the theory and practice of rooted cosmopolitanism in Canada, and the prospects for reconciling nationalism and cosmopolitanism in an increasingly globalized world.

Table of Contents

  • Part 1: The Theory of Rooted Cosmopolitanism
    • "Cosmopolitanism and Patriotism" by Kok-Chor Tan
    • "A Defence of Moderate Cosmopolitanism and/or Moderate Liberal Nationalism" by Patti Tamara Lenard and Margaret Moore
    • "Universality and Particularity in the National Question in Quebec" by Joseph-Yvon Theriault
    • "Rooted Cosmopolitanism: Unpacking the Arguments" by Daniel Weinstock
    • "We Are All Compatriots" by Charles Blattberg
  • Part 2: The Practice of Rooted Cosmopolitanism
    • "Cosmopolitanizing Cosmopolitanism? Cosmopolitan Claims Making, Interculturalism, and the Bouchard-Taylor Report" by Scott Schaffer
    • "A World of Strangers or a World of Relationships? The Value of Care Ethics in Migration Research and Policy" by Yasmeen Abu-Laban
    • "The Doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect: A Failed Expression of Canadian Rooted Cosmopolitanism" by Howard Adelman
    • "Climate Change and the Challenge of Canadian Global Citizenship" by Robert Paehlke