BOOK PREVIEW (Chapter 1): “Cosmopolitanism, State Sovereignty and International Law and Politics: A Theory” [Forthcoming 2023]

Cosmopolitanism, State Sovereignty and International Law and Politics:
A Theory


Jorge E. Núñez

Chapter 1

Sovereignty and cosmopolitanism: pluralism of pluralisms and a multidimensional analysis

The world is part of a multidimensional jigsaw puzzle that includes a unique and intricate plurality of relations at the local, regional and international levels. In turn, this pluralism of pluralisms encompasses diverse peoples, beliefs and assumptions that translate into a myriad of factual interrelations, rules and policies. When faced with this pluralism of pluralisms, realpolitik demonstrates that affinities are rare and differences exacerbate the distance between agents at local, regional and international levels.

One example of these differences, territorial disputes, provides a clear example of the zero-sum game played by the claimed and claiming agents, who feed their differences rather than recognizing their affinities. Current global events such as COVID-19 clearly show the necessity for a coherent, cohesive and comprehensive response to crises. World leaders and organizations are failing to address global issues in an efficient manner. In a similar vein, legal, political and international relations scholars assert dead-end arguments; futile hermeneutical, technical, conceptual and theoretical discussions; and seem oblivious to the urgency that crises present. Current and ongoing crises as well as the exacerbation of pre-existing conditions require urgency. The impact on legal and socio-political inequalities; economic ramifications of crises and the prospect for recovery depending on places and social characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, age, skill-levels, local government-support, etc.; and the effects on the environment require immediate attention.

Global issues such as territorial disputes and COVID-19 have demonstrated that different sovereign states might have diverse approaches to handling crises and the range of local, regional and international responses bring inefficient and substantially varied results. Indeed, because of the current unidimensional understanding in the legal political and international relations disciplines about sovereignty’s absoluteness and its at-odds position with cosmopolitanism, a coherent, cohesive and comprehensive cooperative approach seems elusive. It is imperative, however, to consider national, regional and global articulated answers to global crises.


The legal, political and international relations disciplines offer various potential remedies, procedures and organizations to deal with crises and solve these problems.  Although these remedies, procedures and organizations are useful in certain situations, it is indisputable that they are ineffective at peacefully and permanently handling crises. If and when current models fail or consistently fall short of addressing global changes and crises, a requisite paradigm shift should be implemented. COVID-19 is one of several indicators that prove mankind as a whole needs to reframe crises, reassess situations and discard the frames of past paradigms.


Pluralism is evident at the level of the individual and at the level of the state. There are attempts to assess the relationship between sovereignty and cosmopolitanism in order to accommodate a plurality of seemingly absolute agents; however, these assessments result in an adverse relationship between the two, which results in an exacerbation of the differences between agents.

The overall aim is to establish that sovereignty and cosmopolitanism can be compatible. More precisely, the author suggests that a unidimensional to multidimensional paradigm change would acknowledge (limited) sovereignty and (legal) cosmopolitanism as compatible, despite the prima facie tension between these two concepts. In practice, this would mean that states could retain their sovereignty and individuals would benefit from legal guarantees recognized beyond jurisdictional differences.


This monograph introduces a multidimensional analysis that assesses the phenomena of pluralism of pluralisms. In order to better illustrate the intricacies of how sovereignty and cosmopolitanism can operate together, the monograph acknowledges that individual, community and state agents play different roles and constitute a plurality in interrelations. Therefore, there are pluralities of agents and players. In tune with this, their interrelations may take place in different contexts, i.e. national, regional and international, and can be understood as belonging to normative, factual and axiological realms. These realms may be evaluated according to their different modes of existence, i.e. ideal, natural, cultural and metaphysical. Therein, these pluralities of agents and players interrelate in pluralities of contexts, realms and modes of existence. Finally, these agents, players, contexts, realms and modes of existence may vary depending on time and space.


This multidimensional view offers a platform to thoroughly assess the pluralism of pluralisms by appreciating each element and feature in their individuality and in their interrelation with other elements and features in different ways, e.g. linear and nonlinear dimensions.

The novelty in this book is two-fold: First, the introduction of the multidimensional analysis and the notion of pluralism of pluralisms and second, the application of this theory of sovereignty and cosmopolitanism in general and of territorial disputes in particular.


To that extent, the author believes (and argues) different disciplines should incorporate a multidimensional view into their studies, as phenomena are not unidimensional, i.e. any issue is not solely legal, political, historical or geographical, etc. The incorporation of the multidimensional view enables a comprehension of what the author calls pluralism of pluralisms present in intricate phenomena such as sovereignty and cosmopolitanism.






Description and Structure


Chapter 2: Sovereignty

Friday 19th May 2023

Dr Jorge Emilio Núñez

Twitter: @DrJorge_World

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