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Tag Archives: Cosmopolitanism

North Atlantic Oscillation

North Atlantic Oscillation


From Gilbert Achcar:

My book The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising has been released this month in the US (available since July in the UK). I am happy to inform you of the publication of yet another book of mine, which is a collection of essays.

Recently released in the UK: book/marxism-orientalism- cosmopolitanism/

Next month in the US: pb/Marxism-Orientalism- Cosmopolitanism

Below, FYI, is the Table of Contents.

Foreword 7

Religion and Politics Today from a Marxian Perspective 10
Marx’s view of religion 12
Religion and radicalism today: liberation theology 16
Religion and radicalism today: Islamic fundamentalism 23
For a Marxian comparative sociology of religions 28
Political conclusions 35

Orientalism in Reverse:
Post-1979 Trends in French Orientalism 40
“Orientalism in reverse” 41
Post-1979 French Orientalists 45
French “Orientalism in reverse” 47
The meanderings of French “Orientalism in reverse” 56

Marx, Engels and “Orientalism”:
On Marx’s Epistemological Evolution 68
Said’s Orientalism and its Marxist critique 68
Orientalism, essentialism and idealism 73
Marx and Engels’ radical break with historical idealism 78
Were Marx and Engels Eurocentric? 82
The political/epistemological evolution
of Marx and Engels 88
Critical Marxism and Orientalism 96

Marxism and Cosmopolitanism 103
Four conceptions of cosmopolitanism 103
Marx and Engels’ initial conception of cosmopolitanism 107
The maturation of Marx and Engels’
conception of cosmopolitanism 116
Cosmopolitanism and internationalism 123
“Cosmopolitanism” after Marx and Engels:
Kautsky, Gramsci and the Comintern 128
“Cosmopolitanism” as anathema: the Stalinist perversion 134
Cosmopolitanism and “globalisation” 144

Bibliography and References 165




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Book Launch – Third World Protest: Between Home and the World, by Rahul Rao

Date of event: 1st November 2010

Venue: Khalili Lecture Theatre, School of Oriental & African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

Speaker: Dr Rahul Rao

Chair: Dr Stephen Hopgood

Rahul Rao, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, discusses his new book /Third World Protest: Between Home and the World/.

If boundaries protect us from threats, how should we think about the boundaries of states in a world where threats to human rights emanate from both outside the state and the state itself? Arguing that attitudes towards boundaries are premised on assumptions about the locus of threats to vital interests, Rahul Rao probes beneath two major normative orientations towards boundaries – cosmopolitanism and nationalism – which structure thinking on questions of public policy and identity. Insofar as the Third World is concerned, hegemonic versions of both orientations are underpinned by simplistic imageries of threat. In the cosmopolitan gaze, political and economic crises in the Third World are attributed mainly to factors internal to the Third World state with the international playing the role of heroic saviour. In Third World nationalist imagery, the international is portrayed as a realm of neo-imperialist predation from which the domestic has to be secured. Both images capture widely held intuitions about the sources of threats to human rights, but each by itself provides a resolutely partial inventory of these threats. By juxtaposing critical accounts of both discourses, Rao argues that protest sensibilities in the current conjuncture must be critical of hegemonic variants of both cosmopolitanism and nationalism. The second half of the book illustrates what such a critique might look like. Journeying through the writings of James Joyce, Rabindranath Tagore, Edward Said, and Frantz Fanon, the activism of ‘anti-globalization’ protesters, and the dilemmas of queer activists, Rao demonstrates that important currents of Third World protest have long battled against both the international and the domestic, in a manner that combines nationalist and cosmopolitan sensibilities.

*Please note that the book will be available at the event at a 20% discount

Lecturer in International Relations
Centre for Inter national Studies & Diplomacy
School of Oriental & African Studies
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG
Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4534

Third World Protest:  Between Home and The World:

Available now through all good bookshops, or direct from Oxford University Press


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When I go to work’

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Decentering Rushdie: Cosmopolitanism and the Indian Novel in English
Ohio State University Press
By Pranav Jani

2010 304 pp.
$49.95 cloth 978-0-8142-1133-5
$9.95 CD 978-0-8142-9232-7

Book website:

“Pranav Jani’s scholarship is sound and invitingly written—calm, patient, and exacting. This is a valuable contribution to postcolonial scholarship, and I would definitely assign it to my students in graduate seminars. It is very welcome to see this important case made—one that a few scholars have broached in other ways—and Jani does it beautifully.” —Timothy Brennan, professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota

“Pranav Jani’s Decentering Rushdie is a lucid, insightful treatment of seven Anglophone Indian novels written by five different authors, and it will go a long way toward raising awareness of these often overlooked writers. Jani also highlights the achievements of Indian women writers. I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in Anglophone Indian novels.” —Patrick Colm Hogan, professor of English, University of Connecticut

Interrogating current theories of cosmopolitanism, nationalism, and aesthetics in Postcolonial Studies, Decentering Rushdie offers a new perspective on the Indian novel in English. Since Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children won the Booker Prize in 1981, its postmodern style and postnational politics have dominated discussions of postcolonial literature. As a result, the rich variety of narrative forms and perspectives on the nation that constitute the field have been obscured, if not erased altogether.

Reading a range of novels published between the 1950s and 1990s, including works by Nayantara Sahgal, Kamala Markandaya, Anita Desai, and Arundhati Roy, Decentering Rushdie suggests an alternative understanding of the genre in postcolonial India. Pranav Jani documents the broad shift from nation-oriented to postnationalist perspectives following the watershed crisis of the Emergency of the 1970s. Recovering the “namak-halaalcosmopolitanism” of early novels—a cosmopolitanism that is “true to its salt”—Decentering Rushdie also explains the rise and critical celebration of postnational cosmopolitanism.

Decentering Rushdie thus resituates contemporary literature within a nuanced history of Indian debates about cosmopolitanism and the national question. In the process, Jani articulates definitions of cosmopolitanism and nationalism that speak to the complex negotiation of language, culture, and representation in postcolonial South Asia.

Pranav Jani is assistant professor of English at The Ohio State University.

For more information visit: or call 800-621-2736 to place an order.

The Ohio State University Press
180 Pressey Hall
1070 Carmack Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43210

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Cultural Marxism *


Friday 22 January
Discussion of the film Venezuela from Below
Gail Day (University of Leeds)

Friday 12 Febuary
Marxism and Cosmopolitanism
Gilbert Achcar (School of Oriental & African Studies)

Friday 5 March
Advertising and the Politics of Aesthetics
Michael Sayeau (University College London)

Friday 26 March
Shaftesbury’s Theory of Art: Substance and Identity
Richard Checketts (Royal College of Art)

All seminars start at 5.30pm, and are held in the Wolfson Room (unless otherwise indicated) at the Institute of Historical Research in Senate House, Malet Street, London. The seminar closes at 7.30pm and retires to the bar.

Organisers: Matthew Beaumont, Warren Carter, Gail Day, Steve Edwards, Maggie Gray, Owen Hatherley, Andrew Hemingway, Esther Leslie, David Mabb, Antigoni Memou, Nina Power, Pete Smith, & Alberto Toscano.

For further information, contact Andrew Hemingway, at: or Esther Leslie at:

* Image from The Spearhead, article on The Menace of Cultural Marxism

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