ABSTRACT. This paper begins by problematizing liberal cosmopolitanisms by reference to Foucault’s work and according to his notion of governmentality and his approach of “problematization”. The paper investigates the philosophical source of liberal cosmopolitanism in its historic moral, legal and economic forms and by reference to the concept of neoliberal cosmopolitan governmentality it postulates a form of economic cosmopolitanism beginning in the early modern period and with strong links to Scottish political economy that provides a strong moral characterization of the market based on rule of law and the doctrine of free trade. The paper suggest that this form of economic cosmopolitanism is inextricably intertwined with its moral and legal forms, and functions to support the system of American hegemony that control the global world system. It argues that a Foucauldian notion of economic cosmopolitan governmentality best captures the layered reality of a global world system where economic, moral and legal forms of cosmopolitanism operate. This paper recommends that teacher education programs concerned with fostering cosmopolitanism adopt Foucault’s approach of problematization as a means for encouraging a critical awareness of cosmopolitanism and the complexity of world politics. pp. 13–37

Keywords: economic cosmopolitanism; problematization; neoliberal; Foucault; governmentality

How to cite: Peters, Michael A. (2014), “Problematizing Liberal Cosmopolitanisms: Foucault and Neoliberal Cosmopolitan Governmentality,” Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice 6(1): 13–37.

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University of Waikato
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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