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ABSTRACT. In response to terrorism and the terrorist, the cosmopolitan theorist makes claims towards abstract accounts of humanity and the rule of law. The terrorist in both mainstream and cosmopolitan responses is generally understood as barbaric and lacking the insight to comprehend the brutality of their actions. However, this is not the cosmopolitan response set out in this essay. Drawing on an innovative synthesis of the work of Gerard Delanty and Walter Mignolo, which is then positioned within the kairotic, multi-dimensional socio-epistemology of Watsuji Tetsurō, this essay will argue that, rather than researchers looking to extreme ideologies or models of individual psychopathology to explain terrorism, the focus should be on global dissensus understood as kairotic: the activity of reorienting general perceptual space and disrupting forms of identity-belonging and discourses, working to introduce transmodern subjects and heterogeneous objects into the field of perception as aesthesis. Against the background of Watsuji’s account of socio-epistemology, the model outlined here destabilises the socio-cognitivism of Delanty and the dialectical localism of Mignolo to produce a transmodern subject that emphasises the mutual self-constitution of the individual and society and the concrete interconnections that structure society and its relationship to other societies. It sets out a methodological approach that shifts the focus from ‘traditions’ to points of connection between the practices of everyday life and the traditional customs and mores that inform them to produce a transmodern subject through dissensus. Finally, the essay argues that such an account cannot rely on the state as a mechanism for transformation but must instead find transnational cultural mechanisms through which to undermine vested interests, be these sectorial, statist, or corporate. pp. 43–61

Keywords: Gerard Delanty; Walter Mignolo; Watsuji Tetsurō; kairos; dissensus; ideology

doi:10.22381/KC6320183

MICHAEL MURPHY
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University of London

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