ABSTRACT. In this article, I propose a characterization of cosmopolitanism as a common concern against the global threat of post 9/11. I call it the ‘cosmopolitanism of fear’, referring to the idea that people in both affluent and non affluent societies share the same need for safety and public security. I start from the premise that cosmopolitan theorizing is necessary to understand the global threat of terrorism and of the security policies that followed its outburst. Given this premise, my concern focuses on the cosmopolitan characterization of global terrorism (sec. 2) and how democratic theory should address the role of fundamental liberties in a world of enhanced securization (sec. 3). I argue that while fear lends support to the global response to these new forms of terrorism, the uneven distribution of the burdens of security in the war on terror reflects the status quo of global inequality. Post 9/11 terrorism and the war on terror have only made the socio-economic cleavages more acute, without bringing more democracy or justice to populations that both terrorists and warmongers claim to represent. pp. 28–42

Keywords: 9/11; democratic theory; distribution; fear; security; terrorism


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University of Minho, Braga

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