The term cosmopolitanism, which has its origins in classical antiquity, has been used to denote a philosophical perspective, a worldview, a political outlook, a mode of behavior, and a sociocultural orientation. This entry focuses on the history of cosmopolitanism, how it has been defined within the social sciences, and its importance in contemporary social scientific theory through its connection with the trends and developments of globalization.

Origins of Cosmopolitanism

Cosmopolitanism derives from the Greek words kosmos, meaning “world,” and polis, meaning “city.” In antiquity, its meaning referred to the notion of an individual being a citizen of the world. Such a mentality represented a radical break with the norms and values of the average Greek citizen, for the vast majority of Greeks held primary allegiance to their ...

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