PhD course: Cosmopolitanism in Europe. Idea and Reality.

 PhD Course  2-3 May 2012

CEMES (Centre for Modern European Studies) and the PhD Programme in Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen are organizing an international PhD course on Cosmopolitanism in Europe. Idea and Reality

Seyla Benhabib (Yale University)
Gerard Delanty (University of Sussex)
Adrian Favell (Science Po, Paris and University of Aarhus)
John Erik Fossum (ARENA, University of Oslo)
Richard Wolin (NY University and CEMES Honorary Professor at KU)

The course is designed to introduce PhD students in the humanities and the social sciences to the idea and reality of cosmopolitanism in Europe. Cosmopolitan perspectives have become vital to the study of Europe’s historical emergence and ongoing cultural as well as socio-political transformation. However, cosmopolitanism, which relates to the idea and reality of a society that is open to the world, is by no means an unproblematic and uncontested concept. In contemporary Europe, the cosmopolitan vision of an open society of difference, rights and justice that is defended by supranational political arrangements is often identified as an elite project which meets popular resistances. Current developments in European integration linked to economic and monetary crisis, populist backlashes, Eurosceptcism, Islamophobia and most recently also rightwing fundamentalism and violence have challenged our understanding of cosmopolitanism as an irreversible process.
The PhD course critically revises cosmopolitan thinking. It offers students a double focus on cosmopolitan visions and cosmopolitan realism. This includes lectures on the history of ideas and critical social theory of cosmopolitanism as well as on the application of cosmopolitan perspectives in contemporary European politics, culture and society.
The first part of the course will be structured around lectures and seminars with the possibility for students to present own research papers. In the second part of the course, participants meet with leading scholars in the field in a symposium to seek responses from critical social theory of cosmopolitanism in light of the current challenges to European democracy. This symposium will be co-organized by EURECO (University of Copenhagen) and ARENA (University of Oslo). It invites leading American scholars to enter a debate with their European colleagues on the future prospects of cosmopolitanism in Europe and the world. The keynote speakers are Professor Seyla Benhabib (Yale University) and Professor Gerald Delanty (University of Sussex), both internationally leading scholars in contemporary cosmopolitan thinking.
Venue: The Faculty of Humanities, Copenhagen University
Date: 2-3 May 2012
Requirements: Mandatory readings and active participation in seminar discussions. Participants are further encouraged to present some of their work in the seminar (10-15 pages essays)
ECTS: 3 for preparation and participation and 1.5 for preparation and participation with paper presentation.
The course is free of charge. Participants will be selected based on their background and field of research. Participants are asked to pay their own travel and accommodation. Meals and coffee will be provided free to all participants.
Deadline for submission of applications (letter of motivation, CV and paper/PhD abstract) is 15 February 2012 to
For further updated information please consult the websites
Or contact Professor Hans-Jörg Trenz (

Preliminary program

Wednesday 2 May, room 27.0.47


Prof. Catharina Raudvere and Prof. Hans-Jörg Trenz (CEMES & University of Copenhagen):

Welcome and general information.


Prof. Richard Wolin (NY University and CEMES Honorary Professor):

The Kantian moment in international relations. 

11: 15-13:00 Seminar with PhD presentations

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-16:00 Prof. Adrian Favell (Science Po, Paris, and University of Aarhus):

Actual existing cosmopolitanism? The effects of migration and mobility in European cities.

16.15-18.00 Seminar with PhD presentations

19.30 Dinner

Thursday 3 May, room 27.0.47

09.00-11.00 Prof. Gerard Delanty (University of Sussex):
From integration to interaction:  A critical cosmopolitan approach to European identity.

 11.00-13.00 Seminar with PhD presentations

14.00-16.00 Symposium on Cosmopolitanism contested


Prof. Seyla Benhabib (Yale University)

Prof. Richard Wolin (NY University and CEMES))

Prof. John Erik Fossum (ARENA, University of Oslo)

Prof. Adrian Favell (Science Po, Paris and University of Aarhus)

Prof. Gerard Delanty (University of Sussex)

16.00-18.00 Reception


Organized by CEMES and the Research Education Program of Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen