Anarcho-cosmopolitanism: The Universalisation of the Equal Exchange

Gabay, Clive (2008). Anarcho-cosmopolitanism: The Universalisation of the Equal Exchange. Global Society, 22(2) pp. 197–216.



This paper concerns itself with the values which make up what has been labelled 'ethical cosmopolitanism–�that which entails a universal scope of ethical concern. Conceptions of this ethic have underpinned the development of a 'global civil society' and associated humanitarian and activist campaigns. However, such cosmopolitan campaigns have illustrated the ways in which the dismissals of difference and importance of embeddedness have caused suffering to the supposed beneficiaries of such campaigns. This is because of the unrecognised power relations that exist between moral agents, which result in 'unequal exchanges', that is, the exchange of physical, material and mental resources from positions of unequal negotiating positions, driven by power differentials and hierarchy. A theory of the 'equal exchange' is developed upon which to base alternative cosmopolitan practices. Such a theory is grounded in Anarchist thought, which, it is argued, provides the most stringent philosophical underpinning for such a cosmopolitan theory.

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