(From bahai.haifa.ac.il/pdf/Haleh_Arbab_Dec_11_abstract.pdf): This lecture will examine the cosmopolitan tradition in the context of the discipline
of International Relations theory (IR theory). It will also provide a Bahá’í approach to the cosmopolitan model, investigating thereby where the two models meet, where they part, and what contribution(s) the Bahá’í model can offer to this growing tradition in IR. The lecture will be subdivided in three main sections:
It will explore the field of International Relations theory; depict the main debates in the discipline; and underline the context in which cosmopolitan ideas, or cosmopolitanism, has gained renewed interest in IR at large.
The second part of the lecture will focus on the development of the Western cosmopolitan tradition as articulated by the Cynics in ancient Greece, by the philosophies in the Enlightenment, and by IR scholars at present times. This section will look into the main ethical underpinnings of the tradition: the ideas of human unity, universality, and concepts of political unity fostered for a putative international peace. There is, nevertheless, a present sense that ‘cosmopolitanism has gone wrong’ and, thus, I will underline how current cosmopolitan IR seeks to heal the deficiencies of bygone speculations.
Having presented the main issues at stake in IR and the development of cosmopolitanism in the above-mentioned context, the final part of this lecture will focus on the Bahá’í approach to cosmopolitan ideas in International Relations. This section will elaborate upon the ways in which the Bahá’í approach, which is sacred, and from Eastern origins, can make interesting inroads into cosmopolitan IR and contribute to this growing tradition. It will be argued that Bahá’í perspectives can enrich and diversify cosmopolitan IR by underwriting its normative values and reconciling its main divisions.