Cover of Re-Imagining Political Community by Edited by Daniele Archibugi, David Held, and Martin Köhler
Re-Imagining Political Community
Studies in Cosmopolitan Democracy
Edited by Daniele Archibugi, David Held, and Martin Köhler


376 pages.
from $27.95

Cloth ISBN: 9780804735346
Paper ISBN: 9780804735353



Understanding world politics today means acknowledging that the state is no longer the only actor in international relations. The interstate system is increasingly challenged by new transnational forces and institutions: multinational companies, cross-border coalitions of social interest groups, globally oriented media, and a growing number of international agencies. These forces increasingly influence interstate decisions and set the agenda of world politics. Though these phenomena have been discussed in the recent literature of international relations, little attention has been given to their impact on political life within and between communities.

This book aims to explore the changing meaning of political community in a world of regional and global social and economic relations. The authors of the essays in this volume, who reflect a variety of academic disciplines, reconsider some of the key terms of political association, such as legitimacy, sovereignty, identity, and citizenship. Their common approach is to generate an innovative account of what democracy means today and how it can be reconceptualized to include subnational as well as transnational levels of political organization. Inspired by Immanuel Kant’s cosmopolitan principles, the authors conclude that favorable conditions exist for a further development of democracy—locally, nationally, regionally, and globally.

About the author

Daniele Archibugi is Researcher at the Italian National Research Council, Rome. David Held is Professor of Politics and Sociology at the Open University. Martin Köhler is Researcher at the Center for Peace Research, Madrid.

"Extending democracy beyond borders is what I advocated throughout my mandate at the UN. This fascinating book tells us that while transnational democracy is still a utopian fantasy, it may be the reality of tomorrow."

—Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations

"The authors of this impressive volume argue that globalization is making it harder for democracies to operate as nation-states. . . . If the challenges of the environment, global security, and economic regulation in the 21st century require new international institutions, this book succeeds in showing that considerations of democracy and accountability cannot stop at the water's edge."

Foreign Affairs