Kwame Appiah’s Cosmopolitanism, A Book Review

"Glass Globe" by suphakit73 at
“Glass Globe” by suphakit73 at

Kwame Anthony Appiah’s Cosmopolitanism is an engaging, well-written examination of the idea of cosmopolitanism, which will lead students to think deeply about the meaning of global citizenship. At the core of the book is Appiah’s question, what obligations do humans have to each other? I used the book last year in my “Foundations of Global Studies Theory” class, and had the opportunity to read my student’s reflections on the work in their book reviews, which has shaped this review. Based on their feedback and the class discussion, I think that this book would be an excellent choice for an “Introduction to International and Global Studies” course.

Appiah’s work is deeply shaped by his own bi-cultural upbringing, with roots in both Ghana and England. One of his strengths as an author is the ability to make students see how these issues apply to their own lives by relating philosophical questions to his own experience. He also frequently uses case studies or thought experiments to make his point. In both my student’s book reviews and the class discussion my students tended to refer to these examples, which led them to remember his arguments. Appiah’s writing style was clear, jargon-free and accessible, another boon in my class where students were reading authors such as Marx and Chakrabarty. …