This book offers a unique perspective on cosmopolitanism, examining the ways it is constructed and reconstructed on the small scale in an ongoing process of matching the local with the global, a process entailing mutual transformation. Based on a wide range of literatures and a series of case studies, it analyzes the different versions and functions of cosmopolitanism and points to the need to critically re-examine current conceptions of globalization.
The book first illustrates the interplay between networks and narratives in the construction of cosmopolitan communities in three specific cities: Trieste, Odessa and Tbilisi. Each has a past more cosmopolitan than the present and each uses that cosmopolitan past to guide them towards the future.
Next, the book focuses on narrative dynamics by isolating several discourses on the cosmopolitan place and figure in European cultural history. It then goes on to detail the internal representations and local functions of larger wholes in smaller communities, shedding a new light on issues of inter- disciplinary interest: self- governance, participation, local knowledge, social memory, scale, planning and development.
Of interest to political scientists, anthropologists, economists, geographers and philosophers, this book offers an insightful contribution to theories of globalization and global/ local interaction, bringing the local discursive mechanics into sharper focus and also emphasizing the semi- autonomous character of narrative constructions of self and community in a larger world.