The introduction places the book in the context of globalization. Dallmayr asserts that the world is steadily shrinking and that people around the globe are increasingly pushed together. He asserts that complex information networks, expanding financial markets, and new military weaponry have created an unfamiliar human terrain. As a result of this unfamiliar terrain, pressure is put on traditional conceptions of selfhood, subjectivity, and individual identity, as well as the relationship between self and others. Dallmayr questions the idea that that globalized Western world has been made the canonical model for all societies around the world. He defines cosmopolitanism as a deterritorialized relation between general order and political practice. He explains how the book explores the transition from Westphalia to cosmopolis from many different angles and in many different registers.
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