No Such Thing As Cosmopolitanism: field-dependent consequences in international administrative governance and criminal justice

N Dorn

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Cosmopolitanisms partake of and are shaped by the fields in which they arise – those discussed here being international administrative governance and international criminal justice, with a focus Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Administrative cosmopolitanism arises as a hand-maiden to international administration of post-conflict and transitional states. Arrangements such as the Office of the High Representative for BiH are made in the name of a progression to democracy and legality but demonstrably function otherwise (‘coercion before liberty’: Paris). Elected politicians are dismissed on the pretext of a suspicion of corruption, with a lack of due process or right of appeal to the ECtHR (Chandler, others). In this form of governance, cosmopolitan actors including NGOs become enlisted and contracted as co-managers, further de-legitimising and disempowering local politics. Legal cosmopolitanism exhibit different trajectories and consequences: international criminal tribunals travel from cosmopolitan initiation, through multilateral implementation, to state attempts at management (variously obstruction, protracted bargaining or politically motivated invitations). Here the political outcomes are less debilitating. The political footprint of international criminal justice, represented in the Balkans by the ICTY, looms large over individuals, yet it seems compatible with the furtherance of democracy. Although by no means guaranteeing a recovery of domestic political vivacity and institutional health, such tribunals at least leave space for that possibility (eg Serbia). As for cosmopolitanism(s), it is concluded that there is no singular origin or essential nature; rather there are narratives and consequences that are conditioned by the fields in which they arise, of which the most precious must be international law. [This abstract does not occur in the book.]
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking The Liberal Peace: External Models and Local Alternatives
EditorsS. Tadjbakhsh
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Research programs

  • SAI 2005-04 MSS


Dive into the research topics of 'No Such Thing As Cosmopolitanism: field-dependent consequences in international administrative governance and criminal justice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this