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Abstract

In this article I want to outline an argument for a New Critical Theory with a cosmopolitan intent. Its main purpose is to undermine one of the most powerful beliefs of our time concerning society and politics. This belief is the notion that “modern society” and “modern politics” are to be understood as society and politics organized around the nation-state, equating society with the national imagination of society. There are two aspects to this body of beliefs: what I call the “national perspective” (or “national gaze”) of social actors, and the “methodological nationalism” of scientific observers. The distinction between these two perspectives is important because there is no logical co-implication between them, only an interconnected genesis and history.