Recursive cosmopolitization: Argentina and the global Human Rights Regime




This paper illustrates how varieties of cosmopolitanism are shaped through a mutually constitutive set of cultural dispositions and institutional practices that emerge at the interstices of global human right norms and local legal practices. Converging pressures of ‘cosmopolitan imperatives’ and the multiplicity of particularized manifestations are co-evolving in the context of intercrossings during which distinctive cosmopolitanisms are established. This complex relationship of global normative expectations and their local appropriations is elucidated through the dynamic of recursive cosmopolitization. Suggesting that, local problems are resolved with recourse to global prescriptions while local solutions are inscribed in international institutions consolidating the global Human Rights Regime. The Argentinean case carries conceptual and empirical weight as it underscores the recursivity of cosmopolitization by calibrating the tensions of universalism and particularism at the intersection of global, national and regional scales. Argentina is a paradigmatic instantiation for how cosmopolitanism can emanate in the periphery as local problems are globalized. This, in turn, has resulted in the institutionalization of a global Human Rights Regime which exercises normative and political–legal pressures on how states legitimately deal with human rights abuses. It is this cosmopolitan balance, rather than presuppositions of universalistic exogenous pressures or particularistic national exceptions, which is shaping the cultural and political relevance of human rights norms.