(Thick) Cosmopolitanism and planetary boundaries : addressing corporate responsibility in the anthropocene

Alcaraz, Jose Manuel and Tirado, Francisco and Nicolopoulou, Katerina (2015) (Thick) Cosmopolitanism and planetary boundaries : addressing corporate responsibility in the anthropocene. In: 2015 Canberra Conference on Earth System Governance: Democracy & Resilience in the Anthropocene, 2015-12-13.

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“I am a citizen of the world”. This statement by Diogenes of Sinope characterizes the essence of Cosmopolitanism, a phenomena that is not new but that has received a new momentum with globalization. Ultimately, a Cosmopolitan sensitivity aims to understand challenges of a global nature that require global citizenship, global responsibility, and global solutions. In recent year Cosmopolitan theories have nurtured several debates around the political dimension of multinational firms (MNCs). Here we contribute to those debates by exploring the key tenets from the ecological politics of Thick Cosmopolitanism (Dobson, 2003; 2006). This approach offers a much needed angle to reflect on MNCs and the material nature of globalization, to reflect on the causal relations that affect distant “strangers”, to think about new political communities, and to explore key issues around environmental justice. In this paper we will exemplify and develop those arguments with recent developments from the natural sciences on global environmental change and, particularly, with the Planetary Boundaries framework (Rockström et al, 2009; Steffen et al, 2015). Here the Planetary Boundaries will be presented as a crucial new “political space” for MNCs’, and resulting angles on Cosmopolitanism, responsibility and the environment will be explored.