6 + 7 May 2023, 9am-3pm Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)

This online conference, organised by the Editorial Board of Cosmopolitan Civil Societies, reassesses debates about civil society and cosmopolitanisms at the current juncture. Interested scholars should submit an abstract of 500 words addressing one of the panel themes listed below to by the end of February 2023. If accepted they will be expected to send a draft paper to the editorial convenors by 28 April 2023, to enable active feedback at the sessions from the editors and other participants. Invited keynote sessions will act as a lead-in to thematic paper sessions. Presenters will be invited to submit papers for a special issue of the CCS journal.


Saturday 6 May

9am - 12noon UTC – Climate Change, Environmentalism and Cosmopolitanism 

Keynote: Patrick Bond, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

12noon - 3pm UTC – Gender Relations and Cosmopolitanism

Keynote: Margaret Walton-Roberts, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada

Sunday 7 May

9am - 12noon UTC – Ethno-nationalism and Cosmopolitanism

Keynote: Debal SinghaRoy, Indira Gandhi National Open University and Nehru Memorial Museum

12noon - 3pm UTC – Transforming Local-Global Relations

Keynote: Michael Samers, University of Kentucky


The world is reeling from global crises. It is three years since the onset of global COVID, and a year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the following energy crisis. Governments are grappling with the onset of economic instability, overlaid with growing effects of climate change. Global crises require global solutions, yet the last decade is marked by a growth in military and geopolitical tensions, with governments choosing national chauvinism over global problem-solving. While elite governance is increasingly inadequate, multiple social transitions produce new agendas and possibilities in local and trans-local contexts, beyond disaggregation or division. New ‘glocal’ relations may be emerging that require new perspectives on the ways societies deal with alternated migration and mobility trajectories. Social and political movements, for instance for human rights and social solidarity, can find new traction, sometimes with wide cross-sectoral and cross-national scope.

How do new and diverse forms of cosmopolitanism emerge in civil societies, and what do they look like? Are they co-opted to the national imaginary? Do they become counter-narratives, generating new agendas and options? Or are they an irrelevance, at best in abeyance, sub-narratives waiting to surface? Where, in the current context, are cosmopolitan perspectives being mobilised on the ground, and what answers can they offer? To address these issues, as members of the Editorial Board of Cosmopolitan Civil Societies, we propose a cross-national process of drawing together new conceptualisations of cosmopolitanism on four themes: Climate Change, Environmentalisms and Cosmopolitanism;Gender Relations and Cosmopolitanism; Ethno-nationalism and Cosmopolitanism; and Transforming Local/Global Relations.

We seek contributions from all social science fields on the theme of developing cosmopolitan agendas within civil societies that may meet the challenges of our times. Conceptualisations may be experiential or local, even inter-personal, as much as inter-national or trans-national. The main goal is to correlate conceptual understandings, and move to a clearer strategic understanding of the possibilities in play, both for today and for future projections.