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Cosmopolitanism in Derrida's works sounds like an afterthought in comparison to other more recurring themes of his texts, like 'writing', 'differance', 'supplement', 'metaphysics', or 'violence'. Cosmopolitanism seems to belong to deconstruction, which is often associated with decentring, fragmentation, and critique of totality and universality, only as an intimate other, a foreign element grafted in the body by force, or by miracle. That is the reason why, perhaps, hardly any cosmopolitanist refers to the issue of cosmopolitanism in Derrida or in deconstruction, so much so that even Derrida has written very sparsely on it as it belongs perhaps to the dormant, if not the repressed, other of deconstruction itself, and it surfaces in his thinking only as a surprise, an event, or a gift.1 In this essay I argue that cosmopolitanism in Derrida is the signature, even the decision of the other as his cosmopolitics is predicated upon extending unconditional hospitality to the other, or upon the arrival of the other. Derrida, I contend, radicalises cosmopolitanism not only by rescuing it from both the Statist model that conceives of it as world government, and a utopian model that confines it to world citizenship, but also by critiquing and revising the traditional theoontological conceptualisation of sovereignty and by supplementing it with a new form of decisionism, which can be called the sovereignty of the other. His notion of the city of refuge represents the other heading' of that sovereignty, which, in contrast to the indivisible nature of traditional sovereignty, is shared and divided, and in which it is always the other who decides without exonerating me from being responsible for its decision.


Copyright © 2009 Kailash C. Baral and R. Radhakrishnan. Printed with permission. All rights reserved.