Tamara Caraus

Tamara Caraus is a researcher at the Research Institute of the University of Bucharest. Her current area of research includes political theory of cosmopolitanism, global protests and resistance, migrant activism, radical democracy and critical theory of work.

Previously, Tamara Caraus has undertaken research projects in political philosophy at the University of Rijeka, Croatia; Institut fur die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, Vienna, Austria; University of Uppsala, Sweden; the University of Groningen, The Netherland; Oxford University, UK; Palacky University of Olomouc, Czech Republic and other institutions.

She was the Principal Investigator within the team research project Critical Foundations of Contemporary Cosmopolitanism (2011-2014) at New Europe College, Bucharest. She contributed with articles to various academic journals and edited volumes, published tzara mea (2001), Ethical Perspectives on the Postmodern Rewriting (2003), Traps of Identity (2011), The Paper Language (2017) and coedited Cosmopolitanism and the Legacy of Dissent (Routledge, 2014), Re-Grounding Cosmopolitanism: Towards a Post-Foundational Cosmopolitanism (Routledge, 2015); Cosmopolitanism Without Foundations (Zeta Books, 2015); Cosmopolitanism and Global Protests: Special Issue of Globalizations (Taylor &Francis Journal, 2017).

Research project: Revisiting the Idea of a Cosmopolitan Institution: Cosmopolitanism as the Institution of Critique

My PIASt research project, Revisiting the Idea of a Cosmopolitan Institution: Cosmopolitanism as the Institution of Critique, is a continuation and development of my previous research on cosmopolitanism from below and contestatory politics.

The project addresses the reluctance of political philosophy, which endorses the Kantian warning against the world state as a global Leviathan, to take into consideration the idea of a world state, and the failure of the few proposals defending a world state to provide an account of agency who will bring these institutions into being, relying implicitly on the idea of an enlightened sovereign that will impose cosmopolitan institutions from above. To redress these gaps, the project advances an approach of cosmopolitan institutions in a new key, that is, as practice and action from the bottom up. Two clusters of case-studies selected from the global resistance/social movements and a historical case of institutional experimentation,  that of 'parallel polis' of the Eastern European dissidence, allow mapping the institutional ideas emerging from the bottom up and theorizing cosmopolitan institutions in terms of critique, practice, and transformation.

The contestation inherent in the social movements makes possible the de-structuring of what is unjust in current institutions and opens up a process of institutional experimentation. The contestation and critique point to a cosmopolitan institution not as an unchanging structure and apparatus, but as a permanent process of de-structuring and re-structuring of the existing institutions. Thus, the project offers a non-totalizing approach of a cosmopolitan institution compatible with the plurality of social and political standpoints in the contemporary world and with the reality of disagreement and conflict.

Dates of stay: 01 October 2017 - 28 February 2018