The ‘Fool’s Cap’ map of the world is thought to date from the late sixteenth century and is often attributed to a little-known Christian sect called the Familists. It places a map of the world in the place of a face inside a jester’s cap, playing upon the subversive figure of the jester and his ability to ridicule those in control. The Familists were cosmopolitan and valued the idea of the world citizen, but insisted upon self-reflection, in ways not dissimilar to contemporary scholars of ‘critical cosmopolitan’. This article makes a case for viewing the Familists’ thinking as an early form of critical cosmopolitanism – critiquing its own culture whilst maintaining belief in what constitutes a good ethical world citizen. It engages with the debates forged by thinkers such as Martha Nussbaum and Gerard Delanty, and links these to the idea of emancipatory potential of globalization advanced by Leslie Sklair.
- Critical cosmopolitanism