Disconnections and exclusions: professionalization, cosmopolitanism and (global?) civil society

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In this article, we address the ways in which theories and practices of cosmopolitanism and professionalization intersect in the sphere of global civil society. We emphasize the experiences of grassroots development activists, arguing that although they have so far been pivotal to the legitimacy of these spaces and discourses, such activists are increasingly absent from the practices of global civic spaces. We explore this process of change over time using the example of grassroots health promoters in Peru, explaining it in terms of the articulation of neoliberal processes of professionalization with a particularly neoliberal version of cosmopolitanism. We argue that the two are mutually reinforcing and produce a particularly narrow, and arguably less cosmopolitan, rendition of global civil society, with implications for the possibility of building critical and transformative encounters across difference as a foundation for more equitable ideas and practices of development and democracy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-179
JournalGlobal Networks
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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