Bridging the gap between the particular and the universal: an intervention by Cemil Meric
Ongur, Hakan Övünç
Topal, Omer Faruk
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This paper investigates whether the Turkish intellectual Cemil Meric's metaphor of silent yet peaceful communication among world literature classics on the same bookshelf might be employed in international political theory in contrast to traditional cosmopolitan or communitarian approaches, which favor either the particular or the universal in constructing social actors. Reviewing Meric's works and his conceptualizations of umran and irfan, we first inspect the underlying separation between what Meric calls the processes of nationalism and nationalization. Meric defines the latter as a form of people's construction, which curiously echoes Ernesto Laclau's definition of social articulations among conflicting particularities under a universal signifier. We then attempt to extend Meric's approach toward the international in order to transcend the Westphalian tradition in international relations and to reinterpret Andrew Linklater's normative cosmopolitanism by lifting the prerequisite of dialogue among international actors for peaceful coexistence.