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Cosmopolitanism is the ideology that all kinds of human ethnic groups belong to a single community based on a shared morality. This is contrasted with communitarian and particularistic theories, especially the ideas of patriotism and nationalism. Cosmopolitanism may entail some sort of world government or it may simply refer to more inclusive moral, economic, and/or political relationships between nations or individuals of different nations. A person who adheres to the idea of cosmopolitanism in any of its forms is called a cosmopolitan.

The cosmopolitan community might be based on an inclusive morality, a shared economic relationship, or a political structure that encompasses different nations. In its more positive versions, the cosmopolitan community is one in which individuals from different places (e.g. nation-states) form relationships of mutual respect. As an example, Kwame Anthony Appiah suggests the possibility of a cosmopolitan community in which individuals from varying locations (physical, economic, etc.) enter relationships of mutual respect despite their differing beliefs (moral, religious, political, etc.).

However, the cosmopolitan community can also be understood as some kind of elite club, one based primarily on economic privilege. In this light, the cosmopolitan individual has advantages over less economically privileged individuals, advantages that might include personal and political liberties and freedoms.[1]

The word derives from Greek cosmos Κόσμος (the Universe) and polis Πόλις (city).

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