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Engaging Politically from the Margin 273

and its expansion into imperialism.

Burnt Shadows

examines extreme patriotism and imperialism as

the main causes of many traumatic events in history, and provides its

critique from Muslim and Asian migrant perspectives. Such

perspectives, I argue, echo the subaltern perspectives that Mignolo

contends could bring forth critical cosmopolitanism. According to

Mignolo, critical cosmopolitanism is distinguished from global designs

and cosmopolitan projects. Global designs

“as in Christianity,

nineteenth-century imperialism, or late twentieth-century neoliberal


are “managerial” (Mignolo, 2000: 722-723), whereas

cosmopolitan projects

“as in Vitoria, Kant, or Karl Marx, leaving

aside the differences in each of these projects”

are “emancipatory”

(723). Despite significant differences, both are “linked to coloniality

and to the emergence of the modern/colonial world” (722). In contrast,

critical cosmopolitanism negotiates “the coloniality of power and the

colonial difference” (742) and conceives of “diversity as a universal

project” (743). Like Cohen and Appiah, Mignolo underlines diversity

as the ground for political and ethical cosmopolitan projects. His idea

of cosmopolitanism is, to some extent, rooted as well. Yet, instead of

discussing diversity generally and positively as if it were a value shared

equally by all human beings, Mignolo draws attention to the “critical

and dialogic” aspects of cosmopolitanism (743), whose diversity is

achieved through the “tool” of “border thinking” (737). By “border

thinking,” Mignolo means “the recognition and transformation of the

hegemonic imaginary from the perspectives of people in subaltern

positions” (736-737). Articulated through “silenced and marginalized

voices” (736), critical cosmopolitanism of diversity counters global

designs, namely “cosmopolitanism managed from above” (741). At the

same time, it is distinguished from emancipatory cosmopolitan projects

in the sense that the silenced and marginalized voices actively “are

bringing themselves into the conversation of cosmopolitan projects,

rather than waiting to be included” (736). Critical cosmopolitanism is

therefore an actively “transformative” project from a subaltern

perspective rather than a passively “reformative” one in alliance with