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270

E

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MERICA

Resonating with Cohen’s “plural loyalties,” Appiah’s notion of

“partiality” values particular human lives and acknowledges the

diversity of social relationships (2005: 237). Taking a step further than

Cohen, who simply states that “nations should be conceived as

mediators between the person and humanity” (1992: 480), Appiah

asks if national partiality is possible and how it might help modify

illiberal universalism that, unconcerned with human particularity,

carries “a uniformitarian agenda” (2005: 220). Appiah attempts to

reconcile cosmopolitanism and patriotism by suggesting a model of

“cosmopolitan patriotism” (237). According to Appiah, cosmopolitan

patriotism is tenable because nationalism, as complicated as it can be, is

at once as universal as cosmopolitanism and as local as any human

particularity. Even though it is usually assumed to oppose

cosmopolitanism, “nationalism, too, has been charged with effacing

local partialities and solidarities . . . with being a force for

homogeneity” (Appiah, 2005: 239). Cosmopolitan patriots are

therefore always “

partial

cosmopolitans” (242; emphasis original),

who, as citizens of the world, “can make the world better by making

some local place better, even though that place need not be the place of

[their] literal or original citizenship” (241).

Shamsie could be considered a partial cosmopolitan in the sense

that her

Offence

presents cosmopolitanism as an ideal at the global

level, but, in achieving the goal, she stays attached, in varying degrees,

to different dimensions of the local. My use of the term, “the local,”

broadly includes the nation, culture, and religion, although, as Appiah

has pointed out, “the local” has been interpreted quite narrowly by

some as human particularity and thus seen as the opposite of the

national. In light of the complexity and ambivalence of the local, which

is itself arguably fluid in terms of its scope and definition, Shamsie’s

Offence

shows that the cosmopolitan-local relationship is not a

dichotomy but rather “a continuum” that involves varying degrees of

attachment to the local (Roudometof, 2005: 127). For example,

Pakistan, Muslim culture, and Islam can all be considered local fields,

but, to some Muslims,

ummah

underscores a form of community