Narrated Cosmopolitanism -An examination of the UNHCR and the UNESCO

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to identify contemporary human rights and cultural debates relating to cosmopolitanism in the UN. The analysis consists of the narratives on cosmopolitanism in the documents of two UN agencies; the UNHCR and UNESCO. Oftentimes the cosmopolitan issues are dealt with tacitly by speaking of the issues at hand and not the bigger picture, so to get to the core of understanding the inner workings of one world’s largest upholders of universal rights regardless of citizenship and the diminishing importance of one’s nationality I have opted to utilize a narrative approach. Narratives found include the importance of Saviours other than the UN, poverty and lack of education as inhibitors of claiming human rights, and the problems with distinguishing between refugees who have are protected by cosmopolitan rights and migrants who aren’t. The UNHCR and UNESCO are through hard work and a concerted effort with other Organizations and civil society coming closer to creating a rights-based cosmopolitanism where the least common denominator of human life will be granted in for all, regardless of country of birth or the governing quality of one’s nation-state.

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