This article considers how the notion of independence might be reconciled with a cosmopolitan view of the world through an examination of how the Kanak independence movement in New Caledonia has envisaged the place of the non-Kanak majority in a future independent nation-state. By exploring the political thought of the late independence leader Jean-Marie Tjibaou on Kanak identity and its connection to Kanak independence, I explore how the Kanak independence movement engaged with the critique that it was intrinsically racist and exclusive. Drawing on literature that criticises the overbearing weight of Western universalism in cosmopolitan discourse, I show how Kanak independence calls for a moral re-centring of the political community that undermines French claims of a monopoly on universalism. I argue that Kanak views of independence reaffirm the possibility of locally constructed cosmopolitanisms.
|Publication status||Published - 2016|