We use the works of Diogenes and Zeno to argue that the cosmopolitan world view remains torn between negation and conformation; between anti-conventional resistance against and super-conventional organization of power. In their separate codes and relations to convention, Diogenes and Zeno expose complementary and conflictual sides of cosmopolitanism: in Diogenes, a challenge to local regimes, and in Zeno a plan for overcoming them; but in Diogenes a political programme that cannot attain its own ends, and in Zeno a political solution that comes unmoored from its foundations. Today, the International Criminal Court combines the two elements of cosmopolitanism in its responses to international crimes. In short, the particular practices of international criminal law and its grand gestures are in tension, undermining the aspiration to a positive programme of justice. We illustrate the tension that results through a discussion of two of the artworks that form the topic of this special issue of the Utrecht Law Review. As a result, the enterprise of international criminal justice, like the cosmopolitan programme that we trace back to Diogenes and Zeno, appears to become self-defeating.
How to Cite:
Gordon, G. and Werner, W., 2017. Between the Dog and the Divine: Resistance and conventionalism in cosmopolitanism. Utrecht Law Review, 13(2), pp.28–36. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.381