Karsten Moran / THE NEW YORK TIMES

The Importance of Elsewhere

In Defense of Cosmopolitanism

In October 2016, British Prime Minister Theresa May made her first speech to a Conservative conference as party leader. Evidently seeking to capture the populist spirit of the Brexit vote that brought down her predecessor, she spoke of “a sense—deep, profound, and, let’s face it, often justified—that many people have today that the world works well for a privileged few, but not for them.” What was needed to challenge this, May argued, was a “spirit of citizenship” lacking among the business elites that made up one strand of her party’s base. Citizenship, she said, “means a commitment to …

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