What is it about?

This article intends to summarise the content of my book Insurgent Universality: An Alternative Legacy of Modernity and expand the meaning of the term ‘universality’. Universality is not defined in abstract legal terms or by juxtaposition vis-à-vis a common enemy. Instead, I clarify the meaning of a more concrete and open practice of universality through historical examples and theories that I excavate from social practices.

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Why is it important?

"Insurgent Universality" provides a new conception of political "universality" beyond the limits of legal universalism. It debunks the myth of the historiographer as a neutral observer of how modernity has evolved across time and space.


This article shows how my idea of "Insurgent Universality" differentiates from other conceptions of universalism and how my method can contribute to rethinking democracy today.

Massimiliano Tomba
History of Consciousness. University of California, Santa Cruz

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Insurgent Universality: An Alternative Legacy of Modernity, Historical Materialism, December 2022, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/1569206x-20222046.
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