The word is quite a recent one, however cosmopolitan philosophy was supported in Greece both by the Cynics and the Stoics. To those asking him where he came from, Diogenes answered that he was a “citizen of the world, while according to Zeno all human beings were fellow countrymen and fellow citizens. Christianity followed in the footsteps of ancient cosmopolitism. The evangelical announcement was addressed at all humankind as the children of God, regardless therefore of all political, social or cultural factors. With enlightenment the cosmopolitan ideal was represented by authors such as Wolff and Kant.
Wolff re-proposed the idea of a civitas maxima as a ‘universal community of human beings’ and Kant, in Zum ewigen Frieden, advance the idea of a League of peoples creating a global juridical system (Weltbürgerrecht) and promoted stable and universal peace. States intending to join forces in a peaceful federation must be ‘republics’ committed to defend the rights of citizens. During the 20th Century the greatest theoretic of cosmopolitan philosophy was Hans Kelsen, who drew from Kant the idea of perpetual peace and the federalist model. According to Kelsen the way to achieve the objective of peace lies in the unification of States in one world federal state.
The instrument of power and the armed forces of all national states should be made available to world government and penal court exercising power according to the laws emanated by a world parliament. cosmopolitan philosophy was taken up in the last decades of the 20th Century by the so-called Western globalists, among them Jünger Habermas, Richard Falk, Norberto Bobbio, Luigi Ferrajoli, and David Held. They believe that globalisation processes lead to a gradual erosion of the sovereignty of states and this phenomenon requires a reform of international bodies leading to the creation of a world government guaranteeing peace and justice at a global level.