Glasnost in the Soviet Union, kaifang in China, or doi moi in Vietnam: “openness” in socialist states has become such an inflated term of political propaganda that one tends to forget that prerevolutionary regimes were often marked by a much higher degree of cosmopolitanism. It has been argued that globalisation was a vector of cultural diversification, which, in turn, was best supported by increased globalisation. It is also indicated that increased interdependence with the rest of the world might eventually lead to participatory politics and the rule of law, while on the other hand the pessimistic view points at the use of a relative degree of economic openness to shore up the power of a privileged elite at the expense of the civil liberties of ordinary people. Whatever the case may be, the overlooked cosmopolitan experience of the republican era is of even greater relevance today, now that even in the People's Republic globalisation rather than revolution has become the guiding issue for the twenty-first century.
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