Global careers, local belonging: Investigating practices of ‘rooted’ cosmopolitanism along transcultural work trajectories This Postdoc study investigates the life stories of so-called ‘global careerists’ who find themselves in a tension between striving for a cosmopolitan ideal, while at the same time seeking a local sense of belonging. The first aim of the study is to investigate this tension through the lens of ‘rooted cosmopolitanism’ which brings to light that a transnational career may not be a question of either identifying with a local culture or else a global professional group. It rather frames transcultural experience as an ambiguous process of constantly shifting identifications. From this perspective, transnational workers do not fall within the modernist binary logic of either being ‘cosmopolitan’ or ‘local’, but instead they may be both, that is, flexible and hybrid cosmopolitans. The second aim of the study is to investigate cosmopolitanism as an everyday ethical practice of showing openness and care towards the other. In the literature, being ‘cosmopolitan’ is mostly depicted as being ‘superior’, while a sense of local belonging is associated with being ‘narrow-minded’ and ‘left behind’ by the progressive forces of globalism. Rather than subscribing to this one-sided depiction, my study draws attention to how the focus on everyday practices of cosmopolitanism can inform our value-free understanding of a local sense of belonging among global careerists. Empirically, the study will focus on the global career paths of 30 individuals who have worked and lived in at least three different countries outside of their country of birth and who would self-proclaim their professional identities as being ‘cosmopolitan’. These global careerists will be chosen from different working contexts including MNCs, academia and the performing arts. By not only interviewing research participants, but also shadowing some of them in their daily lives, the study will provide a better understanding of what a globally oriented career path implies for how people arrive at a sense of integrity which does not compromise global ideals or local affiliations. Assuming that the increasing globalization of careers will not come to a halt in the near future, the study’s investigations of rooted cosmopolitanism, hybrid identities and everyday practices of care towards the other will be of great value for better understanding the complex dynamics that determine people’s transcultural work trajectories in light of their local embeddedness. The study can moreover help scholars, practitioners and the wider public to move away from elite and exclusive conceptualizations towards an understanding of cosmopolitanism through everyday relational practices that aim for inclusion.