The Dimensions of Global Citizenship: Political Identity beyond the Nation-State

The Dimensions of Global Citizenship: Political Identity beyond the Nation-State

The Dimensions of Global Citizenship: Political Identity beyond the Nation-State

The Dimensions of Global Citizenship: Political Identity beyond the Nation-State

Synopsis

Citizenship is no longer a package of rights and duties but has a wider more transformative dimension. The idea of global citizenship is analysed and examined from the perspectives of social and political theory, sociology and political science in Darren J. O'Byrne's study.

Excerpt

Citizenship has always been a contested concept, with views differing on whether it refers to a purely legal relation defined in terms of rights and duties between the individual and the political community or an active condition based on participation in civil society. Although these two conceptions of citizenship-which roughly correspond respectively to the liberal and communitarian traditions-differ, they share the assumption that citizenship entails membership of a political community and that this is a condition of equality. The primary goal of citizenship was equality between members of a tightly defined polity. The territorial limits of the polity, generally equated with the nation-state, were rarely questioned and neither was the cultural dimension of group membership. The traditional conceptions of citizenship on the whole did not consider the question of the problem of cultural diversity and competing conceptions of the common good.

It has increasingly been recognized that the question of diversity has entered the discourse of citizenship which now must reconcile the pursuit of equality with the recognition of diversity. Inevitably, this has led to debates on the politics of inclusion and exclusion. Ever since the late 1980s feminists and proponents of multicultural citizenship have been important in re-politicizing citizenship in this direction of radical pluralism. Only very recently, in the aftermath of the great global transformations since 1989, has an additional discourse of citizenship emerged, namely global citizenship.

The idea of global citizenship, the subject of this valuable book, has entered the contemporary political imagination for several reasons. The interest more generally in citizenship is undoubtedly due to the crisis in neo-liberalism, the rise of new kinds of globally organized anti-systemic movements, the growing consciousness that globalization entails new kinds of questions for political membership, global responsibilities for the future and new conceptions of personhood. The territorial boundaries of political community have been rendered diffuse as a result of legal cosmopolitanism in areas of human rights, which have changed the nature of membership making it more difficult to differentiate insiders from outsiders, International Non-Governmental Actors and other kinds of advocacy governance. Citizenship is no longer a bundle of rights and duties but has a wider and more transformative dimension. The concept of citizenship has

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