Citizenship in a Global Age: Society, Culture, Politics

Citizenship in a Global Age: Society, Culture, Politics

Citizenship in a Global Age: Society, Culture, Politics

Citizenship in a Global Age: Society, Culture, Politics

Synopsis

"Citizenship in a Global Age provides a comprehensive and concise overview of the main debates on citizenship and the implications of globalization. It argues that citizenship is no longer defined by nationality and the nation state, but has become de-territorialized and fragmented into the separate discourses of rights, participation, responsibility and identity." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

The social sciences contribute to a greater understanding of the dynamics of social life and to explanations for the workings of societies in general. They are often not given due credit for this role and much writing has been devoted to why this should be the case. At the same time, we are living in an age in which the role of science in society is being re-evaluated. This has led to both a defence of science as the disinterested pursuit of knowledge and an attack on science as nothing more than an institutionalized assertion of faith, with no greater claim to validity than mythology and folklore. These debates tend to generate more heat than light.

In the meantime, the social sciences, in order to remain vibrant and relevant, will reflect the changing nature of these public debates. in so doing, they provide mirrors upon which we can gaze in order to understand not only what we have been and what we are now, but also in order to inform ideas about what we might become. This is not simply about understanding the reasons people give for their actions in terms of the contexts in which they act, as well as analysing the relations of cause and effect in the social, political and economic spheres, but also concerns the hopes, wishes and aspirations that people, in their different cultural ways, hold.

In any society that claims to have democratic aspirations, these hopes and wishes are not for the social scientist to prescribe. For this to happen it would mean that the social sciences were able to predict human behaviour with certainty. One theory and one method, applicable to all times and places, would be required for this purpose. the physical sciences do not live up to such stringent criteria, while the conditions in societies which provided for this outcome, were it even possible, would be intolerable. Why? Because a necessary condition of human freedom is the ability to have acted otherwise and thus to imagine and practise different ways of organizing societies and living together.

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