People out of Place: Globalization, Human Rights, and the Citizenship Gap

By Alison Brysk; Gershon Shafir | Go to book overview

12

Conclusion: Globalizing Citizenship?

ALISON BRYSK AND GERSHON SHAFIR

Human rights have made great strides in the centuries since the French Revolution, but to be truly effective in a globalizing era, the "rights of man and the citizen" will need to become the "universal rights of [hu]mans as global citizens." How can we transform rights into a new form of global citizenship-namely, membership in one or more political communities with institutions for participation, distribution, and enforcement? Overall, our analyses suggest that globalization of migration, production, regulation, and conflict construct rights without sufficient institutions to enforce them, identities without membership, and participation for some at the expense of others.

Existing institutions are insufficient in scope, powers, membership, and participation. A key problem for rights is accountability. Global processes have blurred accountability of new or transformed political actors-although many states failed their citizens, theoretical mechanisms such as voting, strikes, and courts did propose state accountability to citizens. States are not accountable to the UN High Commission on Refugees, and no one elects multinational corporations. Furthermore, noncitizens and second-class citizens have little access to whatever levers of accountability do exist. Who does the migrant maid call when she is assaulted or exploited?

Beyond a general deficit in governance and accountability, particular types of states face specific governance challenges. Historically, different types of states have provided distinct legal regimes and practical packages of citizenship rights. Now, different types of states have experienced systematically distinct patterns of globalization (Brysk 2002).

In collapsing or "failed" states-such as in large sectors of Africa and sporadic zones of intense civil conflict-weak citizenship combines with relative isolation from world markets alongside intense interstate and transnational penetration. These states contain large numbers of noncitizen refugees and widespread second-class citizenship, but globalization often offers better prospects for rights than the thin and predatory state does. However, these zones are also the major source of violent reactionary responses to globalization and coercive attempts to build alternative membership through terrorism and denial of rights to others (Falk in this volume).

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People out of Place: Globalization, Human Rights, and the Citizenship Gap
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • I - Framework 1
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • 2 - Citizenship and Human Rights in an Era of Globalization 11
  • II - Producing Citizenship 27
  • 3 - Constituting Political Community 29
  • 4 - Latitudes of Citizenship 53
  • III - Constructing Rights 71
  • 5 - Agency on a Global Scale 73
  • 6 - Mandated Membership, Diluted Identity 87
  • IV - Globalizing the Citizenship Gap 107
  • 7 - Deflated Citizenship 109
  • 8 - Globalized Social Reproduction 131
  • 9 - Children Across Borders 153
  • V - Reconstructing Citizenship 175
  • 10 - Citizenship and Globalism 177
  • 11 - The Repositioning of Citizenship 191
  • 12 - Conclusion: Globalizing Citizenship? 209
  • Bibliography 217
  • Index 239
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