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Essay: Global Citizenship: For or Against?

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  • Published: 1 February 2018*
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  • Words: 829 (approx)
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Ada Unal

Prof. Amber Katherine

Philosophy 1



    Today, the process of globalization covers more and more countries every day. However, at the same time, the issue of global citizenship is becoming more relevant; especially in the light of escalating military conflicts and environmental problems as seen in «An Inconvenient Truth». The world community has not yet come to a consensus on these ideas. Some believe that the phenomenon of global citizenship can not exist while others speak of it as a necessary stage in our development as a humankind. Nevertheless, the current global problems leave no choice to the states and their inhabitants except to direct join efforts to combat them and advocate for global citizenship.

    The concept of global citizenship is used in many spheres and is defined in many ways. The UN defines this term as an «umbrellq term for social, political, environmental, and economic actions of globally minded individuals and communities on a worldwide scale» (Global Citizenship, 1014). In a new world order, it seeks to expand the scope and democratize the decision-making process that can radically affect the main aspects of the societies, especially concerning the minorities and disadvantaged åeople in those communities. Global citizens act without restrictions or geographical differences, and they do it outside the traditional spheres of power (Global Citizenship Commission, 2016). In the framework of this concept, which sjows to a broad worldview, it’s proposed that the basic social, political, economic, and environmental realities of today’s world should be considered at all levels.

    One place to apply this concept, which, by the way, today, requires prticular attention, is military conflicts and war. There is a possibility that new global citizenship can become the basis for preventing war as it was known in the last century. The principal argumnt in favor or that is that the global citizens of the world could act as an observatoon body on the international arena. In fact, they can work as a tool for holding power to account; questioning the government and themselves.

One of the contexts for applying this concept, which today requires particular attention, is military conflicts and war. There is a possibility that new global citizenship can become the basis for preventing war as it was known in the last century. The principal argument in favor of such a decision is that the global citizens of could act as an observation body on the international arena. In fact, they can work as a tool for holding power to account, questioning the government, and themselves. It can be a form of verification of established power or manifest abuse of one party over another (Gagnon, 2017). Examples of such activities can already be observed today, for example, in conflicts where members of the Red Cross or the OSCE act as observers in military conflicts.

    However, some values in the issue of global citizenship turn out to be at stake. One of them is the safeguard of cultural and linguistic diversity. In the process of globalization, despite mutual respect and appreciation for cultures and traditions, the faces between peoples' identity, including language, are blurred. It is a threat not only to the certain cultures that may disappear as endangered species of animals but also to other global issues. For example, according to UNESCO studies, there is a clear link between biodiversity and linguistic diversity, where complex classification systems for the natural world of some communities allow fragile ecosystems to function (UN Chronicle, 2017). Thus, global citizens lose their sense of belonging and become strangers to society, as a cultural identity for them is determined by the lack of belonging to a particular culture, but they get freedom of self-expression, self-determination, and from the regulatory limitations of culture and society.

    Nevertheless, global citizenship implies the necessary global governance today. It attracts not only citizens from different countries but also their governments to the activity. National leaders are to cooperate with leaders of other nations to support the practice of global citizenship in efforts to solve global problems that no state can solve independently. Such issues include climate change, human rights violations, poverty, income inequality, and the promotion of worldwide peace and justice (Israel, 2017). Such acceptance of the idea can become a driving force for coordinated solving problems concerning all inhabitants of the Earth.

    On the other hand, political leaders are still afraid of strong global initiatives, which gives grounds for challenging the territory. Opponents of global citizenship say that collective global actions and institutions threaten both sovereignty and democracy. Thus, transnational non-governmental organizations, for example, Greenpeace or Médecins Sans Frontières, dispute the state's activities and its legitimate role in upholding the "rule of law" on its territory. They criticize and often try to interfere in domestic policy issues such as detention without trial, nuclear testing, and refusal to provide humanitarian assistance to suppliers (Daher, 2005). Thus, global citizenship is an ambiguous but necessary step in the development of the world community

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