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Глобальная гражданственность - Global Citizenship
Написал Dmitry Savelau   
Friday, 21 September 2007



Global Citizenship Poll's results 


See also:

- Download this outcome paper in .doc with group working materials

- Global Citizenship Workshop
presentation (CIVICUS Youth Assembly 2007)


- Learn more about
CIVICUS Youth Assembly 2007

- Call for Collaboration from Youth
(by CIVICUS YA participants)

 Global Citizenship Workshop at CIVICUS Youth Assembly,
May 2007

Facilitators: Dmitry Savelau (YIEC NEWLINE)
and Leila Murcasel (OAJNU)

Global Citizenship (GC), creation and development of which has been evidently proved after the World War II crisis promises a lot more than nation-state citizenship, demands a lot more of activism towards sharing civic position of every individual, stimulates understanding of „national“ and „identity“, but at the same time does not deny any previously developed models of civic participation within a nation-state. On the contrary, it supports them and uses as a basis in the sphere of democratic multi-representation.

Having said that, we still, however, miss an important layer of the meaning Global Citizenship can have. I believe, we still cannot fully respond on all its manifestations in the modern society.

The workshop on Global Citizenship held within CIVICUS Youth Assembly 2007 was an attempt to uncover step by step some of the ideas behind this notion by trying to give clear explanations to modern societies in general, national citizenship, global citizenship and skills that we need to become a full member of the global community today.


So, what happens with the modern societies in general?

After nationalistic 19th-20th centuries, the 21st – still demands self-determination of local communities, mainly by redefinition of culture, values and locality (locality in particular is still important, but no more seen as the main priority unlike in the past centuries). “Nationalism” of Global Citizenship, however, acquires a different modern basis, which implies that by defining “international” we can better explore “national” dimention of our society. This way it underlines value of “national”, which comes first in this global comparative analysis, but transforms understanding of a nation-state, presenting it merely as a national identity of every individual, but not ethnically organized society with unique legislative on a concrete, measured territory (French civic model has been questioning this from the beginning, that’s why we definitely exclude its from citizenship on ethnical basis; however the term of Global Citizenship has appeared mainly as a consequence of an ethnicity-based nationalism promoted by the Nazi Germany).

Modern society opens a contradictive possibility of a formed national identity brought up on global level by globalizing processes, which has been clearly and negatively defined by one of the workshop participants in a great chance of having local level national conflicts to become global catastrophes.


What is Citizenship?

To shape the meaning of Global Citizenship in modern society we started off from a definition of citizenship. Across all the meanings we can come to some common ideas, most popular of which were recalling to citizenship through:

a) a feeling of belonging to “something common”: shared attributes, cultural identity, common religion, interests and attitudes that unite people in understanding their heritage, forming their pride for the nation and value of the “local”;

b) responsibility, which means “thinking bigger than yourself” – an ability to act responsibly towards others in society. Together with clear formulation of social roles this responsibility in some communities brings us basis for collectivism represented by interdependence (group 1);

c) ownership of a position in society, which is realized through active/passive participation in decision-making processes (voting; rights formulation, creation of social movements; awareness, social inclusion, etc.).

“Citizenship is the entitlement to a position in society. This includes: the choice to act responsibly, dynamically, actively and participate in society and in a network” (group 4).


What is Global Citizenship?

Seeing Global Citizenship mainly as interconnection, interconnectedness between “local” and “global”, the participants defined several major elements of this notion on each level:

On one hand, Global Citizenship emphasizes the need of understanding of local culture and traditions that evidently form foreign and intercultural policies of an individual or a nation-state (though this term can be put for discussion within GC context) in general. This how our participants outlined a very important relation of local people’s beliefs and cultural examples with universal rights and conventions that cannot correspond fully to all cultures and therefore to be balanced they appear to be in permanent communication.

An extremely important result of communication, i.e. global communication and a very strong interconnectedness of GC is a possibility to influence global changes by making a difference in local communities.

On the other hand, citizenship of global society is seen by the participants as a dynamic network, supported by commonly accepted global goals and aspirations, common responsibility extending the limits of a concrete community. Shared global responsibility is something what comes up only in Global Citizenship concept. This sense of belonging to “the whole” has its illustration in common “ownership of problems” (e.g. global warming) that demand common solutions including variety of differences and multi-representation of possibilities involved in the dialogue.

And finally and most important, Global Citizenship was defined as social movement to implement civic position on a global level through its civil society’s elements: voting, electing, representing, redistributing, etc., an  involvement in decision making processes in global society.


Requirements to Global Citizens

We have also discussed an interesting point about the requirements that might be needed for Global Citizenship to work. Among the most important we outlined democracy, equality (human rights, gender, cultural equality, etc.), open access to information and finally – active life position with a necessary ability to be open for learning.



Continuing with discussion on requirements, we’ve tried to define skills forming a minimum number of knowledges that allow a global citizen to function in modern society – functional literacy of a modern global citizen.

Workshop participants outlined 2 major groups of skills: cross cultural and communicational, decision making and participatory skills.

Cross cultural and communicational skills mainly include ability to learn, respect the differences, create and support networking, overcome barriers, understand local problems and their illustration in global context, ability to balance within particular issues on both local and global levels. Communicational skills however require also some particularities: our participants defined these abilities as those you need to catch up to due to globalization, e.g. new media resources and possibilities, general abilities to work (get, comprehend, produce and filter) with information.

The other group of skills, namely, decision making and participatory skills respond mostly to civic rights and duties of a citizen, realized in a global context. Decision making skills include basic skills every citizen acquires within a particular nation state, i.e. skills to vote, make your voice heard, skills to create organizations and become a part of them, skills to become active in public and political life of the society.

During the workshop we tried to cover 3 major aspects of the Global Citizenship – national citizenship, new civic context and personal attitude of an individual towards global society. All these three elements became crucial in understanding the variety of meanings that Global Citizenship involves. Workshop participants came to a conclusion that definition of this complex notion has to be multi-representational: has to cover as a minimum its cultural and civic aspect, and has to include both an organized local community and every particular individual.

We have concluded that Global Citizenship is based on active person’s life position supported by his/her ability to stay functional in fast changing situation of modern society, understand global context, responsibly apply it to local communities and be able to interconnect these levels and other co-existing cultural and political activities. These processes form a civic content of Global Citizenship, transforming a modern actor to a change maker – an attitude and status of which has been formulated only with the era of GC, and has been already widely promoted by millions of governmental structures and NGOs.


By the end of the workshop, we came closer to understanding the inclusive notion of Global Citizenship, however left behind also a lot of questions. Some of them I’ve listed below for possible further discussions:


-It is impossible to understand other cultures; the idea of Global Citizenship not in understanding cultures, but in understanding the need and ways of coexistence. (???)


-Does citizenship possible in the totalitarian state? (Patrick)


-Is democracy a requirement for any kind of citizenship? (??)


-Is global citizenship an essential part of human nature? Or do we need to learn to become global citizens? (Dominic)
[The same question I’d put forward about citizenship itself..]


-Is democracy a result of citizenship (national/global)? (??)


-Could Global Citizenship only happen with one global government (federation style)? (???)


Thanks to everyone taking part in the workshop!


Dmitry Savelau

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