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We are the world? : global citizenship and its limits


Document type: lecture
Download file(s): 483524 (84 KB) 483525 (536 KB)
Abstract: Human rights activists argue that, with respect to rights and obligations at least, we are already global citizens. For them alleviating ‘distant suffering’ is not a matter of charity, but of justice. In terms of the principles underlying human rights, including socio-economic rights, individuals are the bearers of specific, detailed entitlements in international law. But this construction of global citizenship is complicated in practice by the fact that, while individuals are the bearers of human rights, it is principally states that are obliged to guarantee them. This has two consequences for universalising human rights: firstly, the value of human rights is almost invariably constructed in nationalist terms – of various different kinds; secondly, obligations to respect human rights are undertaken by states that are fundamentally unequal in terms of economic, social and political resources. Global citizenship is still a long way off, and requires fundamental transformations in international and national political structures and cultural meanings, just to meet existing human rights standards. , Human rights activists argue that, with respect to rights and obligations at least, we are already global citizens. For them alleviating ‘distant suffering’ is not a matter of charity, but of justice. In terms of the principles underlying human rights, including socio-economic rights, individuals are the bearers of specific, detailed entitlements in international law. But this construction of global citizenship is complicated in practice by the fact that, while individuals are the bearers of human rights, it is principally states that are obliged to guarantee them. This has two consequences for universalising human rights: firstly, the value of human rights is almost invariably constructed in nationalist terms – of various different kinds; secondly, obligations to respect human rights are undertaken by states that are fundamentally unequal in terms of economic, social and political resources. Global citizenship is still a long way off, and requires fundamental transformations in international and national political structures and cultural meanings, just to meet existing human rights standards.
Authors: Nash, K. , Nash, K.
Series Title: SID-NL Lecture Series 2010-2011 : “Global values in a changing world” : synergy of state and society in a globalized world , SID-NL Lecture Series 2010-2011 : “Global values in a changing world” : synergy of state and society in a globalized world
Category: General , General
Serial number: 9 , 9
Keywords: globalization , human rights , globalization , human rights
Language: eng , eng
Organization: SID NL - Society for International Development Netherlands Chapter , SID NL - Society for International Development Netherlands Chapter
PAGE: [3] , [3]
Place: [The Hague] , [The Hague]
Publisher: SID NL , SID NL
Year: 2011 , 2011
Region: Global , Global
Right: © 2011 SID NL , © 2011 SID NL
Subject: Social and Political Change , Social and Political Change
Title: We are the world? : global citizenship and its limits , We are the world? : global citizenship and its limits