Thursday, 6 December 2012

Reflections on April Carter: Nationalism vs. Global Citizenship

I would like to talk a little bit about the article Nationalism and Global Citizenship by April Carter. Firstly, I agree with the point she makes that some of the current conceptions of global citizenship are strongly rooted in early Western though, such as the political and moral standards associated with being a ‘decent citizen’.

As I read on, I found it interesting that April had differentiated between nationalism and global citizenship because I now see where she is coming from in setting both notions on opposite sides of the spectrum but at the same time, I suggest that perhaps the notion of nationalism is an indefinable and useless term. Maybe instead the spectrum should incorporate different levels of global citizenship, some of which do include certain aspects of nationalism.

In the article, it was mentioned that ideas of nationalism seem to create a term for a nation that may not actually be a “nation”. So for example, trying to claim that a nation is a place where there is a homogenous language structure is useless because there is no single place where this exists. I believe it’s useless to try and coin what nationalism is and I think it would make much more sense to say that the global world is a nation in itself where all citizens are global citizens - perhaps with some contributing more than others in regards to justice and morality. For example, the cosmopolitan understanding of global citizenship is based around taking responsibility for all conflict in the world and could be at the highest moral level of the spectrum.

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