Global Studies 296
Citizenship in a Globalizing World
Spring 2011 (First Eight Weeks)
1 Credit Hour
Class: Thursday: 3:00 – 4:50 pm, 1120 Foreign Language Building
Instructor: Garett Gietzen
Office Hours: TBA
Citizenship in a Globalizing World is a course about citizenship and its possibilities. It asks, what do we mean when we say that we are citizens? Questions about citizenship are questions about rights, responsibilities and identities, but the precise nature of citizenship (including who is allowed to be a citizen) varies significantly depending on historical era and geographical location. Today, what it means to be a citizen is changing and being challenged by processes of globalization.
Citizenship had been traditionally tied to a specific location such as the United States of America. However, globalizing phenomena (international governance, migration, and flows of ideas, capital and culture, etc.) have raised questions about this idea of citizenship. Globalization has increased these questions because the world has become a smaller, more interconnected place. It has become more difficult for us to think of ourselves as only belonging to the country of our citizenship. Many problems (environmental, financial, etc.) are worldwide; and the repercussions of cultural and political misunderstandings, many argue, have far greater impact than ever before. Given this, we might ask, shouldn’t we have rights and responsibilities in the face of these problems, regardless of our national citizenship? Furthermore, increased mobility of people and culture has changed the ways we understand ourselves. We may identify more with people on the other side of the world than with other citizens in our own country. For reasons such as these, the traditional idea of citizenship seems increasingly unstable.
This course begins with a discussion of traditional forms of citizenship and then moves on to examines the intersection of citizenship with the phenomena of globalization to consider how citizenship might or might not adapt to these challenging circumstances. It examines arguments both for and against new ideas of citizenship, including the idea of global citizenship.