Global citizenship essay Dissent Magazine Citizenship Essay Contest

According to Texas Law Professor, Lino Graglia, from the Republican side, “It is difficult to imagine a more irrational and self-defeating legal system than one that makes unauthorized entry into the country a criminal offense and simultaneously provides the greatest possible inducement to illegal entry: a grant of American citizenship. This just presented another opportunity for Democrats to go on the offensive.”

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One immediately understands political philosophers’ continuedinterest in education over the last twenty years. If we want citizensof diverse societies to develop the ‘right’ attitudes anddispositions, should we not encourage a common education, school themin a curriculum that teaches respect for difference, while providingthe necessary skills for democratic discussion across thesedifferences? If so, should we not resist demands for separate schoolsor dispensations for minorities? How flexible should public schools betowards minorities if the goal is to make them feel welcome and ensurethat they do not retreat into parochial institutions? (Callan 1997;Gutmann 1999; Brighouse 2000, 2006)

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This analysis is tied to a wider literature on the virtues required ofcitizens in pluralist liberal democracies and on ways to favour theirdevelopment. Stephen Macedo (1990), William Galston (1991), and EamonnCallan (1997), among others, have all emphasized the importance ofpublic reasonableness. This virtue is defined as the ability to listento others and formulate one’s own position in a way that issensitive to, and respectful of, the different experiences andidentities of fellow citizens, acknowledging that these differencesmay affect political views. But how and where does one develop thisand related virtue(s)? If a differentiated model of citizenship simplyallows individuals and groups to retreat into their particularenclaves, how are they to develop either the motivation or thecapacity to participate in a common forum?

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Citizenship education is really a lifetime process and Continuing learning, involving total development of the whole person.

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Liberal nationalists like David Miller have argued that only specificforms of political practice can produce high levels of trust andloyalty between citizens (Miller 2000, 87). The political activitiesof the citizens of Athens or of Rousseau’s ideal Republicpresumed face-to-face relations of cooperation that favour the growthof such sentiments. The scale and complexity of modern states havemade the kind of political practice envisaged by Rousseau anddescribed by Aristotle at best marginal. Citizens do not meet under anoak tree to formulate the laws; they are basically strangers andcitizens’ involvement in the politics of representativedemocracies is episodic and diluted. Politics in this context cannotbe expected to play a central role in most individuals’ lives;something else must generate the trust and loyalty necessary to thefunctioning of a political community. Historically, it is the nationthat has allowed large numbers of individuals to feel a sense ofcommonality, setting them apart from others and making solidarityamong strangers possible.

Fostering active and responsible citizens contributes to the process of developing a healthy and vibrant culture of democratic participation....

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One way to address this mismatch is to reconsider how entitlement tocitizenship is determined. In a world characterized by significantlevels of migration across states, birthright citizenship —acquired either through descent (jus sanguinis) or birth inthe territory (jus soli) — may lead to counterintuitiveresults: while a regime of pure jus sanguinis systematicallyexcludes immigrants and their children, though the latter may be bornand bred in their parents’ new home, it includes descendents ofexpatriates who may never have set foot in their forebears’homeland. On the other hand, a regime of jus soli mayattribute citizenship to children whose birth in the territory isaccidental while denying it to those children who have arrived in thecountry at a very young age.

Essay on global citizenship

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Addressing such demands through a simple reaffirmation of the ideal ofcommon citizenship is not a serious option. It may only aggravate thealienation felt by members of these groups and feed into more radicalpolitical projects, including secession. Further, to say thatrecognition of self-government rights may weaken the bonds of thelarger community is to suppose that these bonds exist in the firstplace and that a significant proportion of national minoritiesidentify with the larger society. Yet such assumptions are oftenoverly optimistic. If these bonds do not exist, or remain quite weak,what is needed is the construction of a genuine dialogue between themajority society and minorities over what constitutes just relations,through which difference can be recognized. The hope is that suchdialogue would strengthen, rather than weaken, their relationship byputting it on firmer moral and political grounds (Carens 2000,197).