Imagine There’s No Countries . . .

Considering the Possibility and Practice of Global Citizenship

Archive for the ‘global citizenship’ Category

Anti-semetic Acts Up in London

Posted by mykela1 on February 17, 2009

In London, anti-semetic acts of violence are on the rise according to the Community Security Trust, a NGO that has been tracking anti-semitism in England since 1984. As stated by a recent CNN article, “[t]he group recorded more than 200 incidents in the month of January alone, the highest monthly total it has seen since it began keeping records….” This increase is said to be a direct affect of the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict in the Gaza Strip. But, in order to combat this problem, London hosted it’s first ever international conference to discuss solutions to this issue and ways to fight anti-semitism. People from over 35 countries took part in this two-day forum, and according to the article, most of the policymakers were not Jewish, lending itself as a great example of one of Shattle’s Secondary Principles: Cross-Cultural Empathy.


Posted in cosmopolitanism, global citizenship | 3 Comments »

Virtual Global Citizenship Revisited or Is It Wrong to Wear Virtual Shoes in a Virtual Mosque?

Posted by bklunk on February 3, 2009

Second Life and The Sacred: Islamic Space in a Virtual World | Digital Islam

Krystina Derrickson’s article describes the presentation and experience of Islam in the virtual world Second Life.

Islamic religious spaces are present in the multi-user virtual environment Second Life. Because they are designed after emotionally-charged real life sacred sites, such as Mecca, and because their designers instruct users to follow behavioral regulations typical of real life Islamic sacred spaces, the virtual spaces are interpreted as ambiguously sacred. This paper examines this phenomenon, utilizing the theories of Ken Hillis to explain how characteristics of virtuality, combined with the factors listed above, have led to this ambiguity. As ‘the virtual’ contains such ambiguously sacred sites as Mecca (though not as sacred as the geographical location in the Hijaz), theorists of religion should consider virtually-mediated experiences as one form of contact with ‘the sacred.’

Are there possibilities for educating for global citizenship in this experiment?  One of interesting aspects is the possibility of interacting with others from around the world without any fears based on personal security.More information about the Understanding Islam through Virtual Worlds Project can be found at Dancing Ink Productions.

There is a really interesting research project here for somebody.

Posted in global citizenship, global issues, United Nations University | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Institute for Global Citizenship

Posted by mykela1 on February 1, 2009

Macalester College’s Institute for Global Citizenship was started in 2005 and will soon be breaking ground on it’s new building. Partnered with the College’s Civic Engagement Center and International Center, the Institute for Global Citizenship’s mission is as follows:

“To encourage, promote and support rigorous learning that prepares students for lives as effective and ethical ‘global citizen-leaders’; innovative scholarship that enriches the public and academic discourse on important issues of global significance; and meaningful service that enhances such learning and/or scholarship while enriching the communities within which Macalester is embedded.”

The Institute awards one senior annually with a Global Citizenship Student Award and is currently working on collecting student ideas for the 100 Projects for Peace program. The goal of these projects is to foster peace and multicultural understanding, while using student ideas from 85 different college campuses.

To find out more about the Institute for Global Citizenship, click here.

Posted in global citizenship, innovation | 2 Comments »

Virtual Citizenship

Posted by bklunk on January 30, 2009

One of the interesting discussions about global citizenship is whether real citizenship requires the possiblity of face-to-face contact.  The possibility of interacting in virtual environments offers one way of imagining citizenship on a broader scale, but some doubt that interacting avatars would provide the same substantive communication.  Here is a short video about our Second Life campus.

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Obama signs order to close Guantanemo Bay

Posted by mykela1 on January 24, 2009

On Thursday, Obama signed multiple executive orders, one of which will result in the permanent closure of Guantanemo Bay. Another order was made to close all of the CIA’s secret foreign prisons which have long been critizied for their treatment of prisoners. After reading this article, I really do have hope that Obama’s administration will help to rebuild our country’s reputation abroad and relationships with foreign countries. In the spirit of global citizenship, Obama has questioned our government’s treatment of detainees and is taking action to correct these wrongs.

Posted in global citizenship, global issues | 6 Comments »

President Gaviria Lecture at University of the Pacific

Posted by jonthepackardman on January 23, 2009

For my critique of Gaviria’s lecture, as well as a longer explanation and discussion of the topics he covered, please go to my blog, which serves as my E-portfolio, and read the entry titled: “Former President of Columbia, Cesar Gaviria, Speaks at Pacific

Last semester I attended one of the Gerber Lecture Series events in which Cesar Gaviria, former president of Columbia, spoke. Sitting in class this week, it occurred to me that a lot of what Gaviria had to say could be accomplished by the presence of more global citizens in America. Now, you may be saying: ‘Jon, give me a break. America is a cultural melting-pot, how much more globalized could a citizenry get?’ While you may be right in that we do have many immigrants who still maintain ties to their countries of origin, you have failed to see that the three primary parts of global citizenship, as identified in Hans Schattle’s The Practices of Global Citizenship, are not being met. The presence of foreigners in America does not mean that we as a people are aware of what is going on in the world around us. In addition, it does not ensure that we recognize the responsibility that we have to ourselves, our offspring, and the rest of the world, in regards to our individual actions and the potential impacts they may subsequently produce. Furthermore, an active participation in global affairs is necessitated by this account of global citizenship.

President Gaviria covered an array of topics during his lecture, however, the point that he seemed to continuously emphasize was the fact that had the United States paid any attention to Central and South in the last couple of decades, our current financial crisis could have been avoided. He mentioned that his people, much like those within the United States, tend to live above their means and save a smaller proportion of their income. This comes in stark contrast to the Asian populace of the world, which saves approximately 40% of its annual income. This explains why Americans, who have overstretched themselves financially, fall into economic hardship while Asians do not. To summarize, Gaviria claims that had America paid closer attention to the world around it, seen what was happening in Central and South America and juxtaposed that to the economic situation in Asia, we could very have avoided our current plight. Although he made several excellent arguments throughout his lecture, I still believe that the president was somewhat short-sighted.

Cesar Gaviria urged the United States to work with its neighbors to the South in order to build strong economies for all, create a greater standard of living for all, and improve international relations for all of the countries concerned. However, I believe that this suggestion is insufficient. Why stop there? Why not foster amiable relations between all of the countries in the world? Although this goal may be far-fetched, change in that direction must begin sometime. The United States, and all other countries of the world for that matter, should strive to build bonds with not only their neighbors, but with countries half way across the world as well. Global interdependence leads to greater understanding among countries, better international relations, and an ensuing “world peace” that pageant contestants always refer to. Though this argument may seem quite idealized and full of flaws and faulty assumptions, this is the only path to less violence and better relations worldwide. And as Albert Einstein said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Though my proposal may be tough to take on and accomplish, the potential benefits far outweigh the challenges.

Posted in global citizenship, global issues | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Global Citizens of Yore

Posted by rfrankl on January 23, 2009

Schattel tries to grapple with the idea of “Global Citizenship” by not looking at it theoretically or abstractly but by listening to what a variety of people are doing, thinking, and saying but I have discovered something that takes that concept to its logical extreme by not looking only at what the men of the present do, think, and say but what the men of the past have thought. I’m reading a book of the collected writings of the Renaissance Humanist Desiderius Erasmus. Not only are his ideas taken from all over from Classical, Scholastic, English, and Italian learning but his actions were a reflection of this broad, global(at least in term of what was known at the time), and cosmopolitan sensibility. He never lived in one place but always moved from one city of learning to another. Some of his learned friends, such as Sir Thomas More urged and begged him to stay in one spot but he had a longing to see new people, new ideas, and new tastes. This curiosity or longing to know must be thought of as an essential characteristic of a cosmopolitan man.

Posted in global citizenship, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »


Posted by bklunk on January 15, 2009

OurWorld 2.0
This fascinating blog, published by the United Nations University, asks the question:

What can we do when faced with complex,
inter-connected and pressing problems like climate change, oil
depletion and food security? 

OurWorld 2.0 tries to highlight innovative approaches to these challenging problems.  It just won the 2008 Weblog award for best design and it does look terrific.  We’ll be checking in regularly to find interesting material to feature.

Posted in global citizenship, global issues, innovation, United Nations University | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

. . . I Wonder If You Can

Posted by bklunk on December 30, 2008

We will be blogging here about the possibility and practice of global citizenship.  John Lennon provides our theme song, not so much because we will be able to live in a world with no countries but really because whatever we think global citizenship to be we will need imaginations that do not stop at borders.

Posted in global citizenship, video | Leave a Comment »

Global Citizenship at Davos

Posted by bklunk on December 30, 2008

A discussion of corporate global citizenship at Davos.

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