Theorizing Global Citizenship: Discourses, Challenges, and Implications for Education

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Nelly P. Stromquist

Abstract

The increasing interconnection between countries is leading to the recognition of both shared problems and shared solutions for which citizens’ rights, obligations, and responsibilities transcend the traditional nation-state. This article seeks to provide an understanding of the concept of global citizenship and to locate the main contemporary proponents of this concept. It identifies four different themes underlying global citizenship, which are then labeled as world culture, new-era realism, corporate citizenship, and planetary vessel. After discussing the assumptions and arguments in favor of global citizenship made by the proponents within each of the four themes, the article examines several ideological and material obstacles to the attainment of a global citizenship. Global citizenship is found to require significant adjustment of individual, corporate, national, and regional interests. The implications of this concept for the K-12 curriculum, especially civic education, are probed.

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Author Biography

Nelly P. Stromquist, University of Maryland

Professor; International Education