The Impossibility of Global Citizenship

in Citizenship Education in the Era of Globalization

In this essay, I dispute the possibility of global citizenship, presently receiving support in activist circles (academic and otherwise) and educational communities. I attempt to dispel the celebratory conceptualization of citizenship as a status benevolently awarded by the state, and the state as a reasonable and moral partner in the exchange. Global citizenship is challenged on two fronts: as an impractical (and undesirable) scale of government and through a critical exploration of the production of citizenship as a technology of governance by the state whose language of equality not only serves to include and empower but also to exclude and justify such exclusion. Nonetheless, in support of those organizing to counter the negative effects of neoliberal globalization, I conclude that non-scalar thinking about governance and a broader understanding of being political than is commonly captured by citizenship, offer strategic possibility for civil society.