Citizen’s voices

Jane Paiva
Brazil

1. What does global citizenship mean to you?

I take a critical perspective on the concept of global citizenship, because in order to think of it as a possibility we have to problematise some aspects of it. To begin with, I agree with Chenais’ understanding that we live in a process of mundialisation and not of globalisation because the latter process does not change hegemonic and unequal relations between nations. That is, it does not admit the possibility of considering another order of relations among nations. Globalisation keeps the poorer countries under a state of domination, and the perspective of development as liberty very distant from the sovereignty that we expect for all the peoples of the world. As a result, the exercise of citizenship is, in its turn, also unequal because the processes of domination and the negation of rights in the majority of countries are maintained even when proclaimed otherwise.  

2. In what ways are you a global citizen?

In fact, nowadays we – the citizens with rights who can guarantee those rights partly in the territories where we live – are much more linked to what happens in other nations. This gives us (those of us who consider ourselves as citizens and who exercise that condition as such) a feeling of belonging to a world which is much broader than the limits of the closest frontiers. Thus we become affected – and continue to be affected – by all those subjects, from all corners of the world, especially those who do not enjoy the basic rights indispensable for a human life with dignity. To be a global citizen, then, extrapolating the dynamic of the movement of capital, demands a new ethical posture in the daily life of each one of us because what happens to us and what happens to others is intimately linked to the real possibilities of affecting all of us.