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International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 27, Issue 2, Fall 2013

Alan Tomhave
Pages 287-297

Global Government and Global Citizenship

T. H. Marshall described three stages of citizenship leading to full membership of the community in which one resides: civil, political, and social. This development takes place within the context of states. It is appropriate at this point in history to ask if there is a further change to citizenship that reflects the increasing globalization of the world, to look into the possibility of a global citizen and ask further if this possible global citizen requires also a global or world state. This paper argues that states are not necessary for the concept of citizenship, and thus that a global state is not necessary for global citizenship. One quick objection to this de-coupling of the state and citizenship is the claim that citizenship is a legal status within a full-fledged legal system. Thus, one of the main goals of this paper is to argue that a legal status of “citizen” is neither necessary nor sufficient for citizenship. Citizenship should be understood as a moral concept, not a legal one. Further, for the same reason that a legal conception is insufficient, the traditional liberal view of citizenship is also insufficient; both the legal and liberal views of citizenship are too anemic, only a republican view of citizenship is sufficiently robust to satisfy the promise of citizenship.

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