6 Pages

Section Introduction

In the Introduction and elsewhere the distinction is drawn between the 'ethical' component of global citizenship and the 'institutional' component. Whatever else may be claimed in the statement 'we are citizens of the world', at least there is an ethical claim that we belong to one global moral community within which we have global responsibilities and some shared universal values. Although the word 'citizen' may for some users of the phrase 'global citizen' be no more than a way of talking about agency or membership of a moral community, for many others it indicates something more, and many of the chapters in this reader try to make sense of this 'citizenship' component. The chapters in this section, however, are mainly concerned with the primary ethical issue: what global ethic should we accept? Whilst Kung and van den Anker are also concerned to some extent with the questions 'What needs to happen for a global ethic to exist?' and 'What institutions are needed to express global justice?' respectively, all the authors attend to the ethical issue itself. I shall first set out some of the salient points from each chapter and then offer a few general remarks on these approaches.