chapter  16
9 Pages

Economic Globalisation and Global Citizenship

The last fifty years have witnessed a process of economic globalisation which has led to the rapid growth of world production and trade but at the expense of enormous inequality between and within countries. This has important implications for the nature and prospects of global citizenship. Many of the world's people do not have command over sufficient resources to satisfy their basic material needs. In addition to the obvious effects on health and life expectancy and the inability to maintain a minimum standard of living, it is increasingly recognised that poverty curtails participation in social and political affairs. Citizenship is not just a political or legal process. It also relates to the quality of involvement in the affairs of the community. In this sense, the poor are not equal citizens. Indeed, one writer has argued that 'Properly understood, a poor citizen is a contradiction in terms' (Vincent 1991: 205).