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Introduction

But this much is in common: what is being asserted is that humans are in some fundamental sense members of a wider body as contrasted to the membership of a particular political community such as a city-state, nationstate or even an empire. All the latter are accidents of one's birth or circumstance. That one is a global citizen points to a more fundamental fact about who one is, one's being, for instance, a human being sharing the essential characteristics of humanity-for example, rationality-with all other human beings. There is something - exactly what, as the following chapters make clear, is disputed-that ties us together in terms of identity, loyalty or commitment. Global citizenship attests, then, to a certain view of the world that is holistic in the sense that there are no essential reasons why barriers, borders, diversity and the disparateness of the human condition render one person and their conditions and actions irrelevant to any other. Many of the chapters advocating global citizenship attempt to establish the bases, reasons and consequences for adopting such a view of the world. Other chapters attempt to refute it, or at least to refute it as being in any practical sense important in the world today.