chapter  5
33 Pages

Tourism, politics and the battlegrounds of cosmopolitan citizenship

As improved living standards, plentiful supplies of cheap oil and technological advances in transport fuelled the expansion of international travel for the citizens of Europe and North America in the aftermath of the Second World War, the belief in the universal right to travel became increasingly marked throughout advanced industrialized societies. Furthermore, government-led attempts to stimulate economic growth in Western Europe were framed by discourses of peace, co-operation and economic development, overseen by a range of new international institutions among whose remit it was to engineer a stable international political and economic order via the US Marshall Plan. The subsequent worldwide expansion of international tourism signalled the consolidation of economic prosperity and political stability among the liberal democracies of the ‘West’, reinforced by liberal discourses of citizenship premised upon the freedom of movement and the right to travel throughout an international order ‘made safe’ by the Pax Americana . 1

This chapter considers the notion that tourism is uniquely able to foment peaceful relations between states with specifi c regard to the implications for the relationship of tourism to discourses of cosmopolitanism and global citizenship. It then examines the contradictions that have emerged where the freedom of movement and right to travel become enmeshed within a wider geopolitics, leading to the curtailment, restriction or indeed violent reactions to such mobility. In this regard, the discussion highlights the problematic relationship between the support

for the freedom of movement and right to travel by governments and the tourism industries alike, and the violent challenge to such rights presented by terrorism and political violence. The chapter concludes by refl ecting on the disjuncture between the freedom of movement and right to travel on the one hand, and the rights of destination populations to development and livelihood security on the other. Indeed, as the argument indicates, destination populations may not only have their livelihoods threatened by certain exploitative forms of tourism (or lack of opportunity to engage in the potential for work aff orded by it), but also are likely to suff er disproportionately from the pervasive climate of (in)security that is perpetuated by the global ‘war on terror’ and its aftermath.