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An Introduction to Global Citizenship

Nigel Dower

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In this short textbook introduction to the idea of Global Citizenship, Nigel Dower examines the arguments from ethical, social and political theory for and against the view that we are global citizens. The discussion is set in its historical context but the main emphasis is on the idea of global citizenship as a cultural process, and its application in the modern world.

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Part I: The Framework
1. Introduction
2. Global Perspectives and Problems: the need for a Global Ethic
3. Citizenship in a Globalised World
Part II: Examples and Areas of Interest
4. Human Rights
5. Peace and security
6. Development and the Environment
7. The United Nations and Global Governance
Part III: Theoretical Issues
8. Critique of the Global
9. Global Citizenship in the World? - Present Realities and Future Prospects
Appendix 1: Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Appendix 2: The Earth Charter

About the Author

Nigel Dower is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen. Publications include Ethics and Environmental Responsibility (Gower Publishing, 1989) and World Ethics: The New Agenda (1998). He is editor of the series Edinburgh Studies in World Ethics.


A clearly written, easily accessible and morally sensitive account of the nature, grounds and institutional implications of the spirit of global citizenship that is essential in our increasingly interdependent world.
- Professor Bhikhu Parekh, University of Hull
Dower writes with extraordinary clarity, fairly engages a wide range of objections to his views, and stimulates the students’ own thinking on the issues that Dower identifies and tries to resolve.
- Professor David Crocker, University of Maryland
In this short and stimulating book, [Dower] sets out an analytic and empirical framework for thinking crtitically about global citizenship ... This is a well-balanced book written with admirable clarity. It does an excellent job of outlining the debates surrounding the idea of global citizenship.
- Political Studies Review
The concept of global citizenship has become one of the most important ideas of our time. In this well crafted introduction, Nigel Dower lays out the core issues and challenges. He steers us clearly through the maze of debates and lays out the ground that we all need to engage with as a result of living in a more global age.
- Professor David Held, LSE
Nigel Dower’s immensely readable and stimulating book makes a unique contribution to the growing debate on the theory and practice of global citizenship. He challenges us to critically reassess what global citizenship means and why a clear understanding of it is so important in our increasingly globalised society. Everyone with an active commitment to a more just and sustainable world should read it.
- Oxfam Development Education Programme