The Idea of Citizenship in the Age of Ecomodernity
Does the idea of “global citizenship” inspire the age of ecomodernity? Are cosmopolitan inhabitants of the global village joining their forces to save the planet - and humanity - from peril?
Speaker: Nina Witoszek
My answer is: with a few exceptions, hardly.
So far, the so called global community – from the UN to G28, to Davos and Rio - has done very little to assuage the misery of the downtrodden in Somalia, Nigeria or Greece or to address the ongoing ecocide in the Amazon. The Norwegian writer Kjærstan Fløgstad talks about “Oslo-fjord-humanism”: a desire to improve the world without knowing it (Aftenposten, 18 August, p.7).
If we – “global citizens” – have not managed to solve the problems of screaming injustice, poverty, gender discrimination, etc. - how are we to tackle climate crisis and the looming environmental apocalypse? Is global citizenship a utopia whose studies should be left to a new aristocracy of cultural creatives who spend their time at international conferences, live in a borderless world, and practice mental promiscuity? Or will it be the domain of progressive German professors who – understandably – aspire to transcend their stained Germanness and join a broader, nobler community with which they will feel more comfortable?
PS: the event was initially announced to be taking place on 29th of August.
Nina Witoszek is a senior researcher at Centre for Development and Environment at the University of Oslo.