Category: <span>Education of World Citizenships.</span>

Mothers Day Education of World Citizenships.

Our mothers. The Fundamental Pillar of Society.

Photo by Giftpundits.com in Pexels

Perhaps many expect the typical article that should be titled:  

“Congratulations to all the mothers on their day”

or   “Mothers celebrate their day.”


Something like this to cite some examples.

But it is not the goal. An image of “congratulations on mothers day”; everyone can download it anywhere and then post it on social media. Even today; the true value of the mother figure has not been given to the strengthening of society.

We focus on seeing only the materialized goals. But no one stops to think about the training process. Everything has a beginning. As a society; we must focus on this. Especially in Latin American cultures; mothers are the forgers of those men and women who are going to shape society; and the degree of civility will depend exclusively on the values ​​formed from the person’s childhood.

Children with values ​​are destined to become productive citizens; contributing knowledge and knowledge for society. They will be noble people and will adapt perfectly to work teams; and thus achieve collective objectives.

Mothers are Active Part in the Education of Their Children.

It does not happen in all cases. But a person; who has not received such maternal training is likely to lack values; ​​that prevent him from inserting himself adequately in society; and therefore achieve to live happily. These may be the most common causes; that produce in a person; the predisposition necessary to commit various crimes.

Mothers are active part in the education of their children; together with the educational system of the countries. Without the support of the Mothers; it is difficult for a child to perform well in the education he receives at school.

The work of these noble women is admirable. And they perform it with all the love in the world without receiving any type of salary. Not satisfied with this, they have also had to fight with so many anti-values ​​that have spread today. From the media to social networks. If not for these women, society would be worse than it is today.


In conclusion; we must emphasize that mothers carry out exceptional work. Because by looking at the statistics; we can determine that good citizens represent the majority; compared to a small group that commit crimes and criminality.

We will always lack words and gestures to thank for such a noble sacrifice; and excellent work; that they carry out all mothers around the world.


It is for this reason that there is nothing left to say


“Thank you very much to all the mothers; who educated us with love and tenderness. For you we are an innovative, good and hard-working society.”


“Happy International Mothers Day”.

By Elio Pinto.

Balance and Harmony Education of World Citizenships.

A Day of Balance and Harmony.

Featured Picture: Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash.

              Our earth is a small star in the great universe
            Yet of it we can make, if we choose, a planet
Unvexed by war, untroubled by hunger or fear,
Undivided by senseless distinctions of race, color, or theory.
                  Stephen Vincent Bennet.

The 21st of June;  the Summer Solstice;  is in many cultures the cosmic symbol of balance and harmony: balance between light and dark, between the universal and the local, between giving and receiving, between women and men, and between our inner and outer worlds. History records humanity’s preoccupation with the sun’s annual cycle.  Sites such as Stonehenge in England;  are thought to have been erected specifically to trace the path of the sun through the heavens.

The Ancient Egypt.

The sun has always had symbolic meaning.  As that most ancient Sanskrit prayer;  the Gayatri tells us;  the sun is a disc of golden light giving sustenance to the universe;  and Plato used the image of the sun to represent the idea of the One;  the Good. In the age of the Old Kingdom in ancient Egypt;  the concept of harmony, order, and balance were personified by the goddess Ma’at;  the winged woman;  who replicated on earth, the celestial balance of order and beauty.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash.

Yin and Yang.

In Chinese culture; the principle of harmony and balance is represented by the Taoist elements of Yin and Yang.  If one element becomes too strong, imbalance results.  Therefore; it is necessary to strengthen the weaker element so that harmony can be restored.  There must be a skilled understanding of energy flows to understand the appropriate balance.  Understanding the conscious restoration of the balance of Yin/Yang energies owes much to the Tao Te Ching attributed to the 6th century BCE Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu.

philosopher Lao Tzu. Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Ying and Yang Picture. By Klem, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

 Heraclitus (cira 504 BCE).

At the same period, Greek philosophers concentrated in the Ionian cities also stressed the  need to understand the techniques of the redistribution of energies in order to achieve balance.  Heraclitus (cira 504 BCE) of the city of Ephesus is probably the best known of these  thinkers.  He too stressed that harmony is created by a balance of opposite forces.

The efforts to restore harmony by a balance of energies can often be long as there are structures and institutions which, although lifeless, take a long time to crumble.  One needs patience.  Yet, there are also times when unexpected  shifts are possible. One must always be sensitive to the flow of energy currents.

Bust of an unknown philosopher. This one is in the Capitoline Museum in Rome. One suggestion is that it is Heraclitus, but the museum makes no such assumption. By RoyFokker, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Harmony and Balance.

21 June is a day of recognition of the world-wide increase of light; which destroys ignorance.  It is a day in which we celebrate illumination as it dispels darkness.  It is a day during which we can all recognize the growth of greater consciousness; and concern for the common good. Therefore; the Association of World Citizens stresses cooperation; and visions of a better future. Harmony and balance include tolerance, acceptance, equality and forgiveness of past pains and conflicts.

Photo by Sean Stratton on Unsplash.

Due to the efforts of those with a world vision, people throughout the world are recognizing their responsibility to each other are are attempting to revolve ancient and entrenched global problems. Today, we see a new spirit of cooperation as we move toward a cosmopolitan, humanist world society.  We see a growing spirit of forgiveness, reconciliation, and dialogue.  We are one human race, and we inhabit one world. Therefore, we must see the world with global eyes, understand the world with a global mind, and love the world with a global heart.

 Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

Torture Education of World Citizenships.

26 June: International Day Against Torture.

Featured Image: Painting in museum DPRK. By AgainErick, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Torture has a bad name among the police and security agencies of most countries. Thus torture is usually called by other names.  Even violent husbands do not admit to torturing their wives.  Thus;  when NGO representatives started to raise the issue of torture in the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva in the early 1980s;  the government representatives replied that it was a very rare practice;  limited to a small number of countries and sometimes a “rogue” policeman or prison guard. 

However;  NGO representatives insisted that, in fact; it was widely used by a large number of countries; including those that had democratic forms of government.

Sean MacBride (1904-1988).

Getting torture to be recognized as a real problem;  and then having the Commission on Human Rights create the post of Special Rapporeteur on Torture; owes much to the persistent efforts of Sean MacBride (1904-1988); at the time the former chairman of the Amnesty International Executive Committee (1961-1974) and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate (1974). MacBride had been the Foreign Minister of Ireland (1948-1951);  and knew how governments work.

However; He had earlier been a long-time leader of the Irish Republican Army (IRA); being the son of John MacBride; an executed leader of the 1916 Easter Rising – an attack on the Dublin Post Office. With his death; John MacBride became an Irish hero of resistance.  Later Sean had spent time in prison accused of murder. He told me that he had never killed anyone;  but as the IRA Director of Intelligence; he was held responsible for the murders carried out by men under his command.  Later, he also worked against the death penalty.

Torture

Seán MacBride. By Bogaerts, Rob / Anefo, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

26 June as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

As examples of the current use of torture kept being presented by NGO representatives and as some victims of torture came to Geneva to testify; the Commission on Human Rights named a Special Rapporteur and also started to work on what became the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel  Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Treaty came into effect on 26 June 1987; and in 1997 the UN General Assembly designated 26 June as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

Independent Experts.

Human Rights treaties negotiated within the UN create what are known as “Treaty Bodies”; ­ a group of persons who are considered to be “independent experts”. As the saying around Geneva goes; “some are more ‘expert’ than others, and some are more ‘independent’ than others.  Countries which have ratified a human rights convention should make a report every four or five years to the specific Treaty Body. For the Torture Treaty;  it is every four years to the 10-person expert group.

Many States are late, some very late, in meeting this obligation. There are 158 States which have ratified the Torture Convention;  but some 28 States have never bothered to file a report. States which have not ratified the treaty do not make reports.

Concluding Observations.

NGO representatives provide the experts with information in advance and suggest questions that could usefully be asked. The State usually sends representatives to Geneva for the Treaty Body discussions; as the permanent Ambassador  is rarely able to answer specific questions on police and prison conditions. At the end of the discussion between the representative of a State and the experts; the experts write “concluding observations” and make recommendations.

Unfortunately; the Convention is binding only on States.  However; increasingly non-governmental armed militias;  such as ISIS in Syria and Iraq carry out torture in a systematic way. The militia’s actions can be mentioned but not examined by the Treaty Body.

While there is no sure approach to limiting the use of torture; much depends on the observations and actions of non-governmental organizations.  We need to increase our efforts; to strengthen the values which  prohibit torture; and watch closely how persons are treated by the police, prison guards and armed militias.

 

Rene Wadlow, President and a Representative to the United Nations, Geneva, of the Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

Transformation of Education Appeals

Peacebuilding and the Transformation of Education.

Featured Image: Image by Ian Ingalula from Pixabay.

The United Nations is preparing a Transforming Education Summit; to be held in New York on 19 September;  during the General Assembly. A preliminary Summit is being held at UNESCO in Paris 28-30 June.  This is an opportunity for peacebuilding efforts to provide information and suggestions; especially for a major theme of the Summit; “Learning and Skills for Life, Work, and Sustainable Development.” As the preparatory text for the Summit states:

“Transforming education means empowering learners with knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to be resilient, adaptable and prepared for the uncertain future while contributing to human and planetary well-being and sustainable development.”   

However; the uncertain future holds out some clear challenges: armed conflicts, human rights violations, persistent poverty, mass migrations, and the consequences of climate change.

The goal of a world community living in peace; where human relations are based on nonviolent relationships is central to the transformation of education.  We work to develop an atmosphere of cooperation and solidarity; where discussions of all points of view are possible.  We must, however, be realistic in what such a summit on the transformation of education can bring in terms of long-range change.

I had participated in the UNESCO-led World Congress on Disarmament Education in Paris; June 1980.  Today; there are no visible disarmament negotiations.  There is a growth in military spending; despite many calls saying that the money would be better used for development and welfare.  There is in many parts of the world a growth of militarization–a process whereby military values; ideology and patterns of behaviour achieve a dominant influence over political, economic and foreign affairs.

Nevertheless; there is a value in presenting the goals and techniques of peacebuilding in the Transforming Education Summit; especially that UNESCO already has an Education for Global Citizenship program; which includes elements of education for human rights and the culture of peace efforts.

Education for Global Citizenship aims to develop a sense of belonging to a common humanity and being able to contribute to global peace, sustainable development and the creation of a harmonious world society.  As the Preamble to UNESCO’s Constitution states: 

“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.”

In light of the armed conflicts in many parts of the world; there is a need to focus on specific ways to ensure education for children in areas of armed conflict and in post-conflict situations; including effective measures to deal with the traumas caused by the armed conflict. Post-conflict education must help to develop new attitudes and values; especially toward those who were considered enemies during the armed conflict.

There is much that peacebuilding concepts and techniques can contribute to Transformation of Education. We need to see how best to provide ideas into this Summit process.

René Wadlow is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. He is President of the Association of World Citizens, an international peace organization with consultative status with ECOSOC, the United Nations organ facilitating international cooperation and problem-solving in economic and social issues.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

The Uprooted.

Increasing numbers of people in countries around the world, have been forced from their homes, by armed conflicts and systematic violations of human rights. Those who cross internationally recognized borders…

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Ecosystem Restoration Education of World Citizenships.

Avenues of Action: UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

Featured Image: Photo by Monika Sojčáková on Unsplash.

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, 2021-2030 started.

On 5 June 2021;  the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, 2021-2030 started. An ecosystem is the interaction between people, plants, animals and their surroundings. The UN Environment Programme and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization; are the lead UN agencies for this Decade.

However; the Decade aims to become a broad-based global movement in which many can play a rôle. There are many measures which need to be taken within the UN system; as well as by national governments and local authorities. However; in this great effort for ecologically-wise use of land; there is a rôle for many persons as a vast range of actions are needed. Individual actions can have a wider impact by bringing together people in new alliances for action.

Forest Land.

There is a need to look at situations locally. Official government statistics need to be taken with a grain of salt; especially concerning forest cover. Higher figures than reality allow governments to justify higher forest cutting rates. Much of Africa’s « forest land » is actually a thin scattering of scrub with only a small percentage of the ground; actually under tree canopy. Much of what is currently classified as forest land in the world needs reforesting; which can be done only by planting. Each ecosystem must be studied at the local level; and remedial action analysed both at the local level and at the level of the broader region; what is increasingly called a « bioregion ». A bioregion has been defined as a geographic area whose rough boundaries are set by nature; distinguisable from other areas by characteristics of flora, climate, land forms and human settlements.

The Decade for Ecosystem Restoration is The Symbol.

Today; many ecosystems are under stress and facing degradation. The tree and plant cover of the world have been taking increasing losses in almost all habitats of the world. Livestock grazing, lumbering, firewood gathering, roads,cities – all increase pressure. Wetlands are filled by soil carried by water. In some farmlands; there can be excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides. The ressource base of most ecosystems are declining and a lowering of living standards are a possibility; even if no major climatic upheavels or major armed conflicts worsen the state of affairs.

Yet there are signs of hope and action; of which the creation of the Decade for Ecosystem Restoration is the symbol. There can be a surge of human creativity and renaissance. For a project to be sucessful; the local people must have a large hand in the planning using decentralized; non-authoritarian decision-making processes. Local people must want the project to succeed; and be carried out for the long term.

There is already a good bit of research that has been done on ecosystems; and there are many non-governmental organizations working on ecosystem restoration. The framework of the UN Decade should provide for increased cooperation; and highlighting areas that have been neglected in the past. The Decade provides new avenues for action.

 

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

 

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

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Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace Education of World Citizenships.

International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace.

photo by 995645 in Pixabay.

24 April; International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace was established by the U.N. General Assembly and first observed on 24 April 2019.

The resolution establishing the Day is in part a reaction to the “America First, America First” cry of the U.S. President Donald Trump; but other states are also following narrow nationalistic policies and economic protectionism.

The Day stresses the use of multilateral decision-making in achieving the peaceful resolution of conflicts. Yet as the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said:

“Multilaterism is not only a matter of confronting shared threats, it is about seizing common opportunities.”

António Guterres

The UN General Secretariat António Guterres (2019). By Cancillería Argentina, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

United Nations.

One hour after Trygve Lie arrived in New York as the first Secretary-General of the United Nations in March 1946; the Ambassador of Iran handed him the complaint of his country against the presence of Soviet troops in northern Iran. From that moment on; the U.N. has lived with constant conflict-resolution tasks to be accomplished. The isolated diplomatic conference of the past; like the Congress of Vienna in 1815 after the Napoleonic wars has been replaced by an organization continually at work on all its manifold problems. If the world is to move forward to a true world society; this can be done only through an organization such as the U.N; which is based on universality, continuity and comprehensiveness.

Today’s world society evolved from an earlier international structure based on states and their respective goals; often termed “the national interest”. This older system was based on the idea that there is an inevitable conflict among social groups: the class struggle for the Marxists; the balance of power for the Nationalists. Thus; negotiations among government representatives are a structured way of mitigating conflicts; but not a way of moving beyond conflict.

The U.N. Charter.

However; in the U.N. there is a structural tension between national sovereignty and effective international organization. In the measure that an international organization is effective; it is bound to impair the freedom of action of its members; and in the measure that the member states assert their freedom of action; they impair the effectiveness of the international organization. The U.N. Charter itself testifies to that unresolved tension by stressing on the one hand the “sovereign equality” of all member states and; on the other; assigning to the permanent five members of the Security Council a privileged position.

We the Peoples.

However; what was not foreseen in 1945; when the U.N. Charter was drafted was the increasing international role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). “We the Peoples” in whose name the United Nations Charter is established; are present in the activities of the U.N. through non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council. NGOs have played a crucial role in awareness-building and in the creation of new programs in the fields of population, refugees and migrants, women and children, human rights and food. Now; there is a strong emphasis on the consequences of climate change; as the issue has moved beyond the reports of climate experts to broad and strong NGO actions.

This increase in the U.N. related non-governmental action arises out of the work and ideas of many people active in social movements: spiritual, ecological, human potential, feminist, and human rights. Many individuals saw that their activities had a world dimension; and that the United Nations and such Specialized Agencies as UNESCO provided avenues for action. Thus; as we mark the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace; we recognize that there is the growth, world wide, of a new spirit which is inclusive, creative and thus life-transforming.

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

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Yin and Yang Education of World Citizenships.

A Harmonious Life and the Principle of Yin and…

Featured Image: Photo by Jben Beach Art on Pexels.

Humanity’s growing desire to discover the world and the satisfaction that comes along with a deeper understanding of the world is becoming more pronounced.
This is a progressive evolution for humanity. The search for the deeper origin of the soul helps people face a future filled with uncertainty. The creation of a world citizenship education system is the synopsis of this global trend.

Everyone is now a global citizen. However, the concept of the rights and obligations of world citizenship has not yet prevailed. To turn the new generation into world citizens with healthy minds and bodies requires massive efforts and endeavors.
Throughout history, the concept of one world is already widely accepted. People are just now endeavoring to find a more harmonious way to live in this one world. All living creatures have a balancing point. Love is the way of life and the source of hope.

The wisdom of yin and yang is a powerful tool to reconcile a world in transition. God has given us life and the journey of living it belongs to each of us.

What is the true meaning of life?.

Those who are born with this understanding rank the highest. Those who acquire understanding from learning rank second. Those who engage in learning because of lack of understanding rank third One undergoes four phases of learning: unconscious
incompetence, conscious incompetence, conscious competence and unconscious competence. One may feel comfortable and safe when not conscious of his incompetence.

However, when new challenges surface or situations change, he will start feeling insecure and a sense of crisis arises out of the insecurity of being incompetent. Almost all learning undergoes the aforementioned four stages. But there is another higher level of the realization of potentiality which starts from changing within the heart. Everyone has his potential but more often than not, the light of inner wisdom is blocked by impurities.
Over the past one hundred years, countless efforts in innate ability theory, cognition theory, learning theory, personality, and social relation studies have been made about the development of a child with the ultimate goal of understanding the unknown, untapped and un-exploited part of human beings.

Whys.

The efforts have paid off by offering explanations to many of the “whys” in human life. When understanding the true meaning of life, a great sage once said: Who was I before I was born? Who am I after I am born? Another sage said that one’s present life is the
collective result of the past lives and one’s next life will be a consequence of this life. These words express the meaningof life and the responsibilities one is obligated to in life.
Only with this understanding and awakening will one start purifying and correcting the polluted Qi. This will further change and inspire the direction of qi towards a better field.

The process of correcting by doing, enlightening by correcting and continuing to improve based on the enlightened wisdom is important. This positive cycle is the path of Tao, it enlightens the world and leads us towards a brightly illuminated universe.

All things exist for a good reason.

We should all strive to truly understand ourselves and to examine and structure our future life with the aforementioned sage’s saying in mind. Who was I before I was born? Who am I after I am born? All things exist for a good reason.

The reason does not arise out of thin air, but can be attributed to a circular cycle. We should not only look at the bad side or the bright side, but treat the cause and effect in a centered and balanced way.

Correct thinking builds a mind of pure serenity, which helps us see the light of wisdom. We then know what to do next. The long and deep process is a repetition of the four stages of learning. World citizens can increase their resistance to negative thinking through this practice. Negative thinking is one of the major mental problems in the 21st century and worthy of our serious attention.

Having by Thinking.

The key to the realization of a higher level lies in the purification of heart. After the purification of heart, we will possess the capability of “having by thinking”. For example, we can have a good mood by thinking we are actually in one. Everyone has a heart. And we can install a button for happiness in our hearts. Whenever we are in a bad mood, we push the button and activate the good mood. It is easy and can be done without help from someone else. The energy of heart is strengthened and stored. When the habit becomes deeply ingrained, it will help purify our thoughts.
We must emphasize that the heart is unrestricted and free. When one is willing to practice freeing one’s heart, it does not necessarily take a long time. Leaps of advancement are not uncommon. Stephen Covey said,

10% of life is made up of what happens to you, 90% of life is decided by how you react.

This explains a concept of looking on the bright side of things and not being controlled by external situations. What is most important is that we must have the strength to resist being influenced by the “10% events”.
What we are doing is to achieve the full harmony of life. How should world citizens strive to improve themselves? We suggest to start with the concept that one’s present life is the result of his past lives and his next life will be a consequence of this life. Think deeply about what role we play and what we have encountered in this life.
Everything befalls us for good reasons. We will be able to predict what our future life will be like by studying the consequences of everything we did in this life.
We have to be responsible for our lives through discovering the inner world of soul and discarding external disturbances. A healthy mind and body in harmony is our respect for life. All living creatures have a foundation upon which they prosper. The world community presents itself in many different ways. History shows that our forefathers of different races left the same message – the original humanity is pure and clean. A life attitude of pureness and cleanness is to approach the origin of universe and the understanding of a real one world.

Professor Stephen Covey in his home (2010). By Sterling.morris, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Yin and Yang.

Understanding the balanced way of yin and yang helps us know the past, seize the present and prepare for the future. The highest level of the wisdom is to prevent bad things from happening and turn bad things around. If this is indeed true, then we should all start by cultivating ourselves. World citizens’ new understanding of a harmonious life and the principle of yin and yang will contribute greatly to a stable, safe, peaceful, and affluent world.

What we have to strive for is the balancing point, or the tai-ji point. We understand the importance of harmony in life and we need to use the centered way of yin and yang principle to deal with daily affairs or to govern the nation. Yin and yang works like a mirror through which we are able to see the reflections. Therefore, a man with yin yang principle is able to locate the resource of problems and find solutions. This is the working of wisdom.

We hereby advocate a deeper and proactive understanding of life in harmony and the way of yin and yang in order to have a profound balancing effect on the lives of generations to come.
The source of happiness comes from diligence, perseverance and self-assistance. The deeper meaning of consolidating the people’s will and power is to deliver recommendations for the advancement of world citizenship education in order to broaden our minds and lighten up our ways.

Author: Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

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New Globalism Education of World Citizenships.

Teaching the New Globalism

Featured Image: Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

By Professor George Kaloudis.

Abstract – This article proposes a framework on how to teach the New Globalism so that 
students can gain a better understanding of the world beyond the confines of the United States.

I began teaching my course on globalization during the mid-1990s with enthusiasm believing that my students would consider new and provocative material. In addition, I held the belief that I was presenting them with a different way to view the international system. I had hoped that students would become more curious about the world beyond the confines of the United States. 
Soon I realized that my students were not any more interested about global affairs than before taking course.

The primary reason for the unfortunate outcome was the way I taught the subject matter. The course consisted of a constellation of disconnected topics ranging from historical to social to economic and political .My students’ and my own dissatisfaction led me to reconsider the course during the next few years; but the end product continued to be insufficient. 
Only when I read Manuel Castells‘ (2005) article on “Global Governance and Global Politics“; I came to the conclusion that I had discovered an appropriate framework to effectively and systematically teach such a challenging course to mostly non-majors.

It is a challenging course because of the definitional problems associated with the term globalization and because of the inexhaustible number of topics that could be examined in such a course.
In redesigning the course I considered three questions:

  • 1. What definition and course-title best reflect the global changes?.
  • 2. Where does one begin when teaching a course on globalization?.
  • 3. What should the course examine?.

Manuel Castells no Fronteiras do Pensamento São Paulo 2013. By Fronteiras do Pensamento, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

What definition and course-title best reflect the global changes?

Jan Aart Scholte (2000) in a wonderful book titled Globalization: a critical introduction addresses the definitional problem. Scholte states that globalization is often defined as internationalization, liberalization, universalization, and westernization.

Globalization as internationalization “refers to increases of interaction and interdependence between people in different countries.”

Globalization as liberalization refers to the reduction of “regulatory barriers to transfers of resources between countries.”

Globalization as universalization describes a condition in which “more people and cultural phenomena than ever have in recent history spread to all habitable corners of the planet.”

Globalization as westernization is associated with the process of homogenization, as all the world becomes western, modern and, more particularly, American.”

However, Scholte says, all these definitions are deficient because they do not present anything new. Much included in these definitions developed at earlier times during the 500-year history of the modern state-system. Scholte himself defines globalization as deterritorialization, or what he refers to as the growth of supraterritorial relations between people. Even though, he notes, territory remains important, many of the relations between people are supraterritorial (pp. 44-46).

More specifically, Scholte says that globalization:

“refers to a far-reaching change in the nature of social space. The proliferation and spread of supraterritorial… connections brings an end to what could be called territorialism, that is, a situation where social geography is entirely territorial. Although, as already stressed, territory still matters very much in our globalizing world, it no longer constitutes the whole of our geography” ( p. 46).

Scholte’s definition better reflects the global changes and I encourage my students to think of his definition as our guide during the semester. The most fitting title for such a course is the New Globalism because as Jurgen Osterhammel and Niels P. Petersson (2003), Daniel Cohen (2007) and numerous other scholars argue, globalization is not a new phenomenon. The current state of affairs is nothing more than a new and different phase/act of globalization; one of the significant differences between other phases and the current phase of globalization is the role of the media and, a related component, the speed of communication.

Where does one begin when teaching the course?.

Before I begin discussing the New Globalism I must provide my students with the appropriate context. Obviously, the global changes create many opportunities as well as perils. Among the opportunities, some would argue, is higher technology, greater interactions between peoples, and rising incomes. The one significant difficulty I choose to focus on is the challenge that the global changes present to the state. To successfully discuss this challenge I refer back to the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), which signified the beginning of the modern state-system.

The Treaty of Westphalia, as Baylis and Smith (2001) state, was based on two principles: statehood and sovereignty.

“Statehood meant that the world was divided into territorial parcels, each of which was ruled by a separate government. This modern state was centralized, formally organized public authority apparatus that enjoyed a legal (and mostly effective) monopoly over the means of violence in the area of its jurisdiction. The Westphalian State was moreover sovereign, that is, it exercised comprehensive, supreme, unqualified, and exclusive control over its designated territorial domain. Comprehensive rule meant that, in principle, sovereign state had jurisdiction over all affairs in the country. Supreme rule meant that, recognizing no superior authority, the sovereign state had the final say in respect to its territory. Unqualified rule meant that, although Westphalian times witnessed occasional debates about possible duties of humanitarian intervention, on the whole the state’s right of total jurisdiction was treated as sacrosanct by other states. Finally, exclusive rule meant that sovereign states did not share competences in regard to their respective domestic jurisdictions. There was no ‘joint sovereignty’ among states; ‘pooled sovereignty’ was a contradiction in terms” (pp. 20-21).

The course also devotes attention to various kinds of sovereignty. According to Stephen Krasner (2006) there are four different kinds of sovereignty:

“domestic sovereignty, referring to the organization of public authority within a state and to the level of effective control exercised by those holding authority; interdependence sovereignty, referring to the control over transborder flows; international legal sovereignty, referring to the mutual recognition of states; and Westphalian sovereignty, referring to the maintenance of borders and territory – meaning, the exclusion of external authority structures from domestic authority configurations” (p. 660). 

Moreover, Christopher Rudolph (2005) discusses societal sovereignty. He says a growing awareness of sovereignty’s societal dimensions and an that “[w]hat appears to be happening as the trading state grand strategy has emerged as the dominant program among advanced industrial democracies is that the contemporary approaches to defending territorial sovereignty have exhibited increasing desire for stability in this emerging domain” (p. 13).

The Treaty of Westphalia contained “an early official statement of the core principles that came to dominate world affairs during the subsequent three [or more] hundred years. The Westphalian system was states-system. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as states increasingly took the form of nation-states, people came to refer to international as well interstate relations and frequently described the Westphalian order as the international system” (Baylis and Smith, p. 19). “The Westphalian system was a framework of governance. That is, it provided a general way to formulate, implement, monitor and enforce social rules” (Baylis and Smith, p. 20). The Westphalian Order remained dominant for the next 350 years. The Westphalian Order is threatened by the global transformation.

Today, there are too many actors in the international system that compete with the state or challenge the state, i.e., terrorist groups, NGOs, etc. State sovereignty is compromised more than ever before. States, of course, are not withering away. They recognize the challenges confronting them and attempt to manage them. The desire to promote democracy around the world is an effort by the state, at least the industrial democratic state, to preserve itself.

What should the course examine?.


The course examines the multidimensional changes occurring across the globe: technological, economic, cultural, and institutional/political. Of the four elements, because of my own interests, the focus is placed on the economic and institutional/political changes. I especially, but not exclusively, emphasize the multidimensional changes since the mid-1970s. Beginning in the 1970s the significant technological innovations were accompanied by dramatic institutional/political developments with the democratization of Portugal, Greece, and Spain.

Samuel Huntington (1992), in his book The Third Wave: Democratization In The Late Twentieth Century, presents three waves of democratization.

The first wave began in 1828 with the extension of suffrage in the United States. It ended in the 1920s with the rise of fascism in Europe. This wave was lengthy but not deep. After the early 1920s there was what Huntington calls a reverse wave with the establishment of non-democratic governments in countries that had become democratic after World War I, i.e., Italy and Germany.

The second wave was brief; it began in 1945 and ended in the early 1960s. The early 1960s were followed once again be a reverse wave when dictators rose to power in many countries including Latin American countries.

The third wave began in 1974 in Portugal with the fall of the dictatorship and the rise of democracy. The Portuguese example was quickly followed by Greece and Spain. The third wave substantially differs from the previous two; it is more extensive and deeper. It is more extensive, because today there are more democratic countries than ever before, and it is deeper, because the majority of people in democratic countries consider democracy as the “only game in town.”


At this juncture the course focuses on the wisdom of spreading democracy and more important on who should lead the effort of doing so. Should it be the international community or the United States? The works of a number of authors are discussed to provide some understanding of the complexity of these issues.

Samuel P. Huntington, Chairman, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, USA, pictured during the ‘When Cultures Conflict’ session at the 2004 meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. By Copyright World Economic Forum (www.weforum.org), swiss-image.ch/Photo by Photo by Peter Lauth, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Robert Cooper (2000) argues that democracy causes both integration and disintegration. For example, he points out that “[d]emocracy, …, is thus a source, perhaps the source, of disintegration” (31) and the break up of the former Soviet Union is cited as an example. He also notes, however, that shared democratic values much contributed to European integration and the rise of the European Union.

Philippe Schmitter (2000) asserts that:

“Europe today is paradoxically a place of both political integration and political disintegration. Larger-scale and smaller-scale political units are becoming more prominent and taking on more functions. The ‘traditional’ nation-state finds itself caught in the middle-challenged, as it were, from above and below” (p. 43).

Philippe Schmitter speaking at the University of Trento, 11 november 2015. By Davide Denti (OBC), CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.


Adam Daniel Rotfeld (2000) focuses on the role of the international community in promoting democracy. He states that “[a]s the post-Cold War world order continues to take shape, we are left wondering whether globalization or fragmentation will prevail. In reality, of course, the choice is not that stark, and both phenomena will continue to exist-and perhaps to thrive-in parallel. States will not wither away but will adapt in various ways to each of these two tendencies. Multinational security structures will have an increasing impact, directly and indirectly, on the internal transformations of state. International institutions will keep trying to stave off, de-escalate, and resolve the conflicts that inevitably accompany the formation of new national entities. We can expect the impact of international organizations and security structures to grow. The forces of stability and the forces of fragmentation will continue to clash, but we can hope that the emergence of a new multilateral security system will help to balance and mitigate the resulting tensions” (p. 95).

Adam Daniel Rotfeld during a lecture held on March 7, 2017 at the Open University of the University of Warsaw, entitled Checkmate and Checkmate – Russia on the World Chess Board. By Grzegorz Gołębiowski, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.


Robert Kagan (2000) advocates a different approach regarding the promotion of democracy and how to secure the international system. For him, what is most important is the foreign policies of great powers and especially the foreign policy of the United States, which is the only superpower. In Kagan’s view “[t]he task of America is to preserve and extend the present democratic era as far into the future as possible, in the full knowledge that democracy is not inevitable but requires the ongoing attention of individuals and nations wishing to sustain it. As it happens, the present era offers an especially favorable opportunity to advance democratic principles successfully and in relative safety. It would be a timeless human tragedy if the United States failed to seize it” (p. 112). 

Robert Kagan (b. 1958), American scholar and political commentator (Warsaw (Poland), April 17, 2008). By Mariusz Kubik, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.


According to Manuel Castells (2005), democratic states are faced with four distinct crises: crisis of efficiency, crisis of legitimacy, crisis of identity, and crisis of equity.

Crisis of efficiency means that “problems cannot be adequately managed, i.e., major environmental issues, regulation of financial markets.”

Crisis of legitimacy means that “political representation is increasingly distant, with greater distance between citizens and their representatives. The crisis of legitimacy is exasperated by the practice of media politics of scandal as the privileged mechanisms to access power. Image making substitutes for issue debating, partly due to the fact that major issues can no longer be decided in the national space.”

Crisis of identity means that “as people see their nation and their culture increasingly disjointed from the mechanisms of political decision making in a global, multinational network, their claim of autonomy takes the form of resistance identity politics as opposed to their political identity as citizens.”

Crisis of equity means “[t]he process of market-led globalization often increases inequality between countries, and between social groups within countries, because of its ability to induce faster economic growth in some areas while bypassing others” (p. 10).


An additional work used to illuminate the discussion about democracy and democratization is Robert Putnam’s (1995) article titled “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital.” He uses bowling and belonging to bowling leagues as a metaphor to describe the lack of civic engagement. A few decades ago, he says, people belonged to bowling leagues and often as groups they went to bowling allies. While there, not only they bowled but they also talked about their schools and their community. Now, even though as many people go bowling as in the past, they go bowling alone. Going bowling alone does not encourage civic engagement. 

Despite the difficulties confronting democracies in advanced industrial societies, many people and especially the young, Russell Dalton (2004) states, do not want less democracy, they want more.The multidimensional crises do not inhibit the states from adapting to the global changes. As Manuel Castells (2005) argues, they adapt to the changes in many different ways including the following:

  • a. By associating with each other and forming diverse networks of states: EU, NAFTA, and APEC are some examples.
    b. By building an increasingly dense network of international institutions such as the UN, NATO, IMF, and WTO.
    c. By decentralizing power and resources through devolution of power to regional governments, to local governments, and to NGOs that extend the decision making process in the civil society.


At this point of the course, once again, Manuel Castells (2005) provides some wonderful ideas about different paths toward the reconstruction of democratic governance. Paths such as:

  • a. Private/public partnerships.
  • b. Development of a global civil society.
  • c. Emergence of the global movement for global justice.
  • d. Redefinition of the role of international institutions.
  • e. Attempts to build new international institutions.


The course ends with me asking the students if a better world is possible and they are asked to read International Forum on Globalization (2004) to consider the possibilities of a “better world.”

References:

  • Baylis, John and Steve Smith, ed. 2001. The Globalization of World Politics. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Castells, Manuel. 2005. “Global Governance and Global Politics.” PS: Political Science and Politics XXXVIII.1: 9-16. 
  • Cohen, Daniel. 2007. Globalization and Its Enemies, trans. Jessica B. Baker. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 
  • Cooper, Robert. 2000. “Integration and Disintegration.” In Globalization, Power, and Democracy, ed. Marc F. Plattner and Aleksander Smolar. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 28-40.
  • Dalton, Russell. 2004. Democratic Challenges, Democratic Choices: The Erosion of Political Support in Advanced Industrial Democracies. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Huntington, Samuel P. 1992. The Third Wave: Democratization In The Late Twentieth Century. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press.
  • International Forum on Globalization. 2004. “A Better World Is Possible!.” In The Globalization Reader, ed. Frank J. Lechner and John Boli. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 438-448.
  • Kagan, Robert. 2000. “The Centrality of the United States.” In Globalization, Power, and Democracy, ed. Marc F. Plattner and Aleksander Smolar. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 97-113.
  • Krasner, Stephen. 2006. “Problematic Sovereignty.” In Classic Readings and Contemporary Debates in International Relations, ed. Phil Williams, Donald M. Goldstein, and Jay M. Shafritz. Belmont, CA: Thomson-Wadsworth, 660-666.
  • Osterhammel, Jurgen and Niels P. Petersson. 2003. Globalization: A Short History, trans. Dona Geyer. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.
  • Putnam, Robert. 1995. “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital.” Journal of Democracy 6.1: 65-78.
  • Rotfeld, Adam Daniel. 2000. “The Role of the International Community.” In Globalization, Power, and Democracy, ed. Marc F. Plattner and Aleksander Smolar. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Rudolph, Christopher. 2005. “Sovereignty and Territorial Borders in a Global Age.” International Studies Review 7: 1-20.
  • Schmitter, Philippe C. 2000. “Democracy, the EU, and the Question of Scale.” In Globalization, Power, and Democracy, ed. Marc F. Plattner and Aleksander Smolar. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 43-56.
  • Scholte, Jan Aart. 2000. Globalization: A Critical Introduction. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

A list of the rest of the works considered to teach the course:

  • Bhagwati, Jagdish. 2007. In Defense of Globalization. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Castells, Manuel. 1999. The Rise of the Network Society. Vol. 1. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.
  • ———-. 1999. End of Millenium. Vol. 3. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers. 
  • Etzioni, Amitai. 2004. From Empire to Community: A New Approach to International Relations. New York: Palgrave/Macmillan.
  • Ferguson, Yale and Richard Mansbach. 2004. Remapping Global Politics: History’s Revenge and Future Shock. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Gill, Stephen. 1996. “Globalization, Democratization, and the Politics of Indifference.” In Globalization: Critical Reflections, ed. James H. Mittelman. Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 205-228.
  • Gills, Barry K., ed. Globalization in Crisis. London and New York: Routledge, 2011.
  • Held, David. 2004. Global Covenant: The Social Democratic Alternative to the Washington Consensus. Malden, MA: Polity Press.
  • Rosenau, James. 2006. “Governance in Fragmegrative Space.” In Classic Readings and Contemporary Debates in International Relations, ed. Phil Williams, Donald M. Goldstein, and Jay M. Shafritz. Belmont, CA: Thomson-Wadsworth, 571-580.
  • Scholte, Jan Aart. 2001. “Globalization and the states-system.” In Globalization of World Politics, ed. John Baylis and Steve Smith, 20-23. New York: Oxford University Press.

Professor George Kaloudis, Department of History, Law and Political Science, Rivier College, Nashua, NH, 03060, USA.

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Conscience and Belief Education of World Citizenships.

Upholding Freedom of Conscience and Belief.

Featured Image: Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash.

By Rene Wadlow.

 
25 November is the date anniversary of the U.N. General Assembly resolution in 1981 to proclaim the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief. The Declaration is a development of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights highlighting freedom or thought, conscience, religion or belief. The 1981 Declaration is now recognized as articulating the fundamental right of freedom of conscience, religion, and belief.
 
The efforts for such a U.N. declaration began in 1962. Two conventions were proposed by African States, many of whom had joined the U.N. after their 1960 independence. One convention was to deal with racism. Since racism in the minds of many delegates was largely limited to apartheid in South Africa, work on a racism convention progressed quickly and was adopted in 1965. Freedom of religion was more complex. The effort was led by Liberia, but ran into East-West Cold War devisions. Work on a convention was largely completed by 1967 when the Six Day War in the Middle East broke out, making religious issues all the more sensitive at the U.N.
 
Human Rights
Eleanor Roosevelt holding poster of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (in English), Lake Success, New York. November 1949. By FDR Presidential Library & Museum, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

you might be interested on Human Rights: The Foundation of World Law.

Thought, Conscience, Religion or Belief.

 
One issue was that there was no agreed upon definition as to what is “religion”, thus the longer term used of “thought, conscience, religion or belief”.
 
Work was still slow. Thus, it was decided to change the proposal from a “Convention” which is a treaty which must be ratified by the parliament of the Member State to a “Declaration” which can be voted by the U.N. General Assembly.
 
The second modification was to change the declaration from a positive one – “freedom of religion or belief” to a negative one “elimination of intolerance and discrimination” based on religion or belief.
Work on the Declaration had begun at the U.N. in New York. When the human rights bodies of the U.N. moved in 1977 to Geneva, a working group on the Declaration was set up in which representatives on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as the Association of World Citizens, were particularly active. By the summer of 1981, the drafting of the Declaration was complete. The text was sent on to the delegates in New York and was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on 25 November 1981.
 
General AsemblyBasil D Soufi, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.
After 1981, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights (become since the Human Rights Council) created the post of Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion in 1985. The post continues today. The Declaration has given NGOs an agreed upon standard to which to hold governments. The 1981 Declaration cannot be implemented by U.N. bodies alone. Beginning with the shift of the U.N. human rights secretariat to Geneva and the closer cooperation with NGO representatives, the role of NGOs is more often written into U.N. human rights resolutions, calling on NGO cooperation, education and fact-finding.
 
Thus in the 1981 Declaration there is a paragraph which:
 

“requests the Secretary-General in this context to invite interested non-governmental organizations to consider what further role they could envisage playing in the implementation of the Declaration.”

 
Thus, the Association of World Citizens has continued to play an active role in the U.N. human rights bodies when the right of belief and conscience has been under attack in different parts of the world. Our policy has been to take a lead when a community under pressure was not part of an NGO in consultative status with representatives in Geneva who could speak for them.
 
In practice, the World Council of Churches speaks for Protestant and to a lesser degree for the Orthodox Churches. The Vatican, which is considered a State, participates actively in human rights bodies and speaks for Roman Catholic churches. Thus, the Association of World Citizens has, in recent years, raised the issues of the Mandaeans, also known as Sabian Mandaeans, in Iraq, the Yazidi in Iraq and Syria, the Rohingya fleeing Myanmar (Burma), the Baha’i in Yemen after having raised starting in 1980 the persecution of the Baha’i in Iran.
 
Religion

The Falun Gong.

 
Starting in 1985, there being no active Buddhist organization active at the U.N. in Geneva at the time, we raised the condition of religious liberty of the Tibetans in Tibet. This was followed by presentations of the fate of the Falun Gong movement in China. They are basically Taoist but consider themselves as a separate movement or belief. There was no Taoist NGO at the U.N. that I knew of.
 
There is a worldwide erosion of the freedom of belief and conscience in many parts of the world causing large-scale suffering, grave injustice, and refugee flows. Belief and conscience are efforts on the part of individuals and communities to understand and to seek to live in harmony with the laws of Nature and often to communicate their understanding and devotion to others.
 
The anniversary date of 25 November should be an opportunity to consider how to strengthen freedom of conscience and belief.
 
The Falun Gong
 Falun Gong members exercise in Sydney, 2021. By Kgbo, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.
 
Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

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World Citizenship Education of World Citizenships.

Knowledge and Skills for World Citizenship.

Featured Image: Photo by  Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.

The Association of World Citizens Promotes Knowledge and Skills for World Citizenship.
Rene Wadlow
.

The Association of World Citizens stresses that our oneness with humanity and our acceptance of the whole planet as our home involves a process of change both in the attitudes of individuals and in the policies of States.

Humanity is clearly moving towards participation in the emerging World Society. An awareness of the emerging World Society and preparation for full and active participation in the emerging World Society is a necessary element of education at all levels, from primary schools, through university and adult education.

The Association of World Citizenship stresses that a World Citizens is one: 

  • Aware of the wider world and has a sense of his role as a world citizen;
  •  respects and values diversity;
  •  has an understanding of how the world works economically, politically, socially, culturally, technologically and environmentally;
  •  is outraged by social injustice;
  •  is willing to act to make the world a more equitable and sustainable place;
  •  participates in and contributes to the community at a range of levels from the local to the global.

The Association of World Citizens believes that World Citizenship is based on rights, responsibility and action.

The rights and freedoms are set out by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related human rights conventions such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. These UN-sponsored human rights treaties are the basis of world law which deals directly with individuals and not just with States.

In most cases, there are procedures that exist for the redress of violations of these rights at the national, regional, and UN levels. These rights should enable all persons to participate effectively in national, regional and the world society.

The idea of responsibility has been often discussed within the United Nations, but it has been impossible to set out agreed-upon obligations. Rather, a sense of responsibility toward the Planet and toward others is left to the individual’s conscience and moral sense. Nevertheless, a sense of responsibility, an ethical concern for social justice, and the dignity of humanity is central to the values of a world citizen.

Action is at the heart of the attitude of a vibrant world citizen.

Action must be based on three pillars: knowledge, Analysis and Skills.

Knowledge:

Background knowledge, a sense of modern history, of world trends, and issues of ecologically-sound development is fundamental. As one can never know everything about issues that require action, one needs to know where to find information and to evaluate its quality for the actions one wants to undertake.

Analysis:

It is important to be able to analyse current trends and events, to place events in their context, to understand the power relations expressed in an event. One needs to try to understand if an event is a “one-time only” occurrence or if it is part of a series, an on-going process, if it is a local event or if it is likely to happen in other parts of the world as well.

Analysis is closely related to motivation. If from one’s analysis, one sees a possibility for creative action alone or with others, one will often act. If from analysis, it seems that little can be done as an individual, then one can urge a government to act. The degree of personal involvement will usually depend on the results of the analysis of a situation.

Skills:

Political skills are needed to make an effective world citizen. A wide range of skills is useful such as negotiation, lobbying, networking, campaigning, letter writing, communications technology and preparing for demonstrations. These are all essential skills to join with others for a strong world citizen voice in world politics. Some of these skills can be taught by those having more experience, for experience is the best teacher. It is by networking to new individuals and groups that one learns the potentials and limits of networking.

In our period of rapid social and political change, the past cannot provide an accurate guide to the future. Anticipation and adaptability, foresight and flexibility, innovation and intuition, become increasingly essential tools for creative political action.

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

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