Are citizens responsible for global wrongs?

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Abstract

This essay critically assesses Christine Hobden’s argument in Citizenship in a Globalised World that democratic citizenship is an important vehicle for the attainment of global justice. The first section examines Hobden’s claim that cosmopolitan consequentialism justifies citizenship in separate states. I argue that for this argument to succeed, it needs to elaborate a connection between relational equality for individuals and the self-determination of political groups. The second section scrutinizes Hobden’s account of the collective culpability of a democratic citizenry for their state’s wrongful actions. I argue that it is difficult to make sense of collective culpability: we are better off focusing on the personal culpability of individuals for contributing to collective wrongs.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science

Keywords

  • Citizenship
  • Collective Responsibility
  • global justice
  • Self-Determination

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