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After the cold war era, it was assumed that the issue of war was no longer of concern to the world. Therefore, nations were expected to experience peace and harmony. Huntington (2003) disagrees with this notion based on the fact that there followed a lot of ethnic clashes, and the expected universal organization was never founded. He states that the global politics experienced before and after the cold world war were different.
According to his analysis, there were differences in the way nations defined civilization. After the cold war era, nations cooperated and allied themselves according to the similarities in culture. Conflicts were experienced between states with different cultures. The issue of belonging was based on nationality, in terms of similar territories, culture, and ethnicity.
These events, which happened after the cold war, could have been predicted even before the war as explained by the civilizational paradigm that Huntington introduced (Huntington, 2003). According to his predictions, which were based on the past events, there would be a clash of civilization. Nations were expected to define belonging based on territories, ethnicity, and culture. This implies that citizenship would be restricted to the nationality of an individual (Huntington, 2003).
This paper compares the issue of citizenship in the past and modern view whereby globalization has become the force towards pluralism. The paper shall discuss citizenship and the issues that transform the concept from the past view into modern practice. According to this paper, the clash of civilization will not affect citizenship. This is because nations have adopted a transnational approach towards nationality and citizenship.
Citizenship in the 21st Century
Citizenship requires that individuals have the rights, duties, responsibilities, and identity that link them to the state in which they belong. When the aspect of migration and the minority of some tribes are considered, the issue of national citizenship is out-dated. This has resulted to modern citizenship, in which identity is not based on nationality, but rather the rights that one has in a certain nation (Bosniak, 2000).
With the current trend in globalization, post-nationalism should be adopted. This is because people are migrating from one nation to another, and reside there for a long period. Living in a different state for a considerable period gives a person the right to be involved in collective decision within that state.
The involvement of an individual in the responsibilities of the citizens in that country is also expected. An example is the case of guest workers who were invited to Western Europe when they had a shortage of labour. These workers were initially employed on temporal terms, but they later became permanent residents along with their descendants. Most of them were not given the opportunity of becoming the citizens to the nations that they resided (Koopmans & Statham, 1999).
Today, this has changed, and many countries are promising citizenship at the international level. This is because people are likely to request the protection of their rights more than they used during the national rights regime. Nowadays, there is movement of people and products across borders, and this requires that they are protected like the nationals. They deserve equal treatment and rights for them to work together as one (Aleinikoff, 2001).
Citizenship has been extended beyond the nation, and this has resulted to a lot of post-national developments. People who have committed to democracy and egalitarian values may not approve all the developments that have come about due to citizenship beyond borders. They may feel that their territory is being threatened and that they lose their power in politics and decision making. However, transnational citizenship is focused on uniting people to form a common identity and solidarity.
However, these are some of the traits that come with this form of citizenship. It diverts attention from the exclusive nationalism that only identifies fellow nationals and excludes the non-nationals from normative attention that they may offer. It seeks to integrate the outsiders as aliens and others as foreigners, who have resided within the country long enough to exercise their rights. It also considers that there could be some nationals residing in other nations, who will be included in the foreign nations in which they reside (Aleinikoff, 2001).
Political structures and activities have contributed to internationalisation of human rights (Likosky, 2002). These events have worked to improve the pace at which nations are embracing globalisation. This has raised concerns as to whether this may lead to increased political participation that is not formal. It is also feared that this may lead to deterioration of practices in place and identity. In this case, unlike national citizenship, transnational citizenship is not based on the national boundaries.
This has been solved by the introduction of the international community and international laws that are used to govern people from different nationals under the same setting. It does not affect the individual guidelines that have been established for citizenship. This citizenship has taken a non-national form whereby issues like ethnicity, culture, and territories do not arise in identification. It gives a collective identity in which people from all sorts of origin and identity can belong (Lister & Pia, 2008).
In the future, it is expected that there will be a plural understanding of the affiliations and identity that exist among nations. This is because post nationalism has culminated to an end in the nation-centred way of thinking. The issue of citizenship at the national level has also become flexible and is open to adapt to the emerging trends, especially in terms of globalization.
The political life experienced in the past during the nationalism era can now be restructured. This is meant to accommodate immigrants and foreigners who may be staying in foreign territories for a considerable period (Brettel & Hollified, 2000).
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The United States is an example of a nation that is geared towards promoting transnationalism. Since the era of civil rights, the U.S. immigration law that has been made flexible to allow a significant number of people to reside in the U.S. This implies that, in the coming decades, an increased number of people will move to reside in this country.
These people will expect to be accorded rights and citizen responsibilities. Other nations are following the trend, and this will be a significant step towards ending civil clashes, as well as adopting international identity and solidarity (Aleinikoff, 2001).
Transnational citizenship has brought unity to all nations and promoted an environment where people from different cultures can work together while enjoying equal rights and protection. It has moved the world from the past practice whereby people were restricted to interact within their territories and nations. This has resulted to the formation of an international community. The clash in civilization, which was predicted by Huntington, will not occur because globalisation has united the world.
The national citizenship is no longer the ultimate practice that defines whether a person can belong to a certain region or not. The trend that was expected to take place based on what happened after the cold war is not the case today. The invention of globalisation and the international community has changed this and facilitated the promotion of international unity. It is expected that, in the future, this trend will keep improving. The world is set to become one community.
In this case, people can exercise their rights and responsibilities freely. Transnational citizenship has solved the problems experienced in national citizenship, and the issue of migration and relocation has been facilitated. People can have a sense of belonging in the places that they reside, even if they are not nationals to those countries. The issue of civilisation will not interfere with citizenship in foreign countries and territories.
Aleinikoff, TA 2001, Citizenship today: global perspectives and practices, Brookings Inst. Press, Washington DC.
Bosniak, L 2000, Citizenship Denationalized, Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, vol. 7, pp. 447-507.
Brettel, C & Hollified, JF 2000, Migration Theory: Talking Across Disciplines, Routledge, New York.
Huntington, SP 2003, The clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, Simon & Schuster, New York.
Koopmans, R & Statham, P 1999, Challenging the Liberal Nation-State? Postnationalism, Multiculturalism, and the Collective Claims Making of Migrants and Ethnic Minorities in Britain and Germany, Postnationalism. vol. 105, no.3, pp. 652-396.
Likosky, M 2002, Transnational Legal Processes, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Lister, M & Pia E 2008, Citizenship in contemporary Europe, Edinburgh Univ. Press, Edinburgh.