Multi-Level Citizenship A chance for overcoming deficits of global governance Volker von Prittwitz (February 15, 2016) Preserving sustainable life on our blue planet is a main subject of global governance, together with securing peace. Indeed, with regard to both subjects there are massive governance deficits. How do certain kinds of citizenship influence these deficits, and how can multi-level citizenship foster effective global governance to arise?   
Global governance record: securing peace  The effects of international peace and security policies are highly ambivalent: Compared to former periods of world wide wars (WW1: 1914- 1918, WW2: 1939-1945, Cold War: End of 1940s-1989, particularly 1950-1962), many countries benefit from living in relative peace. Insofar global peace seems to be realized to a certain degree.  Indeed, dozens of military conflicts and regional wars are going on in diverse parts of the Earth, amongst them the Ukraine in the outer region of Eastern Europe. In the Middle East Region violent tensions have been lasting for decades. Since 2012 one of the most cruel civil wars ever waged is going on, the Syrian War. Obviously neither the UN principles nor political crisis management lead by the US could stop this war; even current tries to start negotiations encounter massive difficulties. As a follow-up of failed US foreign policies (financing the enemy of the current enemy, militarilly attacking single authoritarian rulers without enabling peaceful life after), the increased economic resources and power of oil states as financiers of wars, and wrong models of a violent transition to democracy (Arabic Spring), just the contrary to freedom and peace has developed: strong and fast widening terror organizations such as Islamic State and Boko Haram in Middle East and parts of Africa. These organizations meanwhile try to attack also European countries and countries all over the Earth (for instance Australia and Russia).      Altogether we see a quite bad record  of global governance on peace and security issues. Global governance record: climate protection Also with regard to global climate mitigation policy, there is a quite ambivalent record: Indeed, the Paris Conference in December 2015 brought some valuable agreements such as the accord of trying to hold the global increase of average temperature by 1.5%, compared to the starting period of the industry age. The very long transition phases for some of the most significant emitters such as China, however, constitute a massive performance deficit of the accord. Beyond, the inability to develop strict technological bans (for instance a ban of coal power plants) or technological objectives (such as complete decarbonisation) shows a further deficit of the treaty:. Indeed, 2014 was the ever first year without an additional increase of CO2 emissions; after a 40 year period with continuously increasing global emissions, however, the risk that the permafrost soils in Nothern regions will melt and the deep sea will furtherly heat up, is rising in the decades to come - setting free enormous masses of methan gas with an even much higher warming coefficient. Hence we have to state an insufficient record of global governance also under this aspect.  That’s why it is overdue to think about new capacities of effective global governance. To my mind, a significant capacity of that type is levels of citizenship. Levels of Citizenship The term: citizenship refers to the identification with a city, state, or nation and the right to work, live, and participate in a corresponding area. A citizen lives in a certain area, endowed with all basic rights to live and to participate there.  This concept of citizenship obviously goes together best with the local level; since problems and chances of communal development can be immediately discussed, and citizen efforts and movements can influence political processes to the highest degree. Etymologically and historically the concept of citizenship has arisen from cities, that is from urban local areas. And the most developed models of citizenship are so far local ones. At national level, in contrast, citizenship is a highly precarious subject. Citizenship at this level is alleged to be a primarily juridical claim - given only to selected persons such as humans born in a certain territory or persons who have been explicitely accepted in a specific procedure. Hence there is usually a spectrum of acceptance between full and failing citizenship - leading to asymmetric structures and discrimination of marginalized people.          This contested citizenship can give a certain degree of protection from intranational or international threats;  on the other side, it does not render many concrete rights: Even in some states alleged to be distinctly democratic, such as Germany, national citizenship opens up only the right to take part in national elections - in a four-year cycle and as one voter amongst more than 40 millions in Germany. In (national) autocracies, basic human rights are usually not guaranteed, and   participation is, if existing at all, limited to parts of the population. On the other side, national autocracies often proclaim far-reaching claims of rule beyond the own borders - leading to aggressive programs of expansion. That’s why (nothing but) national citizenships tend to be characterized by an an imbalance of factual citizen rights and exaggerated claims of expansion and rule - a kind of political schizophrenia.  The idea of global citizenship  implicates the establishing of Earth- wide civil and political rights. Accordingly any human is respected in the principally same way, endowed with basic dignity and all human rights. Although this concept exceeds the scope of national citizenships, it is much less expansive and aggressive: While national citizenships discriminate insiders (citizens) from outsiders (foreigners, asylum-seekers, illegal migrants  and so forth), the concept of global citizenship includes any human being as a respected and capable person. While national citizenships operate with the idea of international relations as a sphere of relative anarchy, global citizenship implies the existential challenge of putting up with all other humans, countries, races and so forth on our one Earth - a very responsible and realistic approach, particularly facing ongoing processes of globalization. Fast rising technical capabilities and globalisation produce a bunch of existential global problems. Thinking citizenship in global terms easens the development and implementation of global policies to deal with these problems in effective ways.     Multi-level Citizenship versus one-dimensional thinking Local, national, and global citizenship should not only be conceived of separately; basic insights, rather, result from looking at their constellations. At it, we have to differentiate between one-level and multi-level concepts of citizenship: Nationalistic and otherwise ideological follow-ups of national thinking tend to blame and to suppress differing political concepts, particularly approaches of global citizenship, as strange, treacherous, or hostile. Also other patterns of one- dimensional thinking such as racism, fundamentalism, and communism operate with one-level models.
The model of multi-level citizenship, in contrast, combines different levels of identifying with, from the local level to the global one. At it, every human is respected as equal and endowed with dignity; local and national identities are taken into consideration, but relativized and sorted in the encompassing challenge of peacefully living together on Earth. Also other basic challenges of sustainable life on Earth such as stabilizing the world climate are handled priority. This concept should not be considered a pure construct; it rather can be realized as a strong concept of global coordination - relativizing all one- dimensional and one-level approaches and effectively binding them. Tools of that coordination should be a respectful communication between actors from diverse levels, and a consistent policy to develop and to enforce effective global coordination. At it, all one-dimensional ideologies and programs (striving at absolute power and suppression of others) should critically analyzed and consistently stopped - see for example a strict interdiction of any praying hate and violence against believers of other denominations and secular people, strict economic bans for criminal activities, for instance for the selling and purchasing of stolen or raptured cultural goods. A suitable framework of those policies is UN-based international law - together with strengthened economic, political, and military capabilities of the United Nations as well as international coalitions legitimated by UN decisions. How far has multi-level citizenship become real? In order to check this question, first the status of human rights on Earth should be roughly assessed. The global status of human rights Formally there is a common standard of human rights for all peoples and nations, established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948. See basically: Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Article 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. Source: http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/ Meanwhile we see official approvals to basic human rights in constitutions and declarations all over the Earth. Looking at how standards of human rights are practically dealt with, indeed, quite a different record manifests. Full (ex ante) equality and complete freedom rights are practically realized in no country of the Earth - facing diverse patterns of ruling power, exerted by religions, networks, firms, and other strong actors. Insofar we can principally consider human rights nothing but a steady challenge to limit and bound real power. Even in a country with relatively high standards of human rights’ protection such as Germany, basic privileges are still valid - see for example the massive privileging of Catholics and Protestant churches (by state tax collection, subventions, direct governmental payments, and institutional linkages) or strong lobby groups such as the pharma and medicine lobby, car industry, and war-fare production. Vice versa, there is a practical discrimination of anybody without access to influential networks or organizations. In some sectors, such as psychiatric clinics, grave violations of basic human rights are proven in many cases.    In some allegedly democratic countries such as the USA, basic human rights such as life, health, and non- discrimination are obviously not valid for parts of the population - see the clearly racist police enforcement towards black and hispanic people in many areas, particularly in Southern US states. Rights of informational autonomy are out of order at latest since 9-11 by an enormous superiority of secret services. Strong lobbies such as the weapon industry dominate political processes to an enormous degree.  Some developmental countries usually sorted as democracies such as India  operate still in a social logic that contradicts the logic of human rights: Instead of respecting diverse groups, some groups such as women, lower caste groups, and marginal groups are often discriminated and exposed to by far overproportional risks of suffering violence.   The human rights record in autocratic countries, where governmental power is more or less absolute, is even worse: After a decrease of authoritarian systems since the end of the Cold War, their number is rising again during the last years - see particularly the re- institutionalization of autocracies in North African and Arabic countries after the so-called Arabic Spring (2011). At it fundamentalistic states and organizations, so-called theocracies, constitute a special anti-type towards the rule of human rights. In those systems, invoking God (Allah) implies the claim of a transcendentally based law - beyond and often against human rights. According to this construction Saudi Arabia and other countries have declared own (Islamic) rights in the year 1992. The Cairo Declaration on  Human Rights in Islam affirms Islamic sharia as its sole source. It guarantees many of the same rights as the United Nations Declaration (cf. liberal Islam), while at the same time reaffirming the inequalities inherent in Islamic law and tradition in terms of religion, religious conversion, gender, sexuality, political rights, and other aspects of contemporary society at odds with Islamic law and traditions. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cairo_Declaration_on_Hu man_Rights_in_Islam  The terror organization Islamic State  and associated groups such as Boko Haram make of the straightest contrast and opposite to any idea of human rights. During the last decade, these groups have won rising influence not only in the Middle East Region, but also in some parts of Northern and Eastern Africa - being even in Europe and other continents a current threat. Finally, war-like situations and open wars completely disable any rule of law according to the UN Charta - see above all the lasting Syrian war with already about 300.000 killed humans and 13 million refugees.      Border aspects The concept of absolute national sovereignty, that goes back to the times of early absolutism (Jean Bodin 1576: Les six livres de la République) -  in principle enables to live in peace protected from external attacks - a kind of collective human right. Hence the integrity of national borders constitutes a keystone of the UN Charter of Human Rights (Article 5). Indeed, to the degree human rights are not protected in a certain territory or organization, human interventions in favor of the enforcement of human rights can be legitimated by the United Nations according to the meanwhile prevailing opinion in international law.
IPA Institute for Political Analysis Prof. Dr. Volker von Prittwitz
Compared to this rational in terms of universal human rights, the current reality of international politics, indeed, is highly ambivalent:The principle of national sovereignty is routinely used by autocracies to bloc critiques of human rights’ violations - a counterproductive practice to the spirit of human rights; and military interventions  have been exerted in some cases such as the Iraq intervention of 2003 without a broad international consent and UN support. Finally, irresponsibility  for transnational problems seems to be legitimated through the institution of national sovereignty - see the missing committment of the most countries for overcoming wars and for taking up war refugees. Indeed, some immediate neighbor states of Syria have taken up millions of Syrian refugees; other countries, above all Saudi- Arabia, almost completely refuse any relevant contribution to take up refugees from a war they have essentially co-financed. Right now Germany is the only European country to make a declared open border policy for Syrian refugees - an indicator of prevailing irresponsibility according to the concept of (national) one-level citizenship. Indeed, some states such as France and Germany, partly also the USA and punctually even Russia, espouse human rights in practical politics to a certain degree. Agencies to straightly fight for human rights, indeed, are only some nongovernmental organizations such as Amnesty International and Transparency International, as well as certain UN organizations - in practice still being relatively weak organizations. In sum we have to state: Universal human rights are much more subject of formal declarations than to be an orientation of practical politics - an expression of the lasting prevalence  of (national) one-level politics and one-dimensionally oriented movements and organizations. Participation    … is usually conceived of only with regard of national and sub- national levels; international and global coordination processes, in contrast, comprise participative elements, if any, in derived or non- binding forms. The best known institution of that kind is the General Assembly of the United Nations, where each national government has one vote; also nongovernmental organizations are alleged to represent peoples’ interests. Regular elections or any form of direct democracy, however, are hitherto completely out of reach at the global level. Instead, international politics is still a quite anarchic realm where classical power politics mixes with institutionalized approaches - reaching from some routines and negotiations to threats and military options. At it, institutional structures are often not representative, either by  giving every national state one vote in contrast to the real sizes of states - see the General Assembly of the United Nations - or by one-sided privileges and exclusions - see the structure of the UN Security Council, that corresponds with a short-term power constellation after Word War 2. Although conflicts are meanwhile usually both regional and global, one actor feels to be challenged to play the role of a global policeman: the United States of America. This practice is harmful at least under three aspects: 1) Regional peculiarities are often not understood or misunderstood because the global actor USA is not willing or able to analyze those peculiarities in a sufficient way. 2) Global interconnections are often not perceived in an adequate way - reinforcing attitudes of disengagement and insufficient commitment in the world community. 3) Strong vested interests of the - allegedly fair broker - USA strengthen specifically US- dominated short-term options that regularly reveal to be counterproductive in a middle- range or longer prospect (see particularly the US policies in the Middle East Region). Altogether, political participation at global level approaches zero - with grave negative impacts on  international peace making and peace preserving. Ecological Sustainability  and Earth Citizenship At the first glance, authoritarian structures seem to be most qualified to make resources preserved; since they principally allow to enforce and control saving behavior. According to this opinion, in the 1970s a vivid discussion on eco-dictatorship took place in some Western countries such as Germany: http://www.siegfriedhagl.com/wirtschaft-und-soziales/brauchen-wir- die-okodiktatur; https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ein_Planet_wird_gepl%C3%BCndert The reality of practical environmental policies, indeed, showed a different record: While environmental protection policies developed starting from countries such as USA, Japan, Sweden, and Netherlands, authoritarian countries of the Eastern block such as the Sovjet Union, China, and GDR (East Germany) exhibited extremely bad environmental records. Also the current policy on climate change protection shows a  certain co-variance between factual commitment and multi-level citizenship: While countries such as Great Britan, France, Germany, Netherlands, the Northern European countries, and the South West European countries meanwhile  relatively committedly work for climate protection, authoritarian countries such as Saudi Arabia and China have been more political obstacles than to foster global efforts on climate protection. Also the USA, a hybrid from democracy, autocracy, and anomy, constitute - in spite of Barack Obama’s efforts -  still a risk for bringing climate protection policy forward (through strong one-level thinking). Altogether we see a co-variance between developed human rights and participation on the one side and effective environmental policy on the other. Conclusions Only if actors interested in effective global coordination get sufficiently influence in the decision-making process, effective global governance will come about; that’s why effective participation is required to bring effective global governance forward. Effective participation, in turn, can only emerge based on practically usable human rights; since otherwise any participation could be suppressed, undermined or even turned into its contrary by suppression, fraud,and other forms of manipulating. Hence global participation and universal human rights should energetically espoused - as a means to counter one-dimensional movements, as a means to end wars, and as a means to bring necessary ecological coordination about. Vice versa, the rising problem pressure through climate change might stimulate not only global coordination, but also the fight for universal human rights and participation. ------------------------------------------ Literature on the term of Multilevel Citizenship: http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/15117.html http://www.yorku.ca/maas/Maas2013b.pdf http://community.dur.ac.uk/j.m.painter/Multilevel%20citizenship.pdf http://www.polipedia.eu/tiki-index.php?page=Multi-level-citizenship http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?event=cmp.ccc.seitenstruktur. detailseiten&seitentyp=produkt&pk=82039&concordeid=574168 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01419870.2014.89420 5
Multi- Level Citizen ship.
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