Citizens, Democracy, and Global Responsibility
Friday 9 December 2016, 11:15-17:30
Organizers: Christine Hobden (SPS), Stefanie Reher (SPS),
Akisato Suzuki (SPS)
This workshop aims to discuss the actual or potential responsibility of citizens for democratic values and politics at the global scale.
Contemporary politics is inevitably transnational. International relations require pressing attention and careful navigation, but to what extent, if at all, is this the responsibility of citizens? What kind of responsibility do they owe, and to whom? Moreover, how should states balance their responsibilities towards other states and people with their need to be responsive to their own citizens?
Despite often competing interests, coordination and compliance are required to effectively respond to collective challenges such as climate change, refugee crises, and terrorism.
Brexit has rekindled a fierce debate between the advocates of national sovereignty and proponents of European integration, and despite impressive progress toward a more peaceful international regime several inter-state relations remain hostile, unstable, or precarious. At the same time, coordination is increasing with far-reaching trade agreements such as TTIP.
Some citizens actively contest the terms of such agreements and campaign, for example, against multinational companies accused of labour exploitation and tax avoidance in developing countries. Yet, where citizens’ interests and global responsibilities diverge, a tension can arise.