Project Details


Religion and Global Citizenship Initiative (ASUF 30006113) Religion and Global Citizenship Initiative Our proposed three-year initiative is necessarily interdisciplinary. The core issues and questions lie at the intersections of international politics, theology, law and ethics. It will bring together scholars from a range of fieldsincluding global studies, law, political science, and religious studiesas well as different regions and intellectual and religious traditions. We envision a core working group of faculty at ASU who explore this topic over a multi-year period through faculty seminars, readings, guest speakers, and working groups devoted to researching specific cases. Their work will be augmented by a robust cross-cultural dimension involving several international workshops that bring together scholars and practitioners from various regions for extended discussions. Because global citizenship is sometimes perceived as a western project, there is no meaningful way to examine its global dimensions without including a range of international perspectives. We propose to produce an edited volume (preferably an e-volume that can be translated in multiple languages and distributed widely) as well as a condensed report examining the opportunities, challenges, and complexities of integrating religion more thoroughly into the discourse, project, and critical analysis of global citizenship. This project would also support new faculty research initiatives exploring issues of religion and global citizenship. 3 Year 1 of the initiative would be devoted to exploring historical and theoretical dimensions of global citizenship a much touted but often poorly conceived term. Questions such as those above would form the historical and conceptual basis for the projects first year. In the following years, we propose to focus on the implications of global citizenship for the use of humanitarian military intervention (Year 2) and global peace-building movements (Year 3). Humanitarian militarily intervention is now the subject of considerable moral and political debate. From Bosnia to Kosovo, from Iraq to Syria, from Libya to Mali and the Central African Republic, questions about political responsibilities and legitimate and morally appropriate forms of military intervention loom large. One of the central issues of global citizenship in the 1990s, humanitarian intervention has reemerged after a decade of being overshadowed by national security interestsonly now terrorism increasingly intersects with humanitarian crises and concerns. The question of humanitarian military intervention scrambles conventional left-right political orientations and religious-secular dichotomies, making it a particularly useful lens for exploring the issues at hand. While states and international institutions are shaped by secular principles such as the responsibility to protect, the ethical dimensions found within religious traditions such as Christianity and Islam often serve as more powerful forces and movers among everyday citizens and believers seeking to understand and act upon their global duties to others. Historically, a chief goal of global citizenship has involved efforts to pursue peace on a global scale: from Kants pursuit of perpetual peace, to the creation of the United Nations, to nuclear disarmament movements during the Cold War. Thus another full year of the project will be devoted to much broader and more comprehensive ways of building peace, with particular attention to non-lethal means. In so doing we seek to make room for exploring forms of peace building and democratic transformation that are often obscured by too narrow a focus on peace through coercive means. This project will uniquely question and analyze the presumption that global peace is a secular pursuit to which religion is antithetical. Some of the worlds leading global citizens and faces of peaceSchweitzer, Gandhi, and King, for exampledrew readily from religious ideas and practices. Even the spiritual undercurrents of more secular global peace movements cannot be ignored. These two trajectoriesthe just use of force and the non-violent pursuit of peaceconnect directly to earlier moments in the history of global citizenship. Returning to them now in the context of the Arab Spring and new democratic movements in other parts of the world invites a fresh reconsideration of whether and how religion constructively contributes to new insights about the pursuit of global citizenship. The discursive rise and appeal of global citizenship raises many questions about its relationship to other forms of religious and national identity. The way that these particular loyalties and universal commitments are negotiated and reconciled (or not) in the coming years will have significant implications for some of the most pressing problems in international affairs in the twenty-first century. It is imperative, then, that the various values and virtues associated with different religious traditions and communities occupy a central place in the study, development, and application of global citizenship at local, national, and global levels.
Effective start/end date6/1/1412/31/20


  • Luce (Henry) Foundation, Inc.: $460,000.00


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