Globalising Citizens: New Dynamics of Inclusion and by John Gaventa, Rajesh Tandon

By John Gaventa, Rajesh Tandon

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But in other cases, it occurs through local, rather than transnational, forms of resistance to global forces and actors as they are manifested within the locality. Citizen action in response to global forces can be on the global in the local, as well as from the local to the global – though the tactics and strategies of each may vary. But if, as we saw in the previous section, governance and authority are multilayered, then one would expect that the most effective forms of citizen engagement would be those that are able to mobilize across all levels simultaneously.

But if, as we saw in the previous section, governance and authority are multilayered, then one would expect that the most effective forms of citizen engagement would be those that are able to mobilize across all levels simultaneously. In some of our cases, we catch glimpses of how this can occur. In the case of the GCE, for instance, deliberate attempts were made to construct linked action across multiple ‘citizenship spaces’. But other cases illustrate the complexities of doing this. In the Indian anti-asbestos campaign, as national-level professional campaigners moved to build global pressure, they lost their roots and connection to the local.

What emerges, then, is that the role of the nation-state, rather than being weakened in local–global citizen engagement, remains critical, not only in state-to-state relations, but in how it allies with and supports civil society in dealing – or failing to deal – with global market or other forces. While we thus see multiple types of mediators – hybrid individuals, organizations, international networks and movements, even states – the nature of mediation is also affected by the origins of the mobilization.

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