“Global citizens”, a project of globalized elites?


The World Values Survey periodically polls random samples of individuals around the world on their attitudes and attachments. A recent round of surveys asked people in fifty-five countries about the strength of their local, national and global identities. The results were similar across the world- and quite instructive. They reveal that attachment to the nation state overwhelms all other forms of identity. People see themselves primarily as citizens of their nation, next as members of their local community and only last as “global citizens”. The sole exceptions, where people identified more with the world than with their nation, were violence-ridden Colombia and tiny Andorra.

These surveys uncover an important divide between elites and the rest of the society. A strong sense of global citizenship tends to be confined, when it exists, to wealthy individuals and those with the highest levels of educational attainment. Conversely, attachment to the nation state is generally much stronger among individuals from lower social classes. This cleavage is perhaps not that surprising. Skilled professionals and investors can benefit from global opportunities whenever they may arise. The nation state and what it does matters a lot less to these people than it does to less mobile workers and others with fewer skills who have to make do with what’s nearby. This opportunity gap reveals a certain dark side to the clamor for global governance. The construction of transnational political communities is a project of globalized elites attuned largely to their needs.

Rodrik, Dani. The Globalization Paradox. Norton & Company 2011, p.231.

For more detailed info: http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/


2 responses »

  1. Anita, otra lectura interesante que tiene mucho que ver con lo que dices: Harris, N. (2002) “Thinking the Unthinkable: the immigration myth exposed”, IB Tauris, London.

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