Theorizing children’s global citizenship: Reconstructionism and the politics of deep interdependence

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Global citizenship is a much disputed term, involving a variety of competing neoliberal, cosmopolitan, and postcolonial framings. Much of this debate, however, assumes a hidden normative adulthood, just as did traditional understandings of citizenship in nation states. This article argues that attending to children’s experiences through a lens of childhood studies or childism opens up the possibility for more complex and profound theorizations of global participatory citizenship for all, both children and adults. In particular, the argument is advanced that global citizenship is better understood as a politics of reconstruction based on the aesthetic practice of interdependent political creativity. The key lies in understanding global political interdependence in a deep rather than superficial way as responding to children’s triple bind: their struggle all at once for self-empowerment, overcoming normative exclusions, and responsiveness from others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-17
Number of pages13
JournalGlobal Studies of Childhood
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Child
  • citizenship
  • globalization
  • postcolonialism


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