Global Civics

Global Civics Academy

Spring 2014

CREDIT: Dawn Huczek (CC).

Global Civics Academy is an educational project developed by Carnegie Council Global Ethics Fellow Hakan Altinay. It offers an online course on Global Civics that covers many of the major concerns arising from an increasingly interconnected world—trade, climate, finance, health, war, poverty, inequality, development, and justice.

You can watch the introduction video and the Global Civics documentary to get an overview of the concept. You can also watch 14 lectures free online. For more information on taking this course for credit, contact Global Civics Academy.



COURSE DESCRIPTION

It has become clear that we live in an increasingly interdependent world. Financial engineering in the United States or bookkeeping around Greek public finances can determine employment and economic growth in every other part of the world; carbon dioxide emissions from China can affect crop yields and livelihoods in Bangladesh, Vietnam, and beyond; an epidemic in Vietnam or Mexico, or a nuclear leak in Japan, can determine the state of public health halfway around the world.

What is less clear is what sort of responsibilities we have towards each other. Without at least a draft of a global social contract, it would be next to impossible for us to navigate our epic global interdependence. This course is predicated on the conviction that leadership, as well as a well-rounded university experience, in the twenty-first century has to include a conversation about our responsibilities towards the whole of humanity, and the corresponding rights we all have.

The course aims to identify and analyze the centripetal forces which push us together and intermix our fates. We will then discuss what, if any, responsibility we all have towards others, with whom we share our planet and destinies, but not our citizenship. We will review various arguments for normative and technocratic frameworks to manage our interdependence. At the end of the course, each student will participate in thought experiments to explore and develop her or his version of a global civics.

Active participation by the students will be key to the success of the course, and form the crucial part of the grading for the course. Students will write short pieces at the end of each class. Final grades will be based on class participation including weekly writing assignments (60 percent), and the final paper or performance (40 percent).